Is this fake tan racist?

By Simone Mitchell

One of the "dramatic results" from an Emmaatan customer. Photo /  Instagram, @emmaatan
One of the "dramatic results" from an Emmaatan customer. Photo / Instagram, @emmaatan

In case you missed the newsflash, doing "blackface" is not cool.
Just ask the kids from the Frankston Bombers Football Club, the two lads from Aussie Icon party near Learmonth Football Club, or basketball player Alice Kunek.

They all found out the hard way that the internet does not take kindly to cultural appropriation.

And here's the simple reason - if someone from the culture that you are mimicking finds your behaviour offensive, you should cut it out. No questions asked.

That's why the spray tans on offer in Sweden make the mind boggle.

Emmaatan has been slammed online for promoting spray tans that will basically make a white person look black.

An image from the company's Instagram account. Photo / @emmaatan
An image from the company's Instagram account. Photo / @emmaatan

Before you chime in with the story about how your friend once got a bad spray tan that was way too dark and her eyes look like tiny white snow-holes, take note of the tan hues offered on the website: Coconut, Violet Onyx, Dark Ash Onyx, Dark Ash Black, Caramel and Dark Chocolate.

People are arguing that there's little doubt about the skintones they are trying to recreate.

Teen Vogue is accusing them of "selling blackface in a bottle" while Clutch magazine says they are offering "blackness without the burden".

According to blackgirllonghair, many black women on Tumblr responded with shock at how dark the tans go.

"Th-that's that's my skin colour in a bottle" one commenter said.

Another user said "it's funny that they think it's OK for them to be black but not for black people to be black."

The Emmaatan Instagram page (which shows pictures of customers and their "dramatic" results) has also been hammered with criticism. Since the company came under fire, they locked their page for a spell, then relaunched it, minus the images that were getting people hot under the collar.

One user's response to the product. Photo / Instagram
One user's response to the product. Photo / Instagram

After things heated up, the company's founder took to Instagram to defend the images of her clients.

"I'm a small tanning business in Sweden and I've been working with beauty for 2 years in August," wrote Emma Patissier Alm.

"I'm a hard working owner of emmaatan and love working with beauty cause I get to appreciate all types of looks and figures. I'm in [shock] for the response I've gotten and may have responded and commented the wrong way because I expect Ppl to know how Spraytan works. I've got a lot of feedback and mostly been called "black face" and racist.

"Ppl looks at my pic I've posted and without a blink assuming we desire to look black, I understand why it might seem that way and I apologise for the miss understanding.

"My colour isn't going for black it's going for a natural golden tan when you wash it off. I never want my customers to look unnatural or too dark since we usually have a lighter skin tone. You also have to understand I have ppl with dark and pale skin tone and therefore look darker or lighter. I love all skin types and that's why I think ppl should be able to choose for what they feel good in, as long as you respect ppl around you. I understand a lot of you don't agree with the tan industry but I don't want you to think we want to go for a crazy black tan, we don't!"

As Teen Vogue pointed out, her intention may not have been to help Swedish folks get a "crazy black tan" ... but the pictures on her Instagram tell a different story.

- news.com.au

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