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Did Loreal whitewash Beyonce?



BeyonceblackandwhiteI found myself yesterday opining on something I'm not usually asked to comment on: cosmetics.

But in this case, it was a friend at the New York Post asking about an ad in the latest Elle magazine showing pop star Beyonce with a skin tone which appears to be several shades lighter than her actual skin color.

This is a serious issue for black folks, who have struggled even within the black community to deal with the idea that people with lighter skin tones are more attractive. It's tough to tell whether this effect was intentional -- the whole page seems to have the same glossed over light tone -- and the cosmetics giant has denied any overt effort to lighten her skin color.

But its easy to overlook the implications of a color change, particularly if you don't know the history of racial issues in America. And the French cosmetics giant may have learned a serious lesson about how far it can tweak the image of a powerful symbol of black pop culture without blowback.

Check out the comparisons and decide for yourself. In both examples, the Loreal ad is at right:


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:50pm]


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