There has been a lot of talk about the Netherlands "Sinterklaas" (Santa) celebration that features his servants known as the "Zwarte Piet". The problem many black and African people living in the Netherlands have with Zwarte Piet is not because they are black, on the contrary, it is because white people are painted black to look like black people. And they are not just painted black, but like black like charcoal.
Most people wonder why they will not use black people as the Zwarte Piet instead of painting white people in a mocking way to depict blackness, but the situation has remained the same and in ongoing discussion.
And as if that was not enough, last year, Vogue Netherlands made an editorial as a tribute to Marc Jacobs and it was known as the "Blackface". While it was a good idea, it also caused a lot of discussion and raised eyebrows as Vogue did not use black models but went ahead with a white model in “blackface” make-up.
Themed “Heritage Heroes”, the article talked about Jacobs’s “tribal influences” in his designs, as well as the styles of Africa-American cultural icons such as Grace Jones and Josephine Baker.
And as expected, just like the discussion about Santa and his Zwarte Piet, many people wondered while black models that already looked like Grace Jones and the others were not used in place of a white male model painting his face to depict them.
Below is a Huffpost video discussing the topic.