Promoting colourism? TikTok's darkened skin trend accused

A viral TikTok fashion in India has been accused of selling colourism.

It involves users digitally darkening their skin coloration and looking sad - before revealing their natural, lighter pores and skin tone at the cease and smiling.

Colourism is prejudice against human beings who've a darker skin tone or the preferential treatment of people who are of the identical race however lighter-skinned.

big backlash has brought on deletions and calls for TikTok to take the motion pictures down.

The fashion, which started earlier this week, has reignited a huge debate on colourism in India and beyond.

It sees users lip-sync to a track from a Tamil film known as 3, with lyrics about a "white pores and skin girl" with a "black heart", and gesture to their artificial pores and skin tone.

The tune has been used extra than 21,000 times, with the movies receiving thousands and thousands of perspectives.

'Black heart'
Radhika Parameswaran, a professor at Indiana University and commentator on colourism, says this trend is disconnected from the original context.

In the film, a beautiful light-skinned girl who has a "black heart" is impervious to the hero's love. The track "did no longer explicitly refer to dark skinhowever nonetheless Kolaveri Di's catchy tunes and lyrics emerge as creative fodder for these youths to stage their playful and dramatic performances of skin colour mutating from darkish to light," she said.

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One user commented: "This shouldn't be a trend. Every skin tone is beautiful regardless of wherein you stay or wherein you're from. We are all identical on this world."

Kavipriya Vimalraj, who has 350,000 followers, reacted to the video in a "duet" which has been regarded extra than 215,000 times. She told the BBC: "Making this type of video not directly pronouncing that lighter tone people are happier and likeable in society is not proper or true."

But every other user argued that "if you recognize Tamil this is a love tune".

User @nikhilsoni123, who created a video based on the fashion, said: "Guys this video is not to harm anyone. I absolutely agree coloration shouldn't matter! Colourism shouldn't be celebrated! It changed into in fashion so we did it."

TikTok backlash
Since the primary video on this trend went up earlier in April, some of the movies were deleted. But many extra remain on the platform.

Now duet or reaction motion pictures labelling the motion pictures racist or colourist are flooding the site, with some overtaking the views of the original motion pictures.

User @.Ashakira commented on one response video that "maximum of them have became off their feedback because they're well aware about the backlash they're getting".

Some say they've reported the video but that TikTok responded with the aid of announcing the films did no longer violate their hints.

Kavitha Emmanuel, founder and director of the Dark Is Beautiful campaign, is pressured through the message of these movies however hopes it's going to grow to be a positive communique approximately colourism in India. The fashion "intentionally or unintentionally... Is surfacing the underlying toxic notion that measures a person's worth primarily based on their pores and skin shade."

"Remarks are frequently visible as funny and we don't comprehend how it hurts people."

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TikTok's community guidelines say customers should now not post "content that dehumanises or incites violence or hatred against individuals or groups".

TikTok customers around the arena have been reacting to the trend.

Javier Felipe is Colombian and lives in Kenya. He's a established TikTok writer known as @afrobeatswithkamau and made a response video calling the fashion racist.

"My first thought become I turned into very stunned to look how this will be taking off as a fashion," he advised the BBC.

"No matter where we are, how area of interest we think our target market is, we should recognize that our content material is worldwide. A simple video that we make has international implications. People are failing to see that you are placing down your own human beings where there's a history of colourism in India but then imagine, you're in a international community. I live in Kenya and all my friends are shocked.

"I think one of the first steps is having TikTok take down these movies but additionally use this as a gaining knowledge of moment to show all of us that your local trend can go global and consider of what you are propagating to your content."

TikTok has removed a few movies approximately the trend.

"TikTok is a platform for positive, creative expression," a spokeswoman said. "Keeping our network secure is a top priority: our network suggestions make it clear what isn't always appropriate on our platform, and any content or account that violates these guidelines will be removed."

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