Media darling Khanyi Mbau became the talk of social media after she shared a picture on Instagram on Sunday.
Mbau was dressed up and made up as usual, but that was not what sent her followers into a frenzy this time. It was her very pale skin that drew attention.
She was accused of bleaching her skin, ridiculed and labelled a sell out doing a disservice to young girls who look up to her for inspiration.
“In Khanyi Mbau I see an aging celebrity desperately clinging to her fading looks. Celebrities never want to age gracefully,” tweeted @PhiXtothe.
Another fan @shanduVanN questioned Mbau’s acceptance of the white supremacy narrative.
“Yes it’s her money, but Khanyi Mbau is a public figure, a standard for beauty. The example she is setting proves white supremacy and the Verwoerd narrative.”
Mbau is not the first SA celebrity to face criticism over bleaching their skin.
Musicians Mshoza and Kelly Khumalo have long since admitted to using skin-lightening creams and injections for a paler look.
In 2015, Khumalo admitted to bleaching her skin and defended herself strongly against those who questioned her decision. “I’m a bleach until Jesus comes, you are too damn stupid to think that your opinion matters,” Khumalo responded to a fan who questioned her about her skin colour at the time.
Kwaito singer Mshoza said her skin lightening habits began as a way of dealing with hyperpigmentation, a common but temporary condition that causes women to develop dark patches on their face and neck, which starts during pregnancy.
Mbau has not said anything in response to the attacks, only tweeting a vague response: It’s like the value of money boo… it changes.”