Nude hasn’t been the most inclusive term when it comes to darker skin tones. From lipstick to a pair of panty hose, ‘nude’ almost always signifies white skin, ignoring the many diverse shades on the color spectrum.
It’s frustrating to search for a pair of nude tights, a nude lipstick or bra and find your skin color willfully ignored. It’s even more upsetting when such exclusive terms are used in relation to women of color.
Such was the case when Michelle Obama’s Naeem Khan gown was referred to as flesh tone by the Associated Press, though her actual flesh is several shades darker.
Similarly, Rihanna’s Nude fragrance comes packaged in a lovely beige box despite the fact that Rihanna’s skin tone isn’t that color. It’s clear that Rihanna and her marketing team didn’t consider the implications of a fragrance named ‘Nude’ in a box bearing the color of another race’s flesh.
Sure some will say it’s just a fragrance bottle and just a color, but what message does it send to women of color when our varied complexions aren’t good enough to sell fragrances…even when a black woman’s name is attached to it?