Via Amy Odell at Buzzfeed, “Rihanna’s Nude Perfume Meant To Recall ‘Glistening’ Skin”:
After Rihanna tweeted the first photo from the new campaign for her latest fragrance Nude, it raised the question that comes up every so often about what “nude” means, exactly, in terms of a shade of commercial fashion and beauty items. Why does nude, by definition, match a white person’s skin? In this Nude fragrance ad and packaging, the nude color is more akin to a white person’s skin than person of color’s.
She’s right. Here’s Merriam Webster with a definition in need of a revision:
a : devoid of a natural or conventional covering; especially :not covered by clothing or a drape
b (1) : of the color of a white person’s flesh (2) : giving the appearance of nudity <a nude dress>
Laura Beck at Jezebel seems to recognize something wrong but fails to adequately articulate the real cultural conflict in play:
I will say, I’m sure there are many people who don’t know that “nude” refers to the color of a white person’s flesh, maybe they think it just means “naked.” But even with that explanation — what’s with the light-colored lingerie? And why isn’t the color of the packaging darker? If they were referring to Rihanna naked, which, WILD GUESS, I think they might be, then why are all the components so damn white?
Am I nuts for expecting a leeetle better from Rihanna? I know the answer is yes, but I thought maybe she was a little more thoughtful about shit based on what she tweeted back to that idiot who asked why her hair was nappy: “cuz I’m black bitch!!!!” That was rad.
Why the reference to Rihanna’s hair in a story complaining about her new perfume’s name and packaging?
Because there’s a cultural civil war happening right now over hair, beauty, and race. The question: should black and multi-racial women continue investing tens of thousands of dollars each year on artificial hair “weaves” and damaging chemical straighteners so they can imitate the style of Caucasian women? Should they adopt unnatural looks like the blonde Rihanna in the ad above?
Or would they appear more beautiful embracing the styles the rising “natural hair movement” advocates?
I’m a partisan in this war. Natural hair must return, liberating women of color from painful chemicals, hours wasted at the salon, and the exorbitant prices of fake hair. Natural hair looks much sexier than the fake Barbie doll look.
I don’t understand the thinking of any man who would assert that black and biracial women need to make themselves look more Caucasian in order to become attractive. Should any dare to defend themselves for the demands they place on the women they claim to love, then I welcome their justifications in the comments below. Would any man do so with his real name?
More on race at PJ Lifestyle: