Children using makeup to whiten skin to avoid racial abuse

A protester at an anti racism rally through central London.
A protester at an anti racism rally through central London.

CHILDREN have described how they tried to alter their appearance with makeup so as to avoid racist attacks.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said babies and toddlers were among the victims of more than 10,500 crimes recorded in 2017-18. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 were most likely to be affected, the charity said.

Callers to Childline have revealed how they tried to change their appearance with makeup so that their skin would appear whiter.

One 10-year-old said how she had lost her friends after bullies told her she had “dirty skin.”

“I was born in the UK but bullies tell me to go back to my own country,” she added. “I don’t understand because I’m from the UK. I’ve tried to make my face whiter before using make up so that I can fit in. I just want to enjoy going to school.”

A 11-year-old girl of Chinese-origin said she was called “yellow.”

“I hate the way I look so much,” she added. “I’ve tried to change the way that I look by using eyeliner so that I fit in more. I don’t want to tell my parents because I think it would upset them.”

Another girl said she was called a terrorist because she wears traditional Islamic dress.

“People call me a terrorist and keep telling me to go back to where I came from,” she said. “I usually just put my head down and get on with it but it’s getting to the point now where I genuinely feel like I might get attacked.”

Hate crime in the UK has increased in recent times, especially following the EU referendum in 2016 and the terrorist attacks in 2017.

According to the Home Office, the number of recorded hate crime has more than doubled in the past five years. While religion was the motivating factor in 9 per cent of recorded hate crimes in the year to March, race was the factor in 76 per cent incidents.