Alexandra Burke Reveals She Was Told To Bleach Her Skin After Winning The X Factor

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Alexandra Burke has spoken candidly about the blatant racism she has experienced while working in the music industry.
In a 15-minute video posted to Instagram, the singer and actress told fans that "if it wasn’t for the love that I have for music, I definitely wouldn't be in this industry".
She revealed that after she won The X Factor in 2008, she was told she would have to work "ten times harder" to succeed because she was a Black woman.
Continuing, Burke recalled being told by industry advisors, whom she didn't name: "You can’t have braids, you can’t have an afro, you can’t have anything that basically is my identity – you have to have hair, for example, that appeals to white people so they can understand you better."
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She added: "That was so hard to digest. I was told to bleach my skin, and that was something I refused to do."
Burke, who has scored three Number One singles, released three Top 20 albums and starred in productions of The Bodyguard and Sister Act The Musical, also detailed the micro-aggressions she has encountered during her career.
She said she was even told "to smile more on Instagram because you come across aggressive”.
She went to speak tearfully about being targeted by racist trolls and negative tabloid press coverage while competing on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 just days after her mother's death.
“How I got through it, now I look back, I have no idea, no idea,” she said. “I don’t even like thinking about that experience at all. But thankfully, my family and friends got me through it and the amazing fans that supported me.”
Burke said she had been compelled to speak out by the growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, which made her realise that "the truth is all we've got".
Burke follows Little Mix's Leigh-Anne Pinnock, X Factor contestant Misha B, and Sugababes singer Keisha Buchanan in speaking out about the racism they have faced while navigating the creative industries as Black women.

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