The parents in charge of a big family YouTube channel have angered viewers for making comments about their newborn daughter's eye and skin color within moments of her birth. It was all captured and shared in a vlog that's now become infamous.
Biannca and Damien Prince run the "Prince Family" channel, which has so far amassed more than 3.6 million subscribers. They are already parents to two young sons, and late last month, they welcomed their newest addition: a baby girl they named Nova Grace, who literally came out of the womb to a camera documenting her every move on YouTube.
In the birthing video — which runs over 37 minutes and has 14 ad placements — Biannca is heard making remarks about Nova Grace's facial features immediately following the birth.
"When do they get their eye color? Like, 6 to 12 months?" she says to the nurse in the room. "She's going to have brown eyes for sure. ... I thought you were going to have pretty eyes."
Damien then is heard promptly responding, "She do have pretty eyes."
"Do you think she'll be DJ's color or a little bit darker?" the mom also says of her newborn, comparing her to one of her son DJ's skin complexion.
"No, she's going to be darker," the dad responds.
"But she's beautiful," the nurse then interjects.
Over the last two weeks, fans began commenting on the YouTube vlog, asking the parents why they were so quickly fixated on their newborn daughter's skin and eye color upon her birth.
"Whats up with the focus on how dark she will become and the color eyes," one wrote. "Be thankful that the baby is healthy."
"Why bianca says 'She's not going to be Damien's colour' like it's a bad thing...shameful," added another.
Then on Friday, clips from the video traveled to other social platforms, where confusion grew into anger and grave concern over their remarks.
Alia Cureton of New York (@_karbashian) screen-recorded some of it to share on Twitter, where it's gone viral and viewed more than the original video.
She told BuzzFeed News when she heard Biannca say "I thought you were going to have pretty eyes," she was immediately alarmed.
"That’s basically saying her eyes aren’t pretty because they aren’t light," Cureton said. "They spoke about her color quite often — about how dark she was going to be. The eye color comment was disgusting. So was her reaction to the possibility of her baby being her dad’s color."
She noted that colorism is a problem in the black community because children are taught directly or indirectly that "lighter skin is better" and that "light eyes are pretty."
And to have witnessed parents impose that on a newborn, Cureton said, is harmful to an entire complex of issues and side effects of self-hate and colorism.
"There are people getting illegal surgery done on their eyes to achieve a lighter look," she said. "In the black community, the hate for certain skin colors runs deep. We’re told not to stay in the sun too long because we’ll get dark."
Many others online are voicing similar concerns for the child.
"Let’s just imagine for a second how such viewpoints in a family can damage a child’s self-esteem and self-image into adulthood as they don’t value themselves because they’re not lighter which becomes synonymous with prettier," one viewer wrote.
"But y’all say colorism is made up," another tweeted. "The baby ain’t been in the world for a full 24hrs and her parents her already colorist towards her. I’m disgusted. I feel so bad for the baby."
Others are criticizing the parents for recording and sharing the birth in the first place. The video has over 1.8 million views.
"YouTube families are weird Period.!" one person wrote.
Biannca has since disabled comments on all of her newer Instagram posts.
When reached, The Prince Family directed BuzzFeed News to a 12-ad monetized response video posted on Tuesday titled "NOVA HAS COLORIST PARENTS."
The parents seemed to be apologizing for the drama that was created — not for the accusations against them.
"Apparently, we were saying some 'colorist' things?" said Damien. "At the end of the day, don't judge a book by its cover."
"We want to give an apology to all our fans, all the real ... supporters. We want to give our apologies because there's a lot of disheartening stuff that's being said about us that's absolutely not true. We want to apologize to you guys for even having to deal with this."
Biannca, holding Nova Grace, then addressed the comments she made about her child's eye color.
"When I said 'I wish you had pretty eyes,' I didn't mean literally she doesn't have pretty eyes. When I said 'pretty eyes' I meant the term of 'green eyes' because, have you ever got a compliment about your eyes?" she then asks Damien.
"No," he responds.
"Brown eyes don't get complimented like green eyes or hazel eyes or blue eyes."
Cureton told BuzzFeed News she hopes the parents really hear the fair cries of concern and will be more discerning with how they influence their large fanbase.
"I hope they learn to disassociate from the 'pretty eye/perfect skin tone' mentality and more importantly, please be careful of what you post online," she said. "Younger children watch their channel and the comments they made can be harmful to other children’s self esteem."
This story has been updated to include a new, monetized response video from The Prince Family channel.