Recently, the Internet went wild with excitement when Thalía donned the iconic dress from her time in Marimar. It was a nostalgic moment that made many people gasp with excitement. Yet, during the moment, some social media users noticed that the global superstar stepped into troubled water with her recreation of the beloved character.
During the video, Thalía does her hair, puts on the dress, then starts the makeup routine. As Thalía transforms into Marimar, it becomes apparent that she is changing her skin color to be Marimar.
TikTok user Láurel Miranda (@laurelyeye_) brought this moment into question while addressing the racial inequality and erasure in Mexico. The video garnered hundreds of comments, including, “When I saw the video I thought the same.” More agreed, “I saw that video of Thalía and it had me really fed up. Thank you for this.”
Media outlets quickly caught onto the story and began to call attention to the brownface moment in the video. Brownface, like blackface, has a long and offensive history in entertainment. Using makeup to darken your skin was a way of hiring white and light-skinned actors to play over-the-top, offensive caricatures of people of color.
Rita Moreno shared her personal experience with being put in brownface when she portrayed Anita in the 1961 version of West Side Story. In an interview, Moreno opened up about being made to wear dark makeup when on the set of the movie. When she complained to the makeup artist, Moreno was made to feel like she was being offensive.
“I remember one time saying to the makeup man, ‘I really hate this color because this isn’t the color I am,’” Moreno recalled. “And he actually said to me, ‘What, are you racist?’ I was so stunned that I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say. That’s really also how little people know about Puerto Ricans.”
Many have come to Thalia’s defense saying it’s the same as applying bronzer or getting a tan at the beach — but others feel that the extent to which the makeup is applied is almost theatrical, making it brownface. Given the long, dark, and unacceptable history of brownface and blackface in entertainment — what are your thoughts on these accusations?