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SPICE [PHOTO | COURTESY]

Backlash after Jamaican dancehall star Spice bleaches her skin

Jamaican dancehall star Spice, whose real name is Grace Latoya Hamilton, has been highly criticised online for lightening her skin.

Spice, 36, took to Instagram on Monday to share pictures of her new look.

Her followers and other online users – who for the longest time were used to a dark-looking Spice –, were shocked to see a lighter version of the musician; a look they never thought the “Romping Shop” hit-maker would ever sport.

“Nothing wrong with a fresh start,” Spice captioned an Instagram image showing her new look.

The artiste, who has over 1.6 million followers on Instagram, had also deleted all her pictures and videos on the social media platform ahead of the unveiling of her new look.

She, however, revealed on Instagram and Facebook Live Monday that she wanted to “mark her new appearance in style”.

“I deleted all the music and videos because of this new mix-tape project that I am working on called ‘Captured’. I never wanted any destruction, and that is why I deleted them [pictures and videos],” said Spice.

And in their thousands – actually over 65, 000 – online users commented on Spice’s Instagram timeline, with a bulk of the feedback being negative.

Instagram user, whose moniker is Finesse the Plug Drew, said: “Any dark-skinned woman reading this, you are beautiful the way you are. On behalf of the men, who have said the cruelest things to you, I am sorry.”

Kee Kx said: “I looked up to you as a dark-skinned and thick [curvaceous] girl. Black is beautiful, why change?”

Ophilia Enterprises said: “I am disappointed! You were a beautiful black queen, and an example to black women. You were perfect before. What happened? I am sending prayers your way.”

Jade Zen said: “This looks insane! You cannot blame your race for your insecurities. You should have gone for therapy before bleaching your skin. If you think racism isn’t alive and well, why do dark-skinned people around the world seek to get lighter?”

Sweet Miss Angel said: “This is such an irresponsible use of her global platform. When did being black and loving the skin you are in, go out of style? As a black woman, and a mother, I am utterly appalled.”

However, not all online users on her timeline called her out. Spice’s former rumoured lover, Vybz Kartel, who also bleached his skin in 2013, showed approval of the “Back Bend” singer’s new look.

“My baby, you are out! [adds love emoji],” wrote Kartel on the comments section, to which Spice responded: “Yes, my baby I am back. #CakeSoap [bleaching cream]. I am hot again.”

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