Violet Onyx, Dark Ash Onyx, Caramel, and Chocolate are the newest spray tan colors at a Swedish tanning salon named Emmatan. Their latest pictures on Instagram created a huge controversy last week. Many black women were outraged, commenting that they felt this was black face and simply appalling. Other’s felt like this tanning salon was selling a race in a bottle like it’s the latest fashion, but you can’t wear a race. In a day and age where cultural appropriation is a hot topic it’s odd to me that the creator of the salon, Emma Patissier, is shocked by the uproar and didn’t see this coming.
Emma actually responded to the controversy by saying “‘Fake tans always get really dark because of the activation of the result of the color.” She explained that 20 to 30 percent of the colour washes off when the person showers. She goes on to say that the pictures were taken before the clients showered so the end result won’t be that dark. She also stated that she never intended to mimic a black skin tone and that she is in fact not a racist and appreciates all skin tones. I for one appreciate her saying that, but her response didn’t make me feel better in the least, if anything it just raised more questions for me like; “If it’s not supposed to be that dark, why post pictures before it washes off? Or why not post a disclaimer under the photo? You really didn’t think this would offend black women?” I’m sorry Emma, but I’m not buying it and neither are my sisters.
The plight and struggle of the black women is very real and we take it very seriously. It was not so long ago that we were taunted for our kinky hair and big lips, not to mention called ugly for being of a darker shade. So please Ms. Emma do not mock the black women’s struggle. This product is honestly a slap in our faces as is everything we invented being culturally misappropriated and being “discovered” by women who are not of color. We do not appreciate it and next time you serve up an explanation you might want to include a sincere apology along with it.
By: Shannon Lockhart