Saudi Arabia's first black beauty vlogger challenges beauty perceptions
By Gong Zhe

2017-05-20 10:15 GMT+8

By CGTN America

A beauty video blogger in Saudi Arabia is pushing boundaries. Abeer Sinder is the country's first black vlogger and she is using her videos as a platform to challenge beauty perceptions in the Middle East. 

Sinder is a fourth generation Saudi with family roots that go back to Niger. She got tired of hearing she was "black but beautiful." This was a common "compliment" she would receive from Arabs, who were unaware of the racial undertones. 

Sinder has been dealing with racism all her life. She started vlogging four months ago. What pushed her to do so? Sinder found that there were no Middle Eastern vloggers she could relate to as a black girl. She wanted to be that role model for black girls in the region. 

While her videos have gotten a lot of positive feedback, racist comments continue to inundate her social media platforms. She remains undeterred though on her mission to educate and challenge perceptions. Her videos continue to gain traction. They have so far racked up over a million views on YouTube. 

An estimated 10 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population of 31 million are of African descent. While slavery was abolished in the country in 1962, intolerance towards people of color in Saudi Arabia, and across the Middle East, is nothing new.

Many Arabs still use the derogatory term “abed,” or slave, when referring to dark-skinned people. But Sinder insists that it’s ignorance rather than racism that pushes some to be intolerant.