Azealia Banks Defends Whitening Her Skin With Skin-Bleaching Products

Azealia Banks attends the NYLON Midnight Garden Party at a private residence on April 10, 2015.
Azealia Banks attends the NYLON Midnight Garden Party at a private residence on April 10, 2015. Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for NYLON

Azealia Banks is making waves — again. The rapper defended using products to lighten her skin in a lengthy Facebook livestream on Friday, July 1.

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"I don't really think it's important to discuss the cultural significance of skin bleaching anymore because I think that, just as African-American people, just as black people in this world, you assimilate, and there are things you accept, not just out of necessity but things become norm because they just happen all the time," Banks, 25, said in the video.

"I guess people see the skin-bleaching thing as something different, but I see it as another … assimilation thing," she continued. "It's a continuation of the falsification of self that comes with being a black person in America."

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Last month, Banks received backlash on social media when she admitted to using the skin cream Whitenicious. In a since-deleted Instagram post, she shared a photo of herself before a show in Brazil and wrote "skincare," "skingoals" and "whitenicious."

"I consider anything that has to do with removing layers of skin or pigment, I consider it all bleaching," Banks added on Facebook Friday. "I say lightening."

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The controversial star, who has previously called out Miley Cyrus for cultural appropriation, even likened skin bleaching to getting a nose job or a weave.

"To say that [skin bleaching] negates what I've been saying about blackness in America is ignorant and just stupid," she said. "Nobody was upset when I was [wearing] 30-inch weaves, tearing out my edges, and doing all types of s—t like that. You guys loved it, but what is the difference?"

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