A white mother tells how she was asked by her daughter to do ‘dark makeup’. While other parents claim it is a ‘blackface’ look, others believe it is normal to use heavy makeup on stage.

  • Mumsnet user contacted the “Am I Being Unreasonable” thread for opinions
  • The stage school for her daughter asked for dark makeup and a list to go with the costume
  • Some users argued that performance makeup needs to be heavy and darker

Mother is worried after daughter’s stage school asks her to use ‘darker makeup’ for performance in Aladdin.

The Mumsnet user from Ireland, going by the name of SaltyPretzel, took to the forum to ask the community for advice after she was asked to provide ‘dark make-up’ for her daughter, eight, to take part in her stage school production of Aladdin. 

In the post she explained: ‘I live in an area where there isn’t a lot of cultural diversity and this is the first time I’ve encountered an issue like this.

‘This really isn’t right is it? If it was just foundation I’d be OK with it, but this seems like he wants to make kids skin look darker.

“The majority of kids in the group are Irish, so their skin is pale. It just feels wrong to have dark foundation.   

Many Oher moms shared their opinions, many of whom agreed that Aladdin’s request for darkened make-up felt inappropriate. However, others suggested that there might be a rational explanation to the request, such as so the performers wouldn’t appear washed out by the strong light.  

An Irish mother of an eight-year-old girl has been left enraged after her daughter's stage school asked her for 'darker makeup' to perform in Aladdin for a Christmas play (stock image)

A mother from Ireland was furious when her eight-year old daughter asked for darker makeup to play Aladdin in a Christmas play. Stock image

The mother was concerned and explained that her daughter had just finished stage school. Her performance in Aladdin is scheduled for next week.

‘She’s eight. An email was sent out tonight about make-up and costumes.

“Under makeup was listed-dark foundation. Make-up was only listed in previous shows as glitter.

‘I’m not overreacting am I? I don’t know whether to say something or just send her in with a bit of normal make up on.’

SaltyPretzel asked the users in the 'Am I being unreasonable?' thread on Mumsnet to see if her daughter's stage school was wrong for asking her to provide darker makeup to perform

SaltyPretzel posed the question to the participants in the “Am I being unreasonable?” thread. Mumsnet thread to find out if SaltyPretzel was being unreasonable by asking users in the ‘Am I unreasonable?’ forum.

A commenter said: “I believe they need to remind them that black/asian/middle Eastern/anyother race face isn’t appropriate.

“Just let them do Aladdin, and then be white.” 

Another user added: ‘You’re right. The children would also look strange with dark foundation, even if they had pale Irish skin.

Several other mums responded with their thoughts with many agreeing that the request for darker makeup felt like it had racial reasons, possibly linking to the play being Aladdin

Many mums shared their opinions, many of them agreeing with the demand for darkening makeup.

Another said, “Yikes!” You would have to say something. I think that it would be a good idea to question why dark foundation is necessary for children and have them spell it …’.

Some people felt that the text had racial undertones. Freecuthbert commented, “Reminds you of blackface…it’s completely unacceptable. It’s deemed very socio-inacceptable and racist.

‘I would certainly say something in an electronic mail as I find the topic highly inappropriate, especially since my child has mixed-race blood. But, my views do reflect wider society. It’s not a bloody dress.

A parent friend said, “I’d tell stage school that my child wouldn’t like me wearing blackface.”

However, many mothers argue that make-up on stage is usually heavy and darker in order to show up well under bright lighting. 

Some mums arguied that stage cosmetics are often heavy, and requires darker colours to allow the makeup to be visible with the strong lights on them

Some moms argued that stage cosmetics can be heavy. They need darker colours in order to let the light shine through the make-up.

One user stated that it could be used for lighting. I can recall wearing orange foundations for pantos as a child. I’d ask for clarification first.’

One person agreed with the statement: “Benefits of the doubt, we were always instructed to wear dark foundation for Scottish Highland dancing shows and all other activities – but not to wash out in front of the stage lights.” That could be their meaning?

“In theater, you often wear darker foundation because the stage lights wash you out,” a commenter added. 

Could they possibly mean that? On stage I would wear 2-3 shades darker than usual.