- Victoria Foyt, Save the Pearls, Chapter 3
Okay, let’s break this down.
“Eden expertly shaded her face to appear Coal-like.”
So she is able to use make-up to give her the appearance of a black woman - and all black women look the same,clearly.So here is a single idea about what black women look like. In addition, the use of “expertly” implies that she succeeds in using blackface to look like a real black woman: her depiction of what black women look like is so amazing that real black womenwill not be able to tell.
“Red lipstick, smoothed over the lines to make her lips seem fuller, was the last touch.”
So, she is in blackface - she has darkened and shaded her skin - and then she paints on bright red lips which are larger than her own. I - okay, no. Has Victoria Foyt never even seen pictures of blackface? Because THAT IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. This can barely become anymore problematic. On the one hand, a single false construction of what all black women look like. On the other hand, evoking 19th and 20th century blackface, which was and is horrifically offensive and awful.
“She let her long black hair dip over one eye and smiled. “Definitely passing, right?”
So by colouring her skin black, contouring it and painting bright red lips on, deliberately larger then her own, she is “passing.” Her parody, her blackface, is passing because now she looks black. This implies that actual black people are supposed to mistake her for a black person, which again, NO. This is so awful. Her blackface is supposed to be realistic. And by appropriating the term “passing” Foyt is being hideously offensive and, again, implying that a parody so closely resembles the reality that they are the same thing.