Well-known influencers Nella Rose and OnlyBells have been held accountable by Twitter users for their past tweets. This has led them to apologise personally on their YouTube channel, after colourism and degrading comments resurfaced on their accounts.
PrettyLittleThing ‘YouTuber of the year’ winner Nella Rose, justified the comments she made at age thirteen. In her video she said, “People were being cussed for having big lips, I was cussed for my nose”.
She also addressed that during high school, the context of colourism shifted from west Africans to Somalians. “I genuinely believed that by cussing Somalian people, I would take the attention off of what people were saying about me”.
OnlyBells who has a total of 135k subscribers, not only targeted dark-skinned women but also tweeted in reference to rape culture. OnlyBells was apologetic to rape victims and sexual harassment victims. She said, “I take full responsibility for my tweets, there is no excuse for what I did”.
Despite these apologetic videos circulating across social media, not everyone is taking these tweets lightly. Some Twitter users are calling on cancelling Nella Rose and OnlyBells from having a career, whereas others are defending them, claiming that ‘the past is the past’.
YouTuber Tee London, 25, mentioned that dark-skinned women are shamed worse in comparison to light-skinned women. According to him, rapper Stefflon Don and television presenter Maya Jama, were not dragged at such lengths for their colourism tweets.
He added, “People have taken things way too far. Dragging someone’s resting mother who had nothing to do with the situation makes these individuals way worse than how these influencers were in the past”.
Twitter users shared their opinions on this issue. Hodan Aden, 22, who has been supporting OnlyBells and Nella’s career said, “I feel people should be held accountable, not totally cancelled. A lot of people are blaming it on age, but at age ten you know what is right and what is wrong”.
MJ, 23, stated that context is important, before making judgement on someone’s previous tweets. He pointed out that “ignorance mainly comes from not being educated on certain topics”, which in his view is why people say things without thinking.
It is clear there is still a clash within the Black community, which has unfortunately escalated to colourism. We can only hope lessons have been learnt and that these incidents never happen again.