There are so many beauty “challenges” out there, it’s easy for most to get lost in the viral void. However, one blogger named Vika Shapel just tried out a challenge that she won’t forget anytime soon. That’s because many on Twitter viewed Shapel’s “Chocolate Challenge,” where the white blogger rubbed chocolate on her skin to deepen her tone, as racist.
Shapel has now deleted all of her social media accounts, but Twitter user Arnell Armon promptly shared it, writing that it was “clearly blackface.” Shapel claimed to Yahoo News that she “wasn’t aware of the whole blackface concept” while taking the photo. But many users were quick to point out how she altered the image to give the “chocolate” side of her face brown eyes and the untouched side blue eyes. As is often the case in beauty appropriation stories, users reiterated that black skin is not a “trend” or “challenge” to try on.
Quick to deactivate her social media, Shapel insists that “I wasn’t an active social media user before; it was just whenever desire sparked, so whenever I have that, then I will come back.” Here’s to hoping her return to blogging comes with a little more common sense and a few lessons learned.