This is a time of hurt and division in America, so it’s very important that we embrace each other and celebrate diversity. After all, America is a melting pot, especially when it comes to skin color (even though I definitely don’t see skin color, I see people). Still, everyone’s skin color is unique and beautiful, whether you’re black like Rachel Dolezal or, as former Gossip Girl Blake Lively recently revealed, a mixed-race Cherokee woman.
Yes, this is what real diversity looks like.
In an ad for L’Oreal’s True Match line, the Shallows star and “Allure of Antebellum” advocate opened up about her mixed heritage, highlighting her English, Irish, German, and Cherokee roots. It's really brave of her, seeing as it’s very tough to be a white person who claims Native American “blood” but, as far as we can tell, no other part of Native American culture.
In a separate video, she details her ancestry, which she courageously describes as "neat":
My family’s sort of from all over. To look back far into my heritage and see where everybody came from, you know, it’s neat! It’s neat to be in this country that has such diversity and such culture.
This is exactly what we need in 2017.
That is neat! It’s not like this is the first time her Cherokee heritage has been mentioned, though L’Oreal commercials seem to be the only setting where it comes up. A 2014 L’Oreal commercial for the True Match line listed Cherokee as part of “the mosaic of all the faces” contributing to the story of her skin.
I’m sure the atrocities that the U.S. government inflicted on her people are too painful for her to openly discuss, which is why her alleged Cherokee heritage only appears to come up in regards to her skin tone. We all cope differently.
As a fellow woman of color, it’s such an honor to have Lively, a woman who uses the w3 nude beige tone, being hailed as a hallmark of diversity, and see her given a larger spot in ads than almost all the other people of color. I guess you have to be part-Cherokee to get such an honor.
Sure, history has long seen white people using claims of Native American heritage as a colonial tool for everything from demanding access to tribal lands to claiming exemptions from racist attitudes, but Blake is above all that. Her heritage isn’t about tearing people apart. It’s about bringing everyone together, united in beige, as if yelling with fists raised, “These colors don’t run (for up to eight hours)!”
After all, as she says in the video, echoing the truly logical argument that all lives matter (yes, even the severely underrepresented blond-haired blue-eyed white women), “We are all worth it.”
This piece originally included a reference to the Trail of Tears, a horrific act in which the US Government forced Native American nations off their land on foot during which 4,000-6,000 people died. It was meant to highlight Lively's lack of sensitivity to Native American history, but some people pointed out that we came off as insensitive too—so we have removed it.