Popsugar Wants to Teach You About African Tribal Makeup Tutorials

Illustration for article titled Popsugar Wants to Teach You About African Tribal Makeup Tutorials

Popsugar is trying to teach all the hip ladies out there how to do their makeup “African Tribal” style because we’ve created a monster that must be fed fresh new content daily no matter how inane or unnecessary.

In a post titled, “9 Tribal Makeup Tutorials That Honor the Beauty of African Culture,” a white woman rounded up a bunch of “African Tribal” makeup tutorials in one of the least-needed beauty slideshows ever.

To be clear, this isn’t so much offensive as it is a case of: We don’t really need this and certainly not from you.


Brinton Parker—who, again, is white—writes:

By filming instructional videos about traditional tribal makeup from different parts of Africa, these women celebrate the beauty of their backgrounds (and educate others about diverse makeup options).

Yeah, something tells me these women didn’t make these instructional videos so that white women could learn a new evening makeup look. Wild guess.

Parker at least seems somewhat aware that this could easily go down a much more terrible, quasi-racist and definitely culturally insensitive road.

Whether you want to adapt these traditional makeup methods for everyday wear (like this Instagrammer does so beautifully!) or simply need to perfect your face-painting skills for a celebration, let these gorgeous women teach you. And remember, it’s important to respect others’ backgrounds without erring on the side of cultural appropriation — if your heritage is not African, it’s possible to learn from and appreciate these culturally significant makeup looks without donning them yourself. So go ahead and give these tutorials a watch! You’ll love these unique takes on traditional African beauty that span from West Africa to Niger.


I guess in theory the what I’m sure is mostly white audience of Popsugar could watch these videos and simply admire from afar, but we’ve seen over and over again that that ain’t exactly white people’s strong suit.

I’m glad these beautiful women are getting some shine, but I do wish that a black woman had the chance to cover this subject because she might have offered something a bit deeper than: Oh shit, this looks cool!


Also, let’s be real, the most likely result of this post is that “African Tribal Makeup” replaces bindis at Coachella 2016. That’s not exactly progress.

The moral of this story, as always is a simple, helpful reminder that: Maybe just stay in your lane?


Contact the author at kara.brown@jezebel.com .

Screenshot via Loumingou Night

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1. There is NO SUCH THING as African Culture.


3. It’s shit like this that makes Africans highly suspicious of African Americans. Most of them don’t know shit about our cultures but profit off making bogus “tutorials”, “lessons”, and “classes” about “African Dance”, “African Clothes”, “African Makeup” etc.

Even when actual Africans point out to them that this is wrong and most often very inaccurate and homogenizing they just ignore us and carry on with it, much in the same way White people do this to black people.

Ugh, as a Nigerian this is so sickening.