Jane Oranika first created her makeup tutorial video to share with a friend. Once she posted it following the results of this week’s presidential election, the video went viral. That’s when someone complained and had it taken down.
Why were people complaining about a so-called makeup tutorial? Perhaps it had to do with Oranika’s tongue-in-cheek, yet unavoidably controversial, demonstration of how people of color could don white makeup in order to stay safe in the wake of Donald Trump’s electoral college victory.
Oranika, who goes by Chika on her social media profiles, recently explained how the video got started to BET.com, “I was in a really sad place and, as someone who hates being sad, I was trying to cheer the both of us up. I posted it and we laughed about it, and like an hour later, when Trump was actually elected, it blew up.”
Twitter shut down Oranika’s account once it started gaining in popularity. According to BET.com, the video had “70k retweets and 102k favorites on Twitter before someone reported it and her account was suspended.”
She posted the clip on Instagram, where it had over 80,000 views at the time of this writing.
“Barack Obama? Is that some kind of sauce?” Oranika asks at one point in her video clip. She continues with other lines, clearly aiming for humor and not an actual makeup tutorial. “Ketchup is a spicy, spicy food,” she recites later.
When asked what she thought about the complaints over a person of color posting videos of whiteface, she pointed out, “There is no historical context to whiteface, so of course the standard is different as to why it shouldn’t be offensive.”
Oranika claims she was trying to make a little lighter a situation that can be seen as far too dark for people of color, along with those who identify with LGBT, Muslim, or immigrant communities. But she isn’t a stranger to similar controversy, having been suspended as a high-school student for posting Black Lives Matter posters on her campus in 2014.