Martina Big is a German glamour model who made headlines for her decision to change her skin tone. Due to extreme tanning and additional melanin boosting injections, she drastically altered her complexion.
In addition to this change, Martina has also undergone several cosmetic procedures, including an extreme breast augmentation which has increased her bra size from 32D to a size which, according to her is the equivalent of a cup size with 20 “Ds” behind her bust size.
Martina has continued her transition, claiming it is no longer simply as a result of her love for tanning. She now claims to identify with blackness and is on a mission to fully become a black woman.
On her Facebook page, she stated that she had changed her hair in order to mimic Afro-hair texture and colour, first dying it black from a natural brown colour and then adding curly extensions. In a comment posted on the social media site, Martina explained her continued transformation, claiming that her “ideals have changed” and distancing herself from the derogatory practice of blackface.
“Yes, that’s true. First I just wanted to be tanned. But then I noticed that not only my appearance, but also my feelings and beauty ideals have changed. I find black women so beautiful that I now want to become a black woman. Please do not confuse this with a “black face”. This is exactly the opposite! I do not want to offend black people! For me the transformation is very important. Because I follow my heart.“
Martina now claims to be “a black woman with heart and soul” and has even said that her new-found identity has improved her love for her job, as modelling has become more “exciting”.
“In the past, as a white woman, for me the photo shoots had become routine. Now as a black woman, the photo shootings have become so exciting. I often wonder about my self in the pictures. Being a black woman is so unpredictably great. I admired the beauty of the black women so much. That I now become more and more a black woman, this is for me the most beautiful gift in the world.”
“Please understand me. I’m not a white woman, with black skin and African hair. I’m a black woman with heart and soul. Getting more and more the body of a black woman is so a wonderful and liberating feeling for me. I don’t want to offend anyone! But I’m not only outwardly a black woman, I’m also with heart and soul a black woman, I swear that by God!”
In addition to fulfilling her desire to fully replicate the aesthetic of a black woman, Martina has also been ver vocal about her love for the Baywatch series, and her adulation of lead actress Pamela Anderson in particular.
To celebrate this, she posted some photographs of herself in a Baywatch-style swimsuit, channelling the Canadian actress and sex symbol. Martina had previously starred in a Baywatch-themed photo shoot before her change of complexion, and her latest pictures pose a considerable contrast to her paler days.
Martina’s choices are undoubtedly unconventional, and many have argued that she is entirely within her rights to define her own identity politics in the same manner transgender people claim their gender identities.
However, her continued physical changes have angered many black people who object to her treatment of blackness as a costume and many commenters have pointed out that simply darkening her skin cannot admit her to the historic, ethnic and cultural experience of being black.
Notwithstanding, her fans also showered her with praise and support and Martina herself did not seem swayed by the criticism. How far she will go with what increasingly resembles an escalating experiment in body modification remains to be seen.