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Beyoncé L'Oreal ad controversy inspires black community backlash

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:52 PM
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1 mom liked this

 

Beyoncé L'Oreal ad controversy inspires black community backlash

02/08/2012

Beyoncé L'Oreal ad controversy inspires black community backlash

Beyoncé Knowles is featured in a new L'Oreal commercial for a foundation system called True Match. In the advertisement, Knowles states, "There's a story behind my skin. It's a mosaic of all the faces before it. My only make-up? True Match."

Knowles' heritage is described in the ad as "African-American, Native American" and "French" as these words dissolve onto the screen, describing the "mosaic" that composes Beyoncé's skin tone. The selling point of the range is that its pigments provide coverage based on the unique undertones of one's dermis, which might logically necessitate a detailed description of the star's ancestry. Yet by contrast, Jennifer Lopez's True Match commercial describes the Latina talent as "100% Puerto Rican." Beyoncé's depiction as multiracial in this context has led to criticism.

Popular gossip bloggers have led discussions about the perception that Beyonce's True Match commercial intentionally attempts to highlight her non-black heritage in order to distance the star from African-Americans. After L'Oreal suffered from an international backlash for lightening Beyoncé's skin in a 2008 print campaign, underscoring her non-African background in this advertisement is seen as another disavowal of the singer's black roots.

Beyoncé and her skin hue have remained controversial since that 2008 debacle. At last year's Grammy Awards, star watchers noted that she appeared to be lighter than normal, prompting rumors that Beyoncé had bleached her skin. In addition, the promotional materials for her latest album, 4, depict the pop mogul in high-contrast shots that many believe make her look white.

Regarding these album covers, "some commentators have expressed fears that these images of the superstar singer -- who is famous for her honey-toned hair and complexion -- could have the effect of making darker-skinned black girls ashamed of how they look," according to British paper the Daily Mail. About the Beyoncé True Match L'Oreal ad, a commenter on the entertainment site Bossip.com stated: "The blackface, the skin lightening, [the] white washed L'Oreal ads... She doesn't consider herself part of the black community, the community who made a star."

Image activist Michaela angela Davis does not believe Beyoncé should be forced to trade her black identity in exchange for expressing every facet of herself. "What's so frustrating to me is that I feel like we have this inability to imagine ourselves as being complex and black," the former executive fashion and beauty editor of Essence magazine told theGrio. Davis sees black women as powerful for, "having complex stories, and complex complexions and still holding our blackness inside of that. One of the things that makes us so incredible is this amazing bouquet of colors." Yet, despite black women's beauty diversity, "our beauty has become our battle." Davis sees this as a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. The unprocessed collective pain from these destructive social experiences has been passed down through the generations. As a result, "there is so much pain living in our skin."

That is why "black women's skin and identity... triggers so many different feelings," according to Davis. "It's just such a tender place."

For many African-American women, personal experiences intensify this sensitivity. "We grow up with these messages that black equals bad. There's pain from your grandmother thinking your sister is cuter because she's lighter. There's pain from the boy letting you go," she said. "Sometimes we're just jealous. 'I want what that girl has, just because she has long hair and light skin."That's very real, basic and primal," Davis continued. "And then you are hating that girl, based on something she had nothing to do with. She didn't create her skin. So this triggers a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with Beyoncé."

Davis, who is also a former editor-in-chief of Honey magazine, is optimistic about the fiery discussions being sparked by Beyoncé's latest commercial for L'Oreal. "What's healthy about all this is that black women are talking about how we are portrayed. And they are talking about it in these very big, open ways. And I think for that, it's great."

She hopes that through communicating openly, current and future generations can let go of the suffering blacks carry regarding not feeling accepted based on skin tone. Ideally, acknowledging one's complex racial background will then no longer be equated with repudiating blackness."Brown flesh has been invalidated, but this generation can't stay there," Davis said. "They deserve to be free and happy, not like their mothers and their mother's mothers."

If there is fighting to be done, Davis calls on journalists and image makers to combat the racism perpetuated systematically in media and the beauty industry. Rather than attack Beyoncé's sense of racial identity, it is more important for black women to heal the sensitivity to skin color underlying this fracas.

