Takara Allen, a mixed-race woman from Adelaide, Australia, posted a disturbing exchange she had with a Tinder date who suggested she should bleach her skin, as a way of demonstrating the corrosive effects of colorism. “Don’t think I’m a creep and I don’t wanna be offensive or anything but I was just looking [at] your insta photos and just curious, but have you ever thought about bleaching your skin?? You’d look so much prettier if you were whiter!” a man she’d met on Tinder and went on one date with said to her in a text message. Allen said the comments left her “devastated,” but she had the wits to fire back with a response. “Have you ever considered drinking bleach because the world would be so much prettier if you did,” she said, before blocking him on the dating site. A day after the outrageous exchange, Allen took to Facebook to discuss her frustrations. “What goes on in people’s heads that makes them think this is okay to say to someone?” she wrote. “As if people of colour don’t already struggle enough with the pressure to conform to a Eurocentric beauty ideals and standards, people like this add even more,” Allen wrote in a Facebook post, adding, “I’ve grown up hearing ‘You’d be prettier if you were lighter’ and ‘You’re pretty for a black girl,’ as if black women are just generally unattractive, and so it’s a surprise when one of us is.” Allen concluded her post with advice for basic courtesies that should be obvious, but apparently are not. “If you have to say ‘not trying to be offensive/racist/mean’ before you say something, DON’T SAY IT.” Allen received a slew of supportive messages on social media, with other users thanking her for sharing her experience and speaking out on the issue.
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