Just three years ago, Martina Big was a white, blonde, want-to-be model from Germany. But as Big told British TV show This Morning earlier this week, although she liked her “natural blonde beauty,” she also admired the look of black women enough that she wanted to be one herself.
Two years ago, Big started taking injections of a synthetic hormone called Melanotan. The hormone works by increasing the levels of melanin, a natural dark pigment in the skin according to Cancer Research UK. Melanotan is currently illegal in the United Kingdom, and unapproved by the FDA in the United States, as it has “not been tested for safety, quality or effectiveness.” Despite the ban, many can still access the injections.
Big claims that she received three injections of the drug, which she says changed her skin color, but she also claims it changed her eye color and made her hair grow in curlier and darker. Big also underwent several surgeries, including one to make her lips fuller.
Big later visited Kenya, where she was baptized with the name Malaika Kubwa, Swahili for “Big Angel,” which she says confirmed her transformation into “a real African woman.”
During this time, Big married a man named Michael who wanted to go through the same process she did. Martina told This Morning that they both followed the same regime, but that she became much darker than he did.
While all of this seems like a lot to take in, that isn’t even the craziest part of the interview. Martina told This Morning that a doctor had told her that if the two of them have a child, the child will also have dark skin. Hosts Holly Willoughby and John Barrowman quickly asked how that would be genetically possible when both off them were born white.
Big replied, “It’s a mix of Michael and me. I’m pretty sure it will be black or milk chocolate or a little bit light, it doesn’t matter.”
Unsurprisingly, social media users were just as confused by the statement.
Others were angry over the couple’s choice of clothes.
Big isn’t the only person who identifies as a different race. Rachel Dolezal ignited a firestorm in 2015 when it was revealed that she was white, and had been passing herself off as African American for years. Dolezal had even been the leader of the Spokane National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Dolezal boasted a graduate degree from Howard University, a historically black university, but was eventually “outed” as white by her estranged family. Following the revelation, she resigned from the NAACP.