Davis is dedicated to helping women lead this beauty evolution."It's so loaded, what's in our skin," Davis concluded. "I think women of all colors need to get together and talk about it. Beyoncé can't be held accountable for her skin. If that's going to be our battle ground, we're never going to win."

 

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by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:52 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Delila12
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:57 PM
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I don't think anything. Most blacks say they are 20 different nationalities. And why should L'Oreal get the backlash anyway. Beyonce was obviously okay with it. Her body, only she knows her identity.
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sexychica25
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:57 PM
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Oh good grief. That women is damned if she do, and damned if she don't. I like that fact she made mention to all of her heritage and not emphasize on what most see her as; a black pick a ninny who truly doesn't represent the l'oriel brand. Again Beyonce is a bad bitch.
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anabelle2301
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:07 PM

looks like she was just stating her heritage i really didnt think it was a big deal. Shes a buetiful girl its good to see many heritages mixed with african american make a talented woman

GoddessNDaRuff
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I didn't think anything of it. It's common knowledge that her mother's family is french and native or creole.

Princess223
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM


Quoting GoddessNDaRuff:

I didn't think anything of it. It's common knowledge that her mother's family is french and native or creole. Black


Beyonce and hu' Daddy, Matthew Knowles, that blonde hair is store bought.


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sierra_617
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Why should have to say she is just one thing. The one drop rule is to me old mentality. Why should I have to distance my heritage to make someone else feel better.The girl listed that she is african american....so what more do they want from her. I mean damn. Little girls shouldn't think their ugly because their mother and father should be telling them that they are pretty.

GoddessNDaRuff
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM


Quoting Princess223:


Quoting GoddessNDaRuff:

I didn't think anything of it. It's common knowledge that her mother's family is french and native or creole. Black


Beyonce and hu' Daddy, Matthew Knowles, that blonde hair is store bought.


LOL don't I know it. I remember when Destiny's Child came out. Her hair is brown.

Princess223
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM


Quoting sexychica25:

Oh good grief. That women is damned if she do, and damned if she don't. I like that fact she made mention to all of her heritage and not emphasize on what most see her as; a black pick a ninny who truly doesn't represent the l'oriel brand. Again Beyonce is a bad bitch.

Where's the white female statin' hu' heitage for TRUE MATCH? Jennifer Lopez's True Match commercial describes the Latina talent as "100% Puerto Rican."


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Princess223
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM


Quoting sierra_617:

Why should have to say she is just one thing.It's a script, it what L'Oreal is doin'. It ain't the BIG ass racism that ads do, the SMALL stuff' ain't suppose to is supposed to be missed. Have U seen a DARK SKINNED black female in L'Oreal's commericals? How many black females do U know beyonce's color? The one drop rule is to me old mentality. To U it may be, to U it whites DON'T stop. Why should I have to distance my heritage to make someone else feel better. Who asked U to? That makeup is suppose to be sayin' it's a match for black females, what does Black beyonce's heritage have to do with it? The girl listed that she is african american....so what more do they want from her. Nobody asked anythang of hu', she's followin' L'Oreal's script. I mean damn. Little girls shouldn't think their ugly because their mother and father should be telling them that they are pretty. They also WATCH tv. Shit been goin' on for a long time.

Fredericka Carolyn "Fredi" Washington (December 23, 1903 – June 28, 1994) was an accomplished dramatic film actress, most active in the 1920s- 1930s. Fredi was a self-proclaimed Black woman, who chose to be identified as such, and wished for others to do so as well. Because of her features, and because she didn't fit people's stereotypical views of what black is supposed to look like, she faced limited acting opportunities for being "too light or not black enough."


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.Peaches.
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Wait, so her acknowledging her other ethnicities is her somehow trying to distance herself from being black? I mean, does she not also state that she's black?

People say the same thing about me, because I'm French, American Indian, AA and Portuguese, in that order, yet somehow, I'm denying I'm black. Yeah that makes perfect sense *roll eyes*

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