• Clodagh Meaney

Alexandra Burke reveals she was told to bleach her skin to appeal to white audiences

The 32-year-old who won X-Factor in 2008 was also told not to wear her hair in braids

By Clodagh Meaney


Former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke has revealed that she was told to bleach her skin to appeal to white audiences.


The 31-year-old won the British singing competition in 2008 when she was aged just 19.


Taking to Instagram, she posted a video titled "Speak Up - Speak Out," which outlined the the racism she faced after winning the hit TV show.



“I got told because you’re black you are going to have to work 10 times harder than a white artist because of the colour of your skin."


“You can’t have braids, you can’t have an afro, you can’t have anything that is basically my identity," she said in the video where she appeared in stunning braids and a t-shirt saying 'I am enough.'


“You have to have hair, for example, that appeals to white people so people can understand you better.”



Alexandra went on to explain how heartbroken she still feels about the "absurd" requests.


"I mean, I was only 19 years old. There’s only so much you can understand at 19 and your life has completely changed overnight. and that was quite hard to digest.”

“I got told to bleach my skin and that was something I refused to do,” she explained.

“Because that is just absurd to me that somebody could even remotely say to someone: ‘Bleach your skin so that you can look whiter.’"


“Still to this moment it breaks my heart that I was told that," she said.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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