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Swedish company accused of using blackface to promote tanning products

It’s almost spring, so soon we’ll be trading our jeans and boots for flowy sundresses and shorts.

It’s also the time when people turn to self-tanners to get a sun-kissed glow. These products are pretty much the same in that they promise darker skin without the sun, but one Swedish company has gone too far with its line of dark hues that many are comparing to wearing blackface.

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Emma Patissier Alm runs the Stockholm-based Emmaatan salon tthat specializes in giving deep, deep tans in colors like Dark Ash Onyx, Caramel and Dark Chocolate.
The company’s Instagram account shows photos of women with the dark tans that do look unnaturally dark.
“It’s funny that they think it’s ok for them to be Black but not for Black people to be Black,” one commenter wrote on Tumblr, where it went viral over the weekend.

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Alm reacted by first locking her company’s Instagram page, but it is currently public with an apology.

“I’m in chock (sic) for the response I’ve gotten and may have responded and commented the wrong way because I expect [people] to know u dont get black from tanning products,” she wrote. “I’ve got a lot of feedback and mostly been called ‘black face’ and racist. [People] looks at my pic I’ve posted and without a blink assuming we desire to look black, I understand why it might seem that way and I apologize for the miss understanding my pic may have approached.”
Alm added that her self-tanners are only dark when they are first applied and dramatically lighten after a shower. However, the photos don’t seem to reflect that; they give off the impression that the tans stay dark for days.

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“I will never understand how black [people] is facing the world and it’s sad to know [people] don’t get respect just because of their looks,” she continued. “I love all skin types and that’s why I think [people] should be able to choose for what they feel good in, as long as you respect [people] around you.”

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