Azealia Banks Defends Decision to Bleach Skin

Her comments immediately triggered a passionate backlash.

By Hayden Wright

Azealia Banks remains banned on Twitter so she took her latest provocation down the block to Facebook Live this weekend. At issue: skin-bleaching. Azealia’s stance: for it. The rapper defended her decision to bleach her skin (controversial in black communities, medical communities, and progressive society at large) and equated it to other physical alterations like a nose job or hair extensions.

Related: Twitter Suspends Azealia Banks’ Account

“What’s the difference between getting a nose job and changing your skin color? What’s the difference between wearing a hair weave and changing your skin color?” she asked. “Nobody was upset when I was wearing 30-inch weaves and tearing out my edges and doing all that type of s— like that. You guys loved it.”

Banks then explained why she feels compelled by society to lighten her appearance. “As a black person in this world you assimilate,” she said. “There are things you accept. This has become the norm because it’s happening all the time.”

After the video stirred controversy, Banks published an update clarifying her remarks without really conceding anything to her critics.

“I told you all two years ago that as a black woman I stand for reparations and autonomy. All of the rest of the s— is petty,” she wrote. “Cultural appropriation, who wears what, natural hair, relaxed, bleached or not, NONE of us will be getting any real respect until we’ve been given what we are owed. And I think it’s unfair to the cause to negate all of the very IMPORTANT things I’ve said in regards to that, just because I like to relax my hair and lighten my skin.”

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