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HOW DANCEHALL ARTIST AND NATURALISTA SPICE TACKLED COLORISM IN 2018

Spice flipped the script on the entire internet… And we all fell for it.

Instagram @spiceofficial

Recently, dancehall artist Spice released a photo that had the internet on fire. The photo, first released on Instagram, features Spice with blonde hair, green eyes, and what appears to be severely bleached skin. In the caption below the now viral image, the Dancehall queen teases about a “fresh start” and goes on to promote her new mixtape Captured.

The photo of the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta starlet went viral almost instantly and drew both criticism and praise from all directions. The photo sparked a debate around colorism and its effect on everyone, especially members of the black community.

Fans of the So Mi Like It singer stood by Spice, saying the photo was a hoax and that she would never bleach her skin. Many thought she may have used an app, or some other means to fabricate the photo. Twitter users also responded, leaving some of the below comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Down Black Hypocrisy

In the interview below, we see Spice in a room with at least one other person where she stops mid-interview to begin an impromptu performance. The lyrics in the video are clear: the apparent bleaching is a result of the pressure black men and women face to modify their appearance and present themselves as white to be successful.

 

 

 

Shortly after this video was released, Spice released the highly anticipated single Black Hypocrisy where she boldly calls out racism from both Blacks and Whites. Later in the song, she zeros in on the colorism she says she experiences primarily from black people:

(‘Cause) I was told I would reach further
If the colour of mi skin was lighter
And I was made to feel inferior
Cah society seh brown girls prettier

 

 

Spice opens her single with an interesting argument about what it means to be a dark-skinned black woman. She maintains that society pushes darker women toward brown skin, while many black women with brown skin claim that the colorism they face is towards being “light-skinned.”

Spice’s criticism doesn’t end there. In her native Jamaican patois, she quickly follows the opening verse with a declaration of pride in her blackness:

Mi love the way mi look
Mi love mi pretty black skin
Respect due to mi strong melanin
Proud of mi colour, love the skin that I’m in
Bun racism, demolish colourism
But the things weh mi a go seh

She then follows this never ending push towards whiteness with the following lyrics:

“Well, since yuh seh that I’m too black for you
I’ll please yuh, do I look how you want me to?
Now I’m gonna see if you gonna say I’m too brown for you
Or do I look pretty to you?”

Addressing Hypocrisy

The music video is full of very literal protests of black women holding signs boldly affirming their love for their black skin. She also shames those who would shame black women to the point of leaving “the girls dem with low self-esteem.”

In the following video, Spice boldly sings the above Black Hypocrisy lyrics in skin that, unlike the viral photo, is actually bleached. The powerful scene wraps up before cutting to Spice in her regular, beautiful brown skin and a full head of surprisingly natural hair. (We love it! Who knew?)

You can watch the full video here:

 

 

 

You can also view the full lyrics of Black Hypocrisy here.


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