Is it me or has 2016 been a very interesting year? On one hand Britain left the EU, Jesse Williams gave us the best speech of the year and then on the other, Azealia Banks admits to bleaching her skin. Not only that, Banks compares it to having a nose job and wearing weave. I’m not writing this to attack or judge Banks, but rather to unpack what she has said. I hate to say it, but there are elements of truth to Banks’s rant.
Firstly, we need to unsubscribe from the notion that celebrities don’t live in the same world as us. Just as she is out here speaking about anti-blackness, Banks is subject to the same racist and sexist system that we live in. Banks is human. Social media has been spinning with the fact that she doesn’t ‘practice what she preaches’. But it just isn’t that simple.
Banks is navigating her own black womanhood like the rest of us, she’s just doing it on a bigger stage. She should be allowed to struggle with her identity; she is allowed to be on a journey in accepting her own blackness. I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Azealia Banks beyond her song '212', but what I do know is that she is a black woman, experiencing this world.