Special effects makeup artist successfully transformed herself to perfect the look of a black girl and came out as if she’s a natural in that color through the powers of make-up. Her amazing transformation, however, was overshadowed by controversies surrounding her post and the hashtags she used which people took to be racist.
Percent Akin from Istanbul, Turkey posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing dark foundation and face paint. She completed the look with a traditional African headscarf and looking every inch a black girl. Unfortunately, what stole the ‘thunder’ from her fab make-up transformation, or her on-spot look is her own undoing- the hashtags she used that stirred controversies, and even uproar from some social media users. Akin used the hashtags #slave and #sadmakeup among about a dozen other hashtags in her caption for the photo. She also wrote in the caption: “Color and pain ( sic). My lovely black transformation make up.”
The #slave hashtag earned her wide criticisms and irked many of her followers. She would later clarify that what she intended to write was “#slayer”, but that it had been automatically or erroneously changed to “#slave.”
She also said the transformation look was for a movie shot in Turkey. The #slave hashtag has since been removed from her post.
One of her critics who saw her original, unedited post shared it on Twitter and it has quickly gone viral. The condemnation for the special effects make-up artist soon poured in, slamming her for supposedly being racist.
One user said: “I don’t even have words for this.” Another wrote: “How do people still think this is ok? For f***’s sake?”
Some wanted immediate reprisal for her “sin.” One suggested: “Can y ‘all report this b** on IG for doing black face & trying to recreate a “slave” look? Thanks.’ One wondered: “She’s talented…but why do this? Maybe she is uneducated… I don’t f*ing know. Awful.”
Another challenge: “Y’ all can’t get a black model to create looks?? Wtf is wrong with people thinking they can paint themselves into another race?” Many other posted equally strong reactions and hard hits on the makeup artist.
But it could also be a case of jumping too soon to conclusions and prematurely judging the artist as Akin pushed back, explained her side and hit back at her critics.
She explained in a media interview: “This is just a movie character and the movie (was) directed by some poor students in my country, Turkey. We are not living in America or Africa, in my country finding any black model is so difficult, and they (directors) created a character.
She insists she used the #slayer, the title of the movie, and not #slave, but it’s not what came out on the screen. She’s also hurt by the negative judgments thrown her way. She said:”People choose to believe this ugly game.”
She said she is sorry to those who’ve been hurt by the unintended mistake in the post. Akin shared: “I never mean this as racist work. People prefer to see only racism on my work instead of pure beauty.”
Akin is a special effects artist who originally posted a Youtube video showing her tutorial. Her Youtube video has 20,000 views while her Instagram feed counts to more than three thousand followers.
Akin won the NYX Face Award winner for Turkey in 2017. Her YouTube page is filled with tutorials on makeup including even guides for horror and Halloween makeup but it’s the “slave”’ post that caught “fire” online, that led to her suffering a wild backlash she may or may not deserve.