Instagram model Jaiden Gumbayan recently came under harsh criticism for posting photos that many called cultural appropriation and “blackface.” She has since apologized, sharing on her page a long, heartfelt apology that has gained more than 4,000 likes and 750 comments.
Gumbayan’s apology comes on the heels of her sharing photos in which she posed, extremely tanned, while sporting wigs, extensions, and cornrows. Many of followers called her out, with at least one observing she was trying “so hard to be black.”
A post shared by Jaiden Gumbayan (@jaidengumby) on May 2, 2017 at 11:03am PDT
A post shared by Jaiden Gumbayan (@jaidengumby) on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:24pm PDT
Yahoo Beauty was unable to reach Gumbayan for comment. But shortly after her photos caused controversy, she shared a series of screenshots of an iPhone note she wrote, in which she apologizes for her the triggering images.
“I sympathize with black women because I know that for years they’ve gotten oppressed and had to endure awful things for their natural hair and have been told it is not beautiful or professional or okay,” Gumbayan wrote. “I understand these issues and the issues with appropriation and how it could it offend someone.”
A post shared by Jaiden Gumbayan (@jaidengumby) on Jun 28, 2017 at 8:04am PDT
Gumbayan also addressed those who were trying to side with her and show sympathy.
“I can not even agree with half of what the people trying to support or ‘defend’ me saying, ‘it’s just hair’ because it is not just hair for someone people and cultures and can be of great significance.”
As for blackface accusations, she said, “It’s so insane,” and that she just tans easily.
Gumbayan then provided a history lesson on what blackface is and why it is so horrible, noting, “I’m not perfect, I am human, I make mistakes.”
“I am truly very sorry,” she wrote. “I hope from now on I can just learn and grow from this.”
Her followers, for the most part, seem ready to move on.
“She apologized, can this be squashed now,” one commenter wrote. “I understand if you don’t agree with her, but some people are really hateful in these comments. Like, she’s still a person.”
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