Your Nude Is Not My Nude

Labeled as a neutral tone that is applied to match the skin tone of the person wearing it, the infamous shade of nude is a color that many are familiar with in terms of fashion and makeup. The problem is, not everyone has the same skin tone, and therefore your shade of nude doesn’t exactly fit my shade of nude.

That being said, Valley takes a deeper look at the implications of this shade and how it is being perceived by everyone in terms of fashion and makeup.

For any girl going shopping, finding colors that compliment her skin tone is an essential key to looking good. Depending on the occasion, you either want a color that stands out as a bold statement, or a color that blends in with the outfit.

“Honestly, when I’m working, I don’t realize that when I’m looking for a nude look for a customer, I have to take in consideration that not everyone has the same shade of nude,” says Christopher Hurley, a Metro employee and Penn State student majoring in psychology.

The purpose of using a nude in fashion or in terms of makeup is to create a neutral shade that compliments the person’s skin tone. But for many women, that neutral shade wouldn’t be considered the “nude” color we label it as. For a woman of color, a nude heel or eyeshadow would be a color in a brownish shade that closer mirrors their darker skin tone and acts as a true neutral.

“When I put on a nude heel, it basically looks like a beige heel on me,” says Corrina Williams, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. “Brown heels tend to flush out my look, but then again that would be considered an actual nude heel [on me].”

We’re not here to bash the color nude and say that it’s the wrong shade for women of color and shouldn’t be worn. No, the point of this article is to show how easily we accept the meaning of a word and consider it the “norm” in our society and explore the implications of that acceptance.

Labeling a color as “nude” assumes that everyone is of the same skin tone, thus the color nude becomes a neutral tone that isn’t always so neutral on everyone else. Questioning commonly accepted standards in today’s society that don’t always seem on point and taking into consideration the differences of others will not only make you a more well-rounded person, but can help you make decisions that can make your life and the lives of others more balanced and happier, too.