Disclaimer: This piece reflects the writer’s opinion and compiled opinions of others on the subject matter. It does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of WORLD OF BUZZ.
So, Malaysia has seen several incidences where blackface and brownface were used in promotional materials and other social media content.
But, what happens when you use brownface to advocate against colourism? Yeah, it still makes it wrong.
Malaysian singer and actor, Choo Hao Ren took to his official Facebook page to showcase his latest single, White Doll, which sings a tale of love for a girl who is bullied by her schoolmates for being ‘very tanned’ and a boy who is obsessed with whitening products and the fairness of his own skin. But, multiple contradictory aspects of the video tell a different story.
The first thing that caught netizens’ eyes was the fact that Hao Ren used brownface in the video.
Hao Ren took to the comment section of his Instagram account to defend himself against the backlash from netizens calling him out.
While he shared that his intentions were to imitate people who have become tanned from walking under the sun, others pointed out that he could have just hired someone who is tanned instead of painting a fair model brown.
He also explained that blackface is something used to imitate African-Americans and others of African descent, but this is much closer to home and still very much relevant as blackface (or in this case, brownface) is still widely used in Asian countries (including Malaysia) to imitate Indians and other darker-skinned Asians.
Secondly, instead of using the video to defend those with tanned and darker skin tones, Hao Ren was showcased gifting whitening products to the girl in the video.
The girl then uses the products to become pearly-white and loved by her classmates, a concept that implies that only fair-skinned people deserve acceptance, empathy and respect.
At this point, Hao Ren even sings, “You’re my beloved white doll, like a white spotlight.”
Why is this wrong?
In order to understand why blackface (and brownface) is wrong, first, you’ll need to know the history behind its existence.
Blackface came to be in the mid-19 century, when white performers darkened their skin to mimic enslaved Africans in plantations, depicting them as lazy, ignorant, cowardly and hyper-sexual.
These performances were intended to be funny to white audiences, but obviously, it was demeaning and hurtful to the black community. These performances not only dehumanised black people but also desensitised white people of the real-life problems of the black community.
Blackface basically promoted demeaning stereotypes of black people that helped confirm white people’s notion of superiority.
Hence, just because it is done with good intentions doesn’t mean it’s any less demeaning to those with darker skin tones.
Hao Ren’s video not only condoned the degradation of those with dark skin but also validated the belief that fairer is superior, as the girl in the video is showcased to be celebrated by the classmates after she had used the whitening products to become the fairest one of all.
One way they could have improved the video is to have the girl reject Hao Ren and his gifts as she accepts and loves herself for who she is.
After all, if he really loved her, he would have accepted her, tanned skin and all, and showed their fellow classmates that laughing and bullying someone just because they have dark skin is wrong.
To all the tanned and dark-skinned people out there, you are beautiful as you are and we hope you love yourselves just as much as we love you!
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.
106 Factories Ordered To Close For Violating FMCO SOPs
A total of 106 factories were ordered to close for violating the standard operating procedures of the Movement Control Order...
“He speaks better than some MPs” M’sians Impressed By US Ambassador’s Fluency in BM
This guy speaks better Bahasa than some Malaysians! In a recent video by the U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, Ambassador Brian...
Annoyed By Baby’s Cries, Sabah Man Flees After Beating 1yo & Threatening To Hang Wife
A 27-year-old man from Sabah allegedly beat his one-year-old child and threatened to hang his own wife after he was...
Selangor Man Charged For Possessing 58 Pieces Of Women’s Clothing, Pleads Not Guilty
A 23-year-old man was charged in the Magistrate’s Court today (18 June) for the possession of 58 pieces of women’s...
Prices Of Toys, Coffee & Furniture May Rise Due To Outrageous Shipping Costs
Who doesn’t love online shopping? With Covid-19 not showing any signs of slowing down, lockdown online shopping has become a...
Young People In China Are Getting ‘Elf Ear’ Procedures To Look Thinner & Slimmer
Ever wondered what it’s like to have pointy elf-like ears like Spock from Star Trek? Well, pointy ears are now...
KJ: Walk-Ins For Vaccinations Allowed Once Registered Individuals Receive Their Vaccines
PPV vaccination centres across the country will be open their doors to those who want to get vaccinated on a...
JB Man Pleads Not Guilty For Beating Pregnant Wife Until She Went Into A Coma
A 38-year-old man pleaded not guilty at the Johor Bahru Sessions Court today (17 June) for beating his pregnant wife...
Social Stories23 hours ago
Watch: Man Gets Locked In Bank After Doors Auto Lock At 8pm
Social Stories19 hours ago
Private Labs In India Caught Faking Over 400,000 Covid-19 Negative Swab Test Results In April 2021
Social Stories20 hours ago
Scientists Have Successfully Upcycled Plastic Bottles Into Vanilla Flavouring!
Social Stories21 hours ago
Phuket Changes Its Definition Of Population, Now Claims 74% Of The Island Is Vaccinated