This Spray Tan Company Is Getting Called Out for Apparent Racism

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Anyone who's seen a fully crisped Florida snowbird knows that when it comes to tanning, some say the darker the better. But that conventional wisdom might have limits.

Swedish self-tanner company Emmaatan, which hawks products with such names as "Dark Ash Onyx," "Caramel" and "Dark Chocolate," is facing accusations that it sells racist goods. 

The ultra-dark colors have been accused by some for promoting something akin to blackface.

"Can we just talk about this for a second please?!?" wrote one Tumblr user. "What is this?!? Why is this?!? HOW is this a product?!? Who gave the OK for this [to] be sold?!?"

Source: Mic/Instagram

The product rankled many across social media, with one Instagrammer calling it "basically full blackface." Others blasted Emmaatan on Twitter:

Emmaatan founder Emma Patissier Alm defended her products on Instagram.

"I've got a lot of feedback and mostly been called 'blackface' and racist," she said. "People looks at my picture I've posted and without a blink assume we desire to look black, I understand why it might seem that way and I apologize for the misunderstanding my picture may have created. I love all skin types and that's why I think people should be able to choose for what they feel good in, as long as you respect people around you."

Alm added that roughly 20% to 30% of the tanning effect typically will wash off, making the overall lighter than it might appear at first.

But water won't put out this fire.

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Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

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