Rethinking Transracialism: Ariana Grande and Racial Ambiguity

This article revisits, revises, and expands on the arguments I make in Blackface and Pop Princesses: A Brief Genealogy. Previously, I wrote three brief paragraphs on Ariana Grande, trying to position her donning of black and brown visuality (i.e. blackface/brownface) alongside similar practices of other pop princesses such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Miley Cyrus. […]

Blackface and Pop Princesses: A brief genealogy

Note: I have updated my argument about Ariana Grande’s “blackface” in Rethinking Transracialism: Ariana Grande and Racial Ambiguity. Contemporary blackface no longer involves minstrelsy’s burnt cork or greasepaint to blacken the performers’ skin, but instead,  make-up foundation, artificial tanning and digital coloring are employed to play with racial mythologies and to exploit what blackness signifies. […]