Let’s get one thing straight: Using cosmetic surgery to modify one’s appearance is totally cool if it makes a person feel better about how they look. But it’s when people start to go overboard — i.e. doing it for another person or because they “identify as another race” — where things start to become a problem. Take, for example, Martina Big’s story.
Big, a flight attendant who lives in the U.K., recently appeared on The Maury Show to talk about her transformation, and, according to Express, she told talk show host Maury Povich that she “identifies as black.”
“I am black. That is my race,” she said. “I can’t wait to go to Africa because I hear the food is tasty. It’s better to be black, the feeling inside is just better.”
To darken her skin, Big allegedly uses a combination of tanning injections and sessions in her 50-tube tanning bed. She told Povich that she’s constantly testing the limits of her own skin to see how dark it can get. (Quick refresher: “Tanning injections” and tanning bed use are not activities Allure endorses. According to a recent Skin Cancer Foundation 2016 Media Award-winning investigative piece by Allure, those who indoor tan are 79 percent more likely to develop melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer.)
During the segment, Povich told Big: “Everyone who is watching this, who is a person of color, is going to say, ‘It’s not just skin-deep,” and which resulted in crowd cheers.
For her part, though, Big is aware of the controversial nature of her black identity claims, and wants others to know she’s not trying to be offensive. “No, I don’t want to [be offensive],” she said. “I know some feel attacked, but it’s not my intention.”
However, impact is way more important than intention, as we all should know by now.
Now, watch as rapper and singer Lizzo talks bodysuits and body image: