For the last few weeks, every time I have gone on my phone, I keep seeing articles in my recommended about how Ariana Grande's fake tan has gone too far and considered blackface and how she also appropriates Hispanic/Latino culture. Although it kept popping up on my phone, I haven't heard anyone talk about it so I questioned how many people actually thought this. I looked up a picture of her and I was surprised to see that she was just as dark or possibly even darker than Nicki Minaj, so I thought, okay, maybe some people really do think this.
I created a poll and sent it to all my friends and club group chats asking for people's opinions. I asked three questions. Do you think Ariana Grande's fake tan should be considered blackface? Do you think she appropriates black culture in any way? Do you think she appropriates Hispanic/Latino culture in any way? The yes or no questions were mandatory on the form but an explanation was optional.
These were the results along with some reasoning:
Do you think Ariana Grande's fake tan should be considered blackface?
82.4% of respondents said no, it is not blackface, and 17.6% said it is.
The only explanation for yes was "She is several shades darker."
Some of the explanations for no included:
"It's a spray tan. Everyone gets them. And as a black person, I don't find it offensive."
"She isn't changing her skin tone to suppress a minority, she is doing it because being tan is more on trend. She isn't doing it with the intent of hurting anyone."
"Her tan is not an attempt to seem black or to mock black people."
"It's just a tan. Who doesn't want to be tan?!"
"Some people just use too much tan. Example: Donald Trump. His fake tan is most likely not blackface."
"A good tan helps with confidence! I know that when I'm tan, I feel 100x prettier. I'm not a fan of Grande, but she got a tan! I don't think it's anything more."
"If someone is uncomfortable in their pale skin, they have every right to tan. She is not claiming to be anything other than white, she is just changing something about herself that made her insecure. Pale skin is often seen as unattractive, so this is perfectly normal for her to want to alter it."
"Everyone does fake tans. She just wants to show her real Italian color."
"We live in a time where getting a cheap tan equals wanting to be a certain race. These types of people are looking for something to be offended by at this point even if it's a non-issue."
The next question: Do you think she appropriates black culture in other ways? (language, appearance, etc.)
88.2% of respondents said she is not and 11.8% said that she is.
There were no explanations for yes here, but here are some of the ones to no.
"She acts too white."
"She's not desperate like the Kardashians, so there you go."
"I don't think she is doing anything to appropriate black culture, I think she is just trying to make money"
"I don't believe she is appropriating black culture simply by being who she is. If she was exploiting black culture like 'acting black' in a music video, that would be a much different case."
"I don't think her appearance does, but not sure about other characteristics"
"She is not claiming to be black or anything else. Many people have fake tans, it is normal in our society."
"She's expressing her interests."
I think it's interesting that the percentage went down.
The final Question: Do you think she appropriates Hispanic/Latino culture in any way? (language, appearance, etc.)
Again, 88.2% of respondents said she is not and 11.8% said she is.
There were again no explanations for yes. This time most of the answers for no were "Same as previous answers" as well as these:
"She doesn't act or take on any traits of people from these cultures."
"No. She's just expressing her interests."
"I've never seen her appropriate their culture."
Before I concluded these findings I looked to see if there were any other reasons people would find it problematic. The main thing I found was that she takes off her fake tan to be on magazine covers such as Vogue. This, in some people's minds, means she is using the dark skin to gain a following and gain a wider audience yet took it off to play to racist mainstream beauty standards.
I was hoping looking into all this would help me form a more solid opinion on the situation. As of now, I don't think it was done in a harmful sense, so it is probably okay. I hate when unnecessary problems are made. Yet, I can see why some people find her fake dark skin to be a problem. Similar to the Instagram influencers who were pretending to be black. I would love to hear more opinions on the matter and get more viewpoints.