July 6, 2016
Azealia Banks Lashes Back At Criticisms Over Skin Bleaching

After accusing rapper Iggy Azalea of cultural appropriation, Azealia Banks found herself on the other end of the stick after she was found to be using a whitening product.

But the rapper lashed back at her critics, declaring that choosing to be whiter and getting a nose job is her right as a woman.

In a Facebook Live video, as shared by UPI, she said that being a black woman comes with it a lot of baggage.

"With being a black woman, at least for me," she said. "I can forget to be a woman and I just get really bent up on blackness and all of these unwritten rules that come with being black. You kind of forget to give yourself a break sometimes."

"Blackness in today's age is so paradoxical, it's so many different things," she added.

The Facebook Live video was released about a month after she received a slew of criticisms over the use of bleach.

Azealia Banks also said that there's no difference between her decision to get a nose job and bleaching her skin. In the same vein, people were not too bent up about her decision to get a weave.

"Nobody was upset when I was wearing 30-inch weaves and tearing out my edges and doing all that type of shit like that," she added. "You guys loved it."

The problem, for some people at least, was that Azealia Banks called out Iggy Azalea for cultural appropriation by making money off black music. She was especially livid that the former fiancee of Nick Young was nominated at the Grammys for Best Rap Album.

"The Grammys are supposed to be awards for artistic excellence. Iggy Azalea's not excellent," she said two years ago. "When they give these Grammys out, all it says to white kids is, 'You're great. You're amazing. You can do whatever you put your mind to.' And it says to black kids, 'You don't have s***. You don't own s***, not even the s*** you created yourself.' And it makes me upset."

Basically, she dismissed Iggy Azalea's Grammy nomination as a product of white privilege.

It's not the first time her mouth got her in trouble, as she also previously unleashed a homophobic rant against former One Direction member Zayn Malik.

Now, Azealia Banks has been accused of being a hypocrite by bleaching her skin. And the rapper doesn't think that it applies to her situation at all.

"For so many people to say 'Oh you wanting to lighten your skin'...to say it negates anything I've said about the current situation of blackness in America is ignorant and just stupid," Azealia Banks added. "What do body modifications have to do with somebody's level of intellect? The two don't correlate [...] and I think it's petty, I think it's very contradictory."

Ultimately, she said, bleaching her skin is "a deeper conversation into a woman's right to choose, a woman's choice."

However, people are not buying her explanation at all.

Mic.com gathered some the reactions of some Twitter users over Azealia Banks' decision tto use skin lightening products.

One user wrote, "Never would've guessed that Azealia Banks hated Azealia Banks more than we do."

Another said, "officially done with her as an individual. When the truth surfaces and she clearly sufferes [sic] from internalized racism. Smfh."

Refinery29 also noted a Facebook comment on her video feed that called her out after speaking out on racism and cultural appropriation. The user said that despite Azealia Banks' right to express herself, it doesn't deny the fact that "black is beautiful."

But there are some who defended Azealia Banks' right to do whatever she likes with her body. In fact, one user pointed out that Caucasians love to tan their skin, so there should be no judgment on black women who bleach their skin.

[Photo by Cassandra Hannagan/Getty Images]