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Azealia Banks defends her use of skin-lightening products in video

The entertainer compares white washing to assimilation into white culture

Azealia Banks might often be misunderstood for her feelings on a number of controversial subjects. But she made a point clear in her latest social media rant where she defended her personal views regarding skin lightening.

Last month she posted a photo on Instagram claiming her love for the skin cream Whitenicous, which is marketed as a dark spot remover, but being used by black women all over the world to lighten their skin.



Many of her fans were not pleased with the fact that she admitted to loving the product. Social media erupted with negative comments regarding her post and Banks responded with a 21-minute Facebook live video. In the post, she went deeper into why she uses the product and said people need to just back off and allow women to choose what they want to do with themselves.

“It’s a deeper conversation into a woman’s right to choose, a woman’s choice,” she said. “Nobody was upset when I was [wearing] 30-inch weaves, tearing out my edges. You guys loved it, but what is the difference?”

Her response got more than 84,000 views and has been a trending topic of conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Dating to slavery, some blacks have equated having lighter skin with being more physically attractive. According to a post on The Voice, “psychologists say there are underlying reasons why people bleach their skin – but low self-esteem and, to some degree self-hate, are common threads. A 2013 study by the University of Cape Town found that one woman in three in South Africa bleaches her skin. Most said they used skin-lighteners because they wanted white skin.”

“With being a black woman, at least for me, I can forget to be a woman and I just get really bent up on blackness and all of these unwritten rules that come with being black,” Banks said. “You kind of forget to give yourself a break sometimes. Blackness in today’s age is so paradoxical, it’s so many different things.”

Check out Banks’ video below:

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.