Editor’s note: The surgeries depicted in a video clip below include huge distortions to the woman’s breasts.
In an interview on “The Maury Show” last week, a German woman who was born white said she now identifies as a black woman after receiving chemical injections to darken her skin.
Martina Big—who speaks with a thick European accent and claims to be 28 years old—sported a kinky weave, dark skin, and an impressive history of body modifications and plastic surgeries, including lip and breast implants, a nose job, and lipo procedures.
Maury opened the show by showing a picture of Big as a teenager: a smiling blonde running a hand through her hair. He then showed pictures of Big’s journey to change her body, including her ostensible “transition” to another race.
“Martina, do you think you’re a black person?” Maury asked.
“Yes,” Big said, to loud audience booing. “But 80 percent. I have to learn a lot.”
Maury’s response drew applause, “Everyone who is a person of color is going to say it’s not just skin-deep.”
Throughout the interview, the audience’s reactions said it all. Big’s statements drew raised eyebrows, dropped jaws, wide eyes, and shocked facial expressions, accompanied by “ohhhh” and “boos” from the predominantly African-American audience.
At the end of the interview, Maury asked, “Do you think that you are offending people who were born black?”
Big protested her innocence: “I don’t want to attack them. I know some feel attacked, but it’s not my intention to attack anybody.”
Intentionally or not, Big’s decision isn’t just offensive and ridiculously insulting to African-Americans—and anyone possessing common sense—her decision is a fundamental attack on reality itself.
First Of All, This Isn’t New
People have always wondered about “the other.” What does it feel like to step into another’s shoes (or skin)? People have tried “going undercover” as another race as far back as the 1940s.
In 1961, John Howard Griffin, a white journalist, became a national celebrity after he published his book, “Black Like Me,” recounting his experience with segregation and racism. Prior to that, journalist Ray Sprigle published his book “In the Land of Jim Crow” in 1949 after he disguised himself as a black man and traveled to the South for a month.
Griffin and Sprigle’s experiments to understand and illuminate the experience of black people through a clearly unsustainable social experiment was one thing. They understood that they were trying to pull off an external farce. But the outrageous proposition that someone can become a different race with the assistance of surgery and chemicals is another.
Unless you live under a rock, you have likely heard of Rachel Dolezal, a woman who made headlines after her white parents revealed she was masquerading as an African-American woman. Dolezal acted as president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Washington state from 2014 until she resigned in 2015 due to the scandal. Dolezal stated that “I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black.”
So what’s going on here? First, both Dolezal and Big reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the inherency of race. After claiming to be “80 percent” black, Big also explained, “I got three injections… to change my skin color. And now I am the proud owner of black skin.”
No matter how diverse your background, “80 percent black” is simply not a thing. It should also be obvious that one cannot be the “proud owner” of race the way you might be the “proud owner” of a designer handbag or a Mercedes-Benz. Whether you bleach, dye, or tan your skin, it is impossible to acquire the innate experience of another race, not matter how many thousands of dollars you shell out to surgeons.
The Logical Conclusion of an Illogical Worldview
The Root’s Yesha Callahan pointed out the absurdities of Big’s claim to have “transitioned” from a white woman to a black one. But curiously, Callahan ended her writeup of the daytime talk show ordeal with the assertion that “transitioning” from one race to another is nothing like “transitioning” from one sex to another.
“But, of course … there will be those nimrods who want to compare putting on makeup and having surgeries to try to become a black woman to being a transgender person,” Callahan wrote. “Before you even start banging on your keyboards trying to be witty and contrary, don’t embarrass yourself.”
While people may be quick to disavow any connection between the transgender movement and Big’s “race transition,” the same arguments are being applied. Women like Dolezal and Big are simply the logical conclusion of a worldview that insists people can be anything they want, regardless of nature. If people are constantly told everything is relative and that inherent qualities are social constructs, it does not take long for people to believe it, and for this belief to manifest in the most bizarre ways.
If there is no spiritual reality or physical reality we must adhere to, it makes sense to equate altered physical appearance with fundamental change. But if something like race is more than a chemically altered skin tone, then we can only point out that the emperor has no clothes.
I don’t want to vilify Big, or anyone else who suffers from the delusion that he can “change his race.” Someone who turns to chemical injections in a sad, desperate attempt to change reality itself must be a very confused person. But the trouble is, where does this end? People may be shocked at this latest attempt to spite reality. But how long will it be before people claim that the right to change your race is simply the next civil rights issue? A worldview that supports gender fluidity cannot long defend the narrow-minded and antiquated idea that we must stick with the race we were born into without falling into hypocrisy.
In light of this, Maury Povich’s remarks at the end of his bizarre interview almost seem prophetic.
“It sounds like, in your experience that you keep trying to find something,” he said. “I’m sure there’s going to be something else that you’re going to try to find, in the future. Good luck to you!”