The L’Oreal Beyonce “paleface” ad, while getting a lot of attention on the Web, had a lot of Snob readers (among others) pointing out that Beyonce and her peeps had to be complicit in this act of stupidity. Being ever the nosy person I am, my curiosity was piqued at the implied depth of Bey’s “Creole fever.” After hearing from a commenter on Facebook that Beyonce actually looked close to this pale in a recent public appearