Mexican actress darkens face and wears fake nose to pose as Roma star Yalitza Aparicio

Mark Ralston /AFP/Getty and @yekarosales/Instagram

A Mexican actress and producer is being accused of wearing “brownface” after she darkened her skin and wore a fake nose to dress up as indigenous Roma star Yalitza Aparicio.

Yessica 'Yeka' Rosales posted the photo, as well as videos of her wearing the get-up, on her Instagram account. She wore a black-coloured wig and posed with a fake Oscar statuette, seemingly parodying Aparicio’s best actress nomination.

The look was part of a skit for the Mexican network Televisa’s season premiere of La Parodia, a comedy TV series.

Rosales was accused of mocking the colour of the Oscar-nominated actress’ skin and her facial features by wearing 'brownface'.

Aparicio has addressed the issue of racism in Mexico before, and in a New York Times interview she spoke extensively about being the target of racist attacks online.

“I’m not the face of Mexico,” Aparicio had said at the time. “It shouldn’t matter what you’re into, how you look — you can achieve whatever you aspire to."

Mexico has a history of discrimination against its indigenous peoples – of which there are more than 23 different minority groups.

Writing about the issue, UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples' rights, Victoria Tauli- Corpuz said:

As members of indigenous peoples shared their problems and stories with me, I was able to recognise a serious pattern of exclusion and discrimination, which in turn reflects in a lack of access to justice, among other human rights violations.

The UN expert spoke to hundreds of indigenous people and found "another serious issue brought to my attention was the fact that indigenous peoples are not being properly consulted, according to international standards, on projects and other decisions that affect their rights, including their right to life".

Rosales doesn’t appear to understand why her look is so problematic.

Less than a day after Latino Rebels first covered the story, she tweeted out a YouTube video called ‘White to Black transformation makeup tutorial’ and captioned it “ART!!!”

She also retweeted a number of people defending her, including producer Reynaldo Lopez, who wrote that racism is to mock, show oneself to be superior to or discriminate against another person based on their origin, social status, economic or ethnic origin, and insisted that at no time did they do that with Yalitza.

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