Ugh. This issue again. Beyonce is the March cover girl for L’Officiel Magazine (it’s French). Although Beyonce has her natural (light) skin color for the cover, L’Officiel just released a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot, and for some of the photos, Beyonce was “blackface”. See:
Look, just let me get my junk out of the way first: I’m not black, I’m a mixed race Asian/white. I don’t have a vested interest in yelling about or shrugging at this current fashion/styling choice to “darken” models skin into de facto “blackface”. All I know is that this styling is just… dumb. It’s an idiotic styling “trend”. It would be like stylists putting their heads together and deciding that in Fall 2011, the new “trend” is “slave chic” or “battered women as high art”. I just don’t get why blackface is suddenly the big styling choice. In the press release from the magazine, they even make a big deal about Beyonce’s skin being “voluntarily darkened”:
Far from the glamorous Sasha Fierce, the beauty posed for the magazine with amazing fashion designers clothes, but also in a dress created by her mother. [It is] A return to her African roots, as you can see on the picture, on which her face was voluntarily darkened.
[From L’Officiel via NY Magazine]
Like Beyonce would be photographed with her skin involuntarily darkened? I guess this could be construed as Beyonce’s answer to the constant criticism her magazine and advertising photo shoots get – that the pros always Photoshop her skin to be much lighter than her already light, natural skin color. Beyonce can now say “Hey, I did one photo shoot where I VOLUNTARILY made my skin darker. Ya dig?”
And I still don’t really get it. Jezebel has a better analysis of this mess here.