There are some things that often don’t come in a suitable shade for Black and brown people; makeup, plasters, medical items.
One thing that has irked and disappointed ballerinas of colour for many years is the lack of pointe shoes available.
A teenager who has spent her whole childhood wearing unmatching ballet shoes has finally received a pair in her complexion.
Kira Robinson, 18, has been colouring in her footwear since she joined ballet, as they often come in pink or beige which stand out on her skin.
Recently, the University of Oklahoma student received a shiny pair of brown shoes she can now wear to class.
Kira filmed her reaction at receiving them, delighted to finally have something that matched her skin.
After she posted the footage, many shared in Kira’s joy, with the clip being viewed more than 1.4 million times.
‘I can’t tell you how excited I am. They look stunning,’ Kira said in the video. ‘I can’t wait to wear these. It’s revolutionary that I don’t have to pancake them to suit my skin colour’.
In ballet, dancers are required to wear nondescript pointe shoes, usually in nude tones.
But for minorities and Black people such as Kira, the pink shoes stand out meaning they have to colour it in, or ‘pancake’ them. In Kira’s case, she has spent hours filling it in with foundation, which can cause a mess.
So when Suffolk – the company that designed the brown shoes – sent her a pair, she was overjoyed.
While Kira’s viewers were happy for her, some lamented that pancaking is still a thing and that diverse pointe shoes are not readily available.
One person wrote: ‘The fact that it is 2020 and women of colour are just getting things like this is devastating, honestly’.
Another agreed, saying: ‘Wow, how hard is it for the industry to make them in other colours? It’s ridiculous that the standard was to rub foundation all over them’.
‘Can’t believe how long it took for the product to exist,’ said another. ‘But I’m so happy they finally do.’
Another said: ‘This is why representation matters’.
Reply to @jess.yung since everyone wanted me to put them on here’s some clips of me breaking them in!! #fyp #pointeshoes #blackballerina #ballet
♬ Jake25.17 sound – 🦋Olivia🦋
Viewers also asked Kira for a follow-up video asking to see her perform in her new shoes.
She then delivered, showing off a few moves in shiny new kicks.
We’re so happy for Kira.
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