Suzy_Z_ is an influencer popular on Chinese YouTube equivalent site Bilibili, where she has over 1 million followers. In April 2020, the influencer shared a video in which she darkened her skin using black makeup; and introduced herself as the “Wakanda Queen.” Now, a year later, the video has been discovered far wider than just China; and has caused backlash online over the apparent use of blackface.
The video sees so called Wakanda Queen, Suzy cover her whole top half in dark makeup before continuing with the tutorial. “This is Suzy aka Wakanda Queen,” she introduced at the start, referencing the fictional African country in Black Panther.
A loose translation of the video’s title reads; “Wakanda beauty bloggers settled in Station B (Bilibili)? Can you see me? It’s me who is the darkest on the whole network.”
The tutorial was a part of the influencer’s “Global Series” on her channel, which also features a video where she dresses up in Indian clothing and again darkened her skin. In that post, she claimed the makeup smelt “like curry” but apologized in a pinned comment; explaining that she didn’t mean to cause offense.
At the time, the video that features blackface was well received on Bilibili, where it currently has over 1.14 million likes. However, popular TikTok account @yourhellbringer shared a clip on October 22; followed by Instagram account @blackandasiansoulsunite eight days later.
“WTF did I just find,” wrote @yourhellbringer, gaining over 2.7 million views on the re-upload.
For many, the video and lack of shock in the Bilibili comments to the video; are representative of the lack of awareness surrounding blackface in China; where most forms of social media are banned. “Blackface isn’t very educated about in Asia. A lot of people actually don’t know it’s wrong, so people can’t expect the whole world to be as ‘woke’,” wrote one user.