Just three years ago, Martina Big was a white, blonde, wannabe 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 increases one’s 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. 

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