When it comes to beauty trends, charcoal is in. But now that everyone is using charcoal to give themselves a more youthful appearance, they’re starting to pop up on people’s social media feeds. Instagram personalities and average people alike enjoy sharing their beauty rituals with their followers on social media – however, when it comes to charcoal masks, not everyone is on board with the pictures.
Activated charcoal is an ingredient that is highly absorbent. When applied to the face, it can help extract gunk from your pores, which means that blackheads don’t stand a chance.
Although charcoal masks have been shared online for some time now, the trend is nothing new, people are turning to social media to criticize images of charcoal masks as racist. Why? Critics believe that sharing images of charcoal masks evokes images of blackface.
“Racism is so insidious that you can promote blackface for years under the guise of ‘pore mask,’ and it goes unchecked,” the Twitter user wrote.
Other people had to agree with the Twitter user, admitting that images of people in charcoal masks do “look uncomfortably similar to blackface.” That’s why one person uses them but makes sure she “will be hiding in the bathroom for 8-10 minutes” so no one sees her with the mask on.
One Twitter user even said the fact that the contrast of putting a black mask on and then removing it “to get flawless skin” is inherently racist. Because the black mask is what needs to be removed, it is a subtle way to implicate that black faces are not beautiful and are “flawed.”
Some people have come forward and spoken out against the use of charcoal masks, personally, saying they don’t use them because they feel uncomfortable like they are unintentionally putting on blackface.
“I bought a black charcoal face mask once. I looked in the mirror and was like ‘nope that’s racist’ and immediately washed it off. Been buying green tea ones ever since,”
Blackface was founded on racist principles. It was developed to degrade black people back in the 1800s. White actors would do the makeup and give themselves exaggerated lips and other features as a way to demean the black masses. These traveling shows known as black minstrelsy were offensive to black people back then and still are to this day.
Although some people find charcoal masks to be offensive, others claim that they are not. Simply because they are black in color and go on the face does not mean that the user is doing anything racist, these proponents of the beauty trick proclaim.
Blackface has recently become a talking point after Katy Perry released a line of shoes that included one that had a strange black face on it, which many people called racist. Other celebrities have been exposed for exploiting blackface to get ahead in their careers, including actors Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.
When it comes to skincare, activated charcoal is a powerful ingredient. Do you think using charcoal masks and sharing images of it is racist?
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.