Jazmine Sullivan Fights Accusations of ‘Cooning’ in White Barbie Costume: ‘I’m Happy with my Brown Skin’

jsullivanmusic Instagram

jsullivanmusic Instagram

Singer Jazmine Sullivan stunned fans when she shared a photo in a Barbie costume complete with blonde hair, blue eyes and what seemed like lighter skin. The ensemble put the Grammy-nominated performer in the crossfire of Instagram commenters who accused her of shunning her Blackness.

On May 22, Sullivan shared a collage of her posing in a Barbie box with hairstylist Naeemah Johnson and fashion designer Ty’ron Perrin, who dressed as Ken. The group attended Johnson’s Barbie-themed birthday party May 21.


User hunibri told the star “please don’t coon for theses crackers!!!! European look is not the true definition of beauty!”

Another commenter, fkajenelle_chanel, wrote “But jazz barbies can have Afros & brown skin too.”

Not all reactions were negative. Many came to the 29-year-old’s defense, explaining the doll look was just a costume and that those who were offended by the look should relax.

“Smh ppl be reaching and digging way too deep smh,” wrote 1prettyfrenchy.

The singer shared another collage with three close-up shots of her face wearing bright blue contact lenses.


She wrote she was “never more proud of my natural features than after wearing these creepy a– contacts.”

The Philadelphia native posted a lengthy response to all the criticism May 23, stressing that her look had no bearing on the way she felt about herself.

“It’s just a COSTUME y’all!! And if I appeared lighter on the closeups it’s from the flash on the camera,” Sullivan wrote.

She added there are also filters that make users appear lighter or darker than their natural complexion.

“U can also make urself grey. Doesn’t mean u are grey, [right]?”


The singer doesn’t completely bash her followers, explaining she understands their concern since many other celebrities seem to lighten their skin “becuz we all know society was built off the notion that ‘white is right’… but that’s not the case here.”

She also states she was not trying to make a statement on the importance of Black girls having a toy that reflects their appearance.

“It’s not that deeeeeepp! Lol I simply decided to be white Barbie. Mainly becuz if I had my regular hair and eyes I would’ve looked like myself… And that wasn’t my goal.”

Sullivan adds the only part of Barbie she wants on her own body is her “snatched a– waist,” adding she is “happy and proud of my brown skin, hair and eyes.”

“Let people live… sometimes it’s ok to keep ur opinion to urself,” she writes.

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