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Model Winnie Harlow Defends Her Fans Against Blackface Accusations

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A white group of model Winnie Harlow's devoted fans have been posting photos of themselves recreating her vitiligo pigmentation -- and as expected have become the brunt of some social media fury. But Harlow herself has come to the defense of her...enthusiastic admirers via Instagram. 

Acknowledging that this is "probably not what a lot of people want," she says that, "every time someone wants fuller lips, or a bigger bum, or curly hair, or braids does not mean our culture is being stolen. Have you ever stop [sic] to realize these things used to be ridiculed and now they're loved and lusted over."

Which like, true, but it's also important to note that most discussions surrounding acts of "cultural appropriation" center on the fact that the outward harm it causes far outweighs how admirable the individual intent may be.

Granted, she seems to be viewing this make-up thing as less of a minstrel-esque display and more about a visual appreciation, arguing in a follow-up post that, "This situation has nothing to do with blacks or whites. All races have recreated the pattern of my skin and when they did it, it was complimented and glorified...It's not actually about me or anyone else. It's about a feeling I've created, and what I represent to whoever draws me, tattoos me or recreates my look (regardless of race!)."

And while Winnie may have a point when she says, "In a time when so much negative is happening, please don't accuse those who are showing love and appreciation, of being hateful" -- there are definitely other ways of expressing this sort of admiration that are less likely to be, uh, misinterpreted by the general public.

[h/ti-D]


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