Pop music queen Beyonce has been a spokesmodel for L’Oreal since 2001. But the ad has some members of the back community crying foul.
The black community’s color complex is deeply rooted. At times it seems the community “brown paper bag” tests itself and shows an unvarnished preference for lighter complected celebrities.
Advertisers and public relations people have apparently taken notice and once cocoa complected celebrities are being bleached, lightened, whitewashed, and faded from head to toe.
Beyonce’s L’Oreal Ad
On August 6, 2008, TMZ so graciously pointed out the released L’Oreal ad featuring a pale complected Beyonce Knowles.
“Unless she just got vitiligo – L’Oreal has some serious splaining to do about its bleached out Beyonce ad,” read the caption.
Bloggers and journalists began attacking both the company and the R&B superstar, suggesting the ad was disrespectful to the black community.
Although L’Oreal has skin whitening products promoted, they fired back, releasing a statement denying they Photoshopped the image:
We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles,” the statement read. “It is categorically untrue that L’Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles’ features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color.
Beyonce backed up the company’s story, insisting her skin color was not changed.
Although both parties denied the lightening of the superstar’s skin, a side by side comparison of Beyonce and the ad reveal a striking difference.
There are other factors to consider. Lighting and makeup can change a person’s complexion. But isn’t it the company’s responsibility to their consumers and clients to accurately depict their representatives. Nonetheless, Korean beauty trends are proudly demonstrating the effectiveness of their products, there needs to be truth in advertising. However, a Thai cosmetics company still launched this racist ad:
There are so many negative images of African Americans in the media. From self-imposed stereotypes (rappers singing of gun slinging and drug dealing) to the popular “welfare mother/deadbeat dad” myths, the last thing the community needs is a company changing the appearance of famous African American celebrities.
Most fans may not have noticed, but Beyonce didn’t need L’Oreal’s help to change her appearance. She began to switch things up before the release of her solo debut “Dangerously In Love.” Her skin began to take on a lighter bronze-like color, her curvy hips slimmed down, and she stopped wearing her natural dark brown hair color. She emerged as a blond haired, fair skinned R&B diva.
Was this an attempt at being “less black?” Or was this Bey’s attempt to step out on her own and claim her individual style?
No one will ever know for sure, as she has seemed to master the art of strategically answering questions so no interviewer will ever get a straight answer. But the question now becomes: If the blackest berry makes the sweetest juice, how does Beyonce’s taste?