On Love and Hip Hop Atlanta this season, Grace “Spice” Hamilton stirred up some controversy when she bleached her skin. And, as fans and social media spotted what appeared to be white face, there were many questions. So, why did Hamilton decide to go for this look? Hamilton reportedly wanted to make a political point about colorism. According to Rolling Out, Hamilton’s first single, “Black Hypocrisy,” is about the effects of colorism in the Black community.
After receiving hate and criticism, Hamilton took to Instagram to explain herself and why she chose to do what she did. Hamilton wrote, “I chose to do this in the manner I did because I believe Colorism is plagiarizing our black community. While it appeared as if I had ‘bleached’ my skin, causing a worldwide debate, and even though the picture was obviously birthed around my single titled ‘Black hypocrisy’ and my mixtape Captured … There are dark skin women across the world complaining every day that they are being downplayed and degraded, but the raw truth is it is us ‘Black women’ and ‘Black men’ that are fighting against each other and tearing down our own race. It’s evident in the social media comments every day, I myself have lived through it all being downgraded by my dark complexion.”
Hamilton continued, “I want to openly say it was not a ‘publicity stunt.’ I wanted to create awareness to ‘Colorism’ and it was more so done intentionally to create shock value so that I could have the worlds undivided attention to deliver the message in my music.”
And, when Hamilton claimed to have received comments from fans who were missing her original skin color, Atlanta Black Star reported that she wrote on social media, “On my way to wash my van, but want you to know that I see all the comments. Now everyone begging me back for the Black Spice, but they didn’t appreciate the Black Spice when I was repping for dark skin women for 30 years. When I should have been encouraged and thanked, I was being dragged for my complexion by the same Black women.”
So, what is colorism exactly? According to Dictionary.com, the definition of the word states:
Colorism is a form of racial discrimination based on the shade of an individual’s skin tone, typically favoring lighter skin. It can occur both within a specific ethnic group and across ethnic groups.
Online users are not the only people who exploded with criticism and opinions over Hamilton’s controversial decision and it all plays out on LHHATL. On episode 5 of season 8, the description of the episode reads, “Spice makes a bold move that ignites the entire cast,” and the title of the episode is “The Skin You’re In”. Tune in on Monday nights, on the VH1 network, at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. CT to see how Hamilton’s bold decision affects her life, along with the lives of her fellow cast members.