Here’s the naked truth: “nude” is not really nude on everyone. Especially not that somehow universally accepted class of cream/beige that has been shoved down our throats and into our wardrobes as people of colour. It’s way too light for us and ends up starkly contrasting with our complexions rather than blending in to create the effect of softness and elegance that a nude outfit is intended to do. I literally want to scream every time I see a darker toned woman wearing a pair of cream shoes and referring to them as nude. What about that is nude on you? On me?
The dictionary definition of nude (in this context) is “A colour that falls within the spectrum of human skin tones.” However, the Pantone shade is a light beige. And according to fashion it’s more to the tune of “A shade that is a little darker than champagne, lighter than sand and perhaps with a hint of blush or peach.” What happened to spectrum? And human skin tones? What happens to colours like mine? Which may be “A little darker than hot chocolate, lighter than ebony and perhaps with a hint of honey or gold”? And that was probably just last week before the swimming and sun exposure, sans sunscreen, has me all kinds of toasty! Is that not to be considered nude too?
We need to move from thinking of nude as a colour and instead embrace it as a concept, as Christian Louboutin confessed to a few years back. His nude shoe was always beige until an employee pointed out that it wasn’t nude on her and he finally opened his eyes and broadened his perspective. The result is his best seller nude shoe line in the photos used in this post. Light to dark nudes. Fluid. Versatile. Beautiful. Just like all our varying complexions.
So next time you are shopping for some nude shoes or undergarments, search for what is closest and most complimentary to your own skin colour and not what the fashion powers that be declared. Have fun exploring and getting nude . . .
*** Images from Google