SA women fed up with "nude" underwear


This is in response to Marisa Crous's column, Are you still wearing fashion's most racist items?

Letter one:

The hardest thing is to find nude coloured underwear that actually suits my skin tone. Being a dark skinned black girl, I find that I have to mix foundation colours because they are either too light or too dark.

I find it hard to believe that they make extremely dark foundations and extremely light foundations, but forget about the dark skinned girl (who is not Alek Wek Dark) but is still dark.

It’s hard for me to explain the hassles that come with finding the perfect foundation or perfect skinned tone lingerie because my bottom half is darker than my top half. – Sanelisiwe

Letter two:

I have the hardest time ever trying to find just the proper foundation. I would test it on my hand and it would look perfect, but never test it (on my face) before buying. I consider myself caramel, once I tried Maybelline caramel shade and it looked okay, but I bought the product nonetheless and felt like the second most darkest person. Truth be told, I still haven’t found the right one.

I just go with the flow and most of the time I look two different shades compared to the rest of my body.

But I’m still searching, not giving up until I one day look flawless and hide these chicken pox marks. A permanent error. – Elizabeth

Letter three:

Given we live in Africa, it is disappointing we don't have "nude" underwear to cater to our different skin tones.

I think underwear is the most notable struggle. The closest option I have as a woman of colour is black. Of which I am nowhere near pitch black.

The simplest and best example is a white vest or t-shirt. It is very frustrating and leads to not being comfortable in an outfit, which is otherwise fabulous, but for the paranoia of the visible underwear.

The struggle is real. - Jackie

Letter four:

I just read your article on news 24. I must say it is such an eye opener and so true. Just today an African colleague of mine and myself had a talk about nude heels and how smart they are yet ... for a black female... such a shade won't seem so sophisticated on her darker toned skin.

I am an indian and although I am a slightly fair skinned Indian I also feel as though I am short changed with the shades. Especially make up which goes on sale. More often than not you find the foundations for whiter skinned individuals always go on sale.

It would be really lovely if all shades of skin would be taken into consideration and also made to appear attractive and appealing.  - Sammy Govender

Letter five:

Thank you for this article and for highlighting this issue that many people aren't particularly aware of.
I am a dark skin girl and I take pride in my complexion.
I have been using Clinique facial cleansing products for years and recently I went into an Edgars store to get a new anti-blemish gel.  The lady at the counter excitedly showed me a travel pack that included the gel I was buying, a miniature anti blemish toner, moisturizer and a beige foundation sample. When I asked her if the foundation came in tone closer to my skin tone she said no, that's the darkest they go…why bother offering it to me...
One other time I walked into a store (the name escapes me) in Sandton looking for foundation. As soon as I stepped into the door I felt all eyes on me, I stopped where I was and asked, "You don't stock foundations that match my skin tone do you?" and all the counter girls gave me an awkward smile and shook their heads in unison.
I gave up on trying to find nude (my nude) underwear a long time ago. What I found was never dark enough and seemed more geared for older women. I just learnt to stick to black and learn to love it.
It’s sad to see that majority of the fashion and beauty industry still don’t see any value in investing and producing for darker skin tones. - Musa

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