LIFESTYLE

Woman Receives Death Threats After Speaking Out Against 'Racist' Skin-Bleaching Comments

'What goes on in people's heads that makes them think this is okay to say to someone?'

25/04/2016 13:23 | Updated 26 April 2016

A woman who fired back at a Tinder match who told her she should use skin-whitening products to look "pretty" says she has received a slew of death threats and racist remarks for speaking out.

Takara Allen, 22, had been on a date with a guy she met on Tinder called Nikolas when he texted her to say: "Just curious but have you ever thought about bleaching your skin? You'd look so pretty if you were whiter!"

Outraged, Allen, who identifies as black, took to Facebook to complain about the comments. She also took the opportunity to speak out about skin-bleaching in general and the ridiculous beauty standards black women are faced with. 

But while many were supportive of her and praised her for saying something, she also received an onslaught of abuse. 

She wrote on Instagram: "It can be very nerve-wracking and intimidating to speak up about certain things and to take a stand against racism.

"I've...been receiving quite a large amount of racist messages, death threats (you know who you are), and the typical 'you're not even black' messages which I'm unfortunately used to."

Allen, who is from Adelaide in Australia, said her Tinder date's skin-whitening comments really upset her.

She told the Daily Mail: "I was so in shock that someone would ever send that to me that I actually started crying out of frustration. I've never had anyone suggest that I bleach my skin before."

She added: "There's so much pressure for people of colour like myself to conform to European beauty ideals and standards."

After receiving the hurtful message, Allen replied saying: "Have you ever considered drinking bleach because the world would be so much prettier if you did."

The makeup artist also posted an image of their text exchange on Facebook and took the opportunity to speak out about skin bleaching and racism. 

She wrote: "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 continued: "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.

"Not to mention the fact that as a mixed race woman people are constantly hitting me with the 'but you're so pretty, what are you mixed with?' bullshit when I simply say 'I'm black'. As if black can't be beautiful on it's own and that I should be grateful to be mixed with something because whatever I'm mixed with makes the black 'okay' all of a sudden."

She added: "People are always complaining that I post too many things talking down about white people...but none of you realise that this is the shit that myself and other black women have to deal with on a daily fucking basis.

"It's easy to say 'don't let it get to you' and what not but this isn't a one time thing. I've been hearing this crap ever since I moved to Australia and I can guarantee you that women who are even darker than I am hear it even more.

"If you have to say 'not trying to be offensive/racist/mean' before you say something, DON'T SAY IT."

Since speaking out against the hurtful skin-bleaching comments, Allen said she has received racist messages and even death threats from trolls. 

But added that everyone else's "love and support" has outweighed it all.

She said: "I feel like I've done the right thing standing up for myself and I hope at the very least I have helped a few other people gain the confidence to stand up for themselves."

As for the guy who sent the hurtful comments in the first place, Tinder has confirmed he's now been removed from the app. 

SEE ALSO:

'Racist' Gap Kids Advert Accused Of Making Black Girl 'A Headrest'

Naomi Campbell Refuses To Call Discrimination In Fashion 'Racist'

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