Black Appropriation is the Newest Shade in Swedish Spray Tans

Believe it or not, a company in Sweden is now selling a ‘dark chocolate’ tanning solution that offers white people with an identity crisis the option to darken their skin. Yes, consider this your facepalm “wtf are they thinking?” moment of the day.


Stockholm-based Emmaatan salon specializes in spray tans offering incredibly dark tanning services, with names like “Violet Onyx“, “Dark Ash Onyx“, “Caramel” and “Dark Chocolate.”




Generally, spray tans are reserved for East Coast spring-breakers desperate to add a little color to their winter bodies before heading down to Florida. While the results range from just a hint of skin cancer to Donald Trump orange, these new tans go darker – much darker. So far the notoriously pale Swedish people are clamoring to embrace their artificial blackness.

Emma Patissier Alm’s Instagram, which originally shared some of the images above, has now – not surprisingly – been set to private, but that is not stopping people from sharing their opinion on the matter.




After music, fashion, slang, butt and lip injections, cornrow braids, the cringe-worthy Rachel Dozen scandal last year and likely dozens more examples, the “dark chocolate” spray tan is just the newest entry on the embarrassing list of cultural appropriation. The tanning solution has been met with mixed reviews over on Tumblr as well, with one user commenting: “it’s funny they think it’s ok for them to be black, but not for black people to be black.”

Meanwhile, the maker of the tanning solution has offered an explanation amidst the backlash, saying:

“I’m a small tanning business in Sweden and I’ve been working in beauty for 2 years. I’m a hard-working owner of Emmaatan and love working with beauty cause I get to appreciate all types of looks and figures. I’m in [shock] for the response I’ve gotten and may have responded and commented the wrong way because I expect people to know how spray tans work. I’ve got a lot of feedback and mostly been called “black face” and racist. People look at the pic I’ve posted and without a blink assume we desire to look black. I understand why it might seem that way and I apologize for the misunderstanding.”

Now, obviously if you want to alter your skin through tanning in the sun, tanning beds, or a chemical spray, that’s you’re right. But, come on, a little common sense here can go a long way and it doesn’t take a sociology diploma to connect the dots and realize that this is basically blackface in a bottle. Up to you if you want to traverse the uncomfortable racial midfield by walking around in public like a 2016 version of Thomas C. Howell in Soul Man.

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