Several beauty influencers have apologized after they were criticized for creating controversial makeup looks to show their support for Black Lives Matter and to protest the killing of George Floyd.
Ashley Richter, a beauty influencer with more than 16,000 followers on Instagram, posted a photo of herself with a raised Black fist covering the right half of her face, along with several messages, including "Black lives matter," "Justice 4 George Floyd" and "I can't breathe."
"I made this post on Instagram thinking I was spreading awareness, however, I was quickly educated on how/why my post was offensive and tone deaf and deleted it immediately," Richter told TODAY Style.
A German teenager who shares makeup looks under the name @catharinas_beauty posted a TikTok video of herself painting half her face black while the Childish Gambino song "This is America" played in the background. She later deleted the video, however, a copy was shared on Twitter.
Catharina apologized on Instagram and explained that she wasn't aware of the racist history of blackface before she created the look and said she hopes people can forgive her.
While some deleted their posts, Amelie Zilber, a model and youth UNICEF ambassador with more than 2 million followers on TikTok, left up a video of her Black Lives Matter makeup. In the video, Zilber turns to face the camera and raises her fist.
On one side of her face is a raised Black fist. She wrote BLM on her forehead and "I CAN'T BREATHE," which Floyd repeatedly told cops, around her neck.
Zilber, who is the daughter of Christina Zilber, CEO of Jouer Cosmetics, did not respond to a request for comment.
The trend was called out by other popular beauty YouTubers.
"Logging in and actually seeing people creating “I can’t breathe” makeup looks................... friendly reminder: don’t be that person," Nikkie de Jager wrote on Twitter. "It’s disrespectful and low, have some respect, sign petitions and DONATE!"
Alissa Ashley, a beauty YouTuber with more than 2 million subscribers, also encouraged people to find better ways to listen and show their support.
"Raising awareness isn’t using fake blood to appear beaten up. It’s not using a darker shade of foundation to show your solidarity. It’s not writing a dying mans last words on your lips. Black peoples trauma/reality isn’t a makeup trend. Like y’all can’t possibly be this dumb" she wrote on Twitter.
Richter, who deleted her post, also has a message for other beauty influencers.
"If you are thinking of doing a makeup look, PLEASE PLEASE RECONSIDER and use your time better to donate, sign petitions, uplift Black creators and take action," she said. "I am deeply sorry to those I offended with my ignorance and will continue to do better to become a better ally."