A current makeup trend popping up among celebrities and makeup influencers and enthusiasts on TikTok is being called out for alleged “cultural appropriation” and “racism.”
The “fox eye” beauty trend, which uses makeup to create an elongated shape of the eye, has been growing in popularity and controversy in recent weeks.
Maybelline shares a step-by-step way to get the look, which it calls a “creative, multi-dimensional twist on the cat-eye.” Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid have been photographed with the fox-eye trend, which have reportedly inspired the surge of people trying the trendy look.
However, the over-exaggerated winged eyeliner has been called out as problematic as those practicing the look also appear to incorporate an offensive pose that seemingly has them pulling at the corner of their eyes to create more of a slanted shape.
The pose has been slammed as both cultural appropriation and racist.
“Ok let’s talk…remember when [people] mocked us Asians for having slanted eyes? And suddenly it became a ‘trend’ [because] it’s cute on them and they called it the ‘fox eye trend’?” one person on Twitter wrote. “So it’s cute on you but nor for us? Racism towards Asian is so normalised (sic) and I’m tired and sick of it.”
Many on social media expressed similar concerns around the racist history of people pulling their eyes to the side as a taunt to Asian people.
An Instagram account called “Dear Asian Youth,” which describes itself as “100+ Asian youths & 60 chapters striving to create change through education, activism and celebration,” explained in a multi-page story the historical significance of the recent trend.
In the series of slides, the Instagram account educates around the reported 1950s trend of Asian women surgically altering their eye-shape in “an effort to assimilate” to the United States.
The blepharoplasty surgery, or eyelid surgery, is the third most requested cosmetic operation among Asian Americans, a 2009 study shared.
“Today, the ‘fox-eye trend’ completely invalidates the decades of normalized racism against the Asian community. For many of us, our childhood is riddled with memories of people pulling their eyes in an effort to ridicule our features,” the post reads.
Currently, on TikTok, the hashtag foxeye has 73 million views.
More recent videos being shared on the platform have begun incorporating “non-culture appropriation” tutorials to achieve to sultry look without offending anyone.