Nude: A Concept, Not a Colour

Ryan O'Neill

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From shoes to bags to lipsticks, nude is one of the most popular choices for consumers, but how we view ‘nude’ needs to change. For many of us, we see nude as a colour. The problem with that idea is that we ignore every other shade and tone of skin. What we see as a colour, people from other races, that are not white, see as privilege.

The term ‘white privilege‘ is mocked and disregarded as non-existent, mostly to further a racist remark or opinion, but it does in fact exist, and the proof is our idea of what ‘nude’ is.

We see nude as a colour because we are the predominant race in the fashion industry. We ignorantly believe that all products are for us.

Saturday Night Live highlighted this idea in a comedy sketch about how Beyonce’s album Lemonade was criticised for being ‘too black‘. Take a look below.

I spoke to Laura Jordan, stylist and owner of Ireland’s only full image consultancy firm StyleSavvy. Speaking on the issue, she said: “The definition of nude is one that blends with the skintone. Therefore a huge range of different tones need to be reflected by retailers to accommodate all skin tones and races.”

In an open letter written by Emily Hauser to the fashion industry, she says: “But, on the other hand, every time you define nude as “Caucasian,” you’re telling a whole lot of people that their naked skin is mistaken. Is wrong.”

The inherent perception of nude as a colour highlights the idea of a ‘white society’. Instead, we need to think of nude as a concept. Nude is the tone that correlates to a skin tone, it is not a predetermined shade that only works for a privileged group in society.

Featured Image Via Twitter (@LouboutinWorld)

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Ryan O'Neill