Beauty guru Jackie Aina takes heat for appropriating Caribbean culture

YouTube beauty guru Jackie Aina has not been able to catch a break these past few days, as several social media users are slamming her for appropriating Caribbean culture.

The look that Jackie created for the UOMA campaign.

The fracas started when Aina announced a collaboration with popular makeup artist Patrick Starr for UOMA Beauty’s Black Magic Carnival colour palette. Aina’s Instagram post was captioned in part, “Queen of carnival…”, while one of the posts shared to the cosmetic company’s account says, “Jackie Aina did it for the culture and creates this look that she’s calling ‘Lagosian Sunset’ inspired by Nigeria’s Carnival celebration and using our new Black Magic Carnival collection.”

“Isn’t this what the kids call cultural appropriation?”

— Twitter user

Though carnival is celebrated globally, the accreditation to Nigeria instead of the Caribbean rubbed some people the wrong way, and Aina’s frontline carnival costume for the promotional photos didn’t help.

“I love me some aunty Jackie…but isn’t this what the kids call cultural appropriation?” one Twitter user asked.

“I wouldn’t say that carnival is(n’t) open to the masses, I just wish she didn’t have on a full frontline costume saying she was inspired by Nigerian sunsets. How you snatch our attire then claim it for somewhere else?” another asked.

“You tried it sis! Just say you appreciate the Caribbean culture and that is where the inspiration stemmed from. Please do not discredit the Caribbean West Indian culture,” added another user.

Finding a solution

Aina caught on quickly, later announcing that she got UOMA to include Caribbean influencers in the campaign.

YouTube beauty guru Jackie Aina

“They let me pick four Caribbean influencers to participate in this campaign too,” she said. “I’ll be giving $4,000 to each of you, and UOMA will also be boosting the look you create and adding you to their PR roster.”

The move attracted commendation from some users, particularly as one of the influencers Aina chose had previously criticised the makeup celebrity for the apparent ignorance of her involvement in the campaign.

“Now this is how you take criticism and make it constructive. This is why I respect Jackie so much,” commented one user.

“Incredible example of taking criticism and not giving a boring apology but actually finding a solution. People will still say it’s not enough. This shows your character through and through. Love it!” rounded off another.