How would you feel if someone told you to dye your hair a different color because it would make you look better? Switch up your makeup look or try a different style of jean? Probably a little pissed, right?
How about if they suggested you use toxic chemicals to achieve a lighter skin tone? Make up artist Takara Allen had already been on a date with Tinder match “Nikolas” when he messaged her with a suggestion so offensive she had to share it on Facebook.
The 22-year-old from Adelaide, Australia, said she was left “devastated” after her date told her she should bleach her skin because she would look so much prettier if she was whiter.
“Don’t think I’m a creep and I don’t wanna be offensive or anything but I was just looking [at] your insta photos and just curious, but have you ever thought about bleaching your skin?? You’d look so much prettier if you were whiter!” he wrote.
Allen, who is mixed race and identifies as black, said she was “in shock” when she read the message, but thankfully not so much that she couldn’t deliver a brilliant, cutting reply: “Have you ever considered drinking bleach because the world would be so much prettier if you did.”
“I would never bleach my skin, but I understand why others would feel the need to,” she wrote in her Facebook post. “There’s so much pressure for people of colour like myself to conform to European beauty ideals and standards. In most cultures being ‘paler’ or ‘white’ allows that individual to be treated better due to systematic racism and we are taught from a young age that being ‘whiter’ makes us more desirable and attractive.”
Clearly, this guy is a total loser, and the outpouring of support for Allen on Facebook proves that he’s in a minority for thinking it’s OK to make this sort of comment. But it’s a reminder that women continue to be held up to completely ridiculous standards of beauty. By society, by the media and by jerks on Tinder.
Allen addressed this again in another message posted on her Facebook page.
“This is a huge issue we deal with when dating/navigating the world in general and the darker you are the worse it gets,” she wrote on Facebook. “Black people’s beauty is tied directly to blackness. We are not beautiful *in spite* of being black but rather *because* we’re black. Don’t get it twisted.”
Update on April 27 2016: A spokesperson for Tinder contacted SheKnows and confirmed that they had removed Nikolas, the man who made the comment to Allen, from the platform.