One of the many things we love about Jackie Aina is her unfiltered commentary. The beauty vlogger, who’s been a YouTube mainstay for nearly 10 years, has never shied away from keeping it real, especially regarding her experience as a black woman in the cosmetics space.
And with an onslaught of brands offering very limited foundation ranges, it’s expected (and appreciated) that Aina, a dark-skinned black woman, would advocate for more inclusion. Unfortunately, her advocacy has been met with some backlash; mainly from those who “don’t see color” or wish she would stick to makeup tutorials.
That’s why her latest upload, aptly titled “I Don’t See Color-A Makeup Tutorial” is a must-watch. In the 13-minute clip, which we recommend watching from start to finish, Aina starts by shedding light on the “messed up things” she frequently experiences behind-the-scenes. For instance, a lot of the bloggers (“your faves”) that claim to care about inclusiveness in beauty are the same ones that say Aina only “cares about her people” behind closed doors. The tea is piping hot!
From there, she goes on to reiterate how makeup brands will launch “20 shades of beige,” but fail to provide the same number of options for brown skin, an all too-true reality we’ve seen firsthand. “They’ll throw in two dark shades like Mahogany Espresso and then be like, ‘here, ya’ll always beggin’ for something.’” I’m not supposed to be able to talk about that? I don’t know what to do.”
Beyond that, it seems brands are also selective about who they send product to, something Aina touched on when she previously called out Kylie Cosmetics for blacklisting dark-skinned bloggers. Compounded with the fact that a lot of viewers complain about her “race talk,” Aina decided to speak her peace with a genius makeup analogy.
Around the 3:50 mark, she applies her makeup under a black and white filter, paying zero attention to the shades and colors she’s using. And after restoring the camera to its original lighting, viewers can see that she looks crazy, or in Aina’s words, “silly as hell.”
“Expecting me, a dark skinned woman, to just walk around like I’m not black, or acting like it’s not a factor, is just as unrealistic as you walking into a Sephora and grabbing any foundation and expecting it to work,” she said. “When people say they don’t see color, they literally mean it. They literally don’t think it should not be acknowledged that someone is different to you.” She drives the point home even more with a skit that shows how ludicrous it looks when a person who “doesn’t see color” walks into a Sephora looking for foundation and says she’ll take any shade.
Can you imagine going to Sephora and not seeing color? Neither can we. In 2018, we should not expect beauty vloggers to limit their commentary to makeup application. They’re living, breathing humans like everyone else who deserve to use their platform however they choose. And if it can benefit those who don’t have experience with different cultures and ethnicities, we’d say that’s an added bonus.
“We not gonna ignore race like we ignore undertones,” said Aina. “I have dark skin. I’m going to talk about it sometimes. If you don’t like it, watch someone else.” We stan! Watch Aina’s full “tutorial” above.