An Adelaide woman has publicly shamed a Tinder match who suggested she bleach her skin saying “you would look so pretty if you were whiter”.
Takara Allen, 22, who identifies as “mixed race” from Salvador, Brazil, posted screen shots of her recent conversation with a man she had been chatting to online, through dating app Tinder.
She said said she was left 'devastated' after reading a message from a man she had been on a date with, saying she was darker skinned than he expected.
“'Don't think I'm a creep and I don't wanna be offensive or anything… You'd look so much prettier if you were whiter! ;p,” the man wrote.
Takara bit back at the offensive comment asking him: “Have you ever considered drinking bleach because the world would be so much prettier if you did,” matching his blasé emoticon with a peace hand symbol emoji to sign off her response.
On April 15, the makeup artist posted the conversation to her Facebook page, sharing her views on the pressures that come with being a “woman of colour on the dating scene”.
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“What goes on in people's heads that makes them think this is okay to say to someone?
“As if people of colour don't already struggle enough with the pressure to conform to a Eurocentric beauty ideals and standards, people like this add even more,” she wrote.
“I would never bleach my skin, but I understand why others would feel the need to.
“There's so much pressure for people of colour like myself to conform to European beauty ideals and standards.
“In most cultures being 'paler' or 'white' allows that individual to be treated better due to systematic racism and we are taught from a young age that being 'whiter' makes us more desirable and attractive.
“The pressure gets worse the darker the individual is. I acknowledge and accept that I am treated somewhat better because I am not as dark as others so I can see the situation from both sides of the fence; both being treated and spoken to poorly because I am brown, but also benefiting to an extent from white privilege because I am light-skinned.
“I would never wish how I felt receiving that text message on anyone. I was devastated,” she posted.
The woman said her recent abuse opened her eyes to the beauty shaming women darker than herself, saying “I feel their outrage so much more than I did before.”
“I've grown up hearing ‘You'd be prettier if you were lighter’ and ‘You're pretty for a black girl,’ as if black women are just generally unattractive, and so it's a surprise when one of us is,” she wrote.
Takara said she blocked the man as soon as she sent her reply, saying “he doesn't deserve the chance to apologise for that. It's unacceptable.”
The woman’s friends were quick to support her on social media.
“You are beautiful just as you are miss,” one friend wrote.
“Makes me angry that you have to deal with this s***, you're not ‘pretty for a black girl’ you're beautiful because of who you are, which is a human being. People are disgusting and I'm glad you stood up for yourself,” said another.
Another friend commented: “I hope he chokes on his words. You are absolutely gorgeous the way you are and I am sorry you had to deal with this.”
Following the outrage over the initial post, Takara addressed the hate in a second post on Tuesday.
“This is a huge issue we deal with when dating/navigating the world in general and the darker you are the worse it gets.”
“Black people's beauty is tied directly to blackness. We are not beautiful *in spite* of being black but rather *because* we're black. Don't get it twisted.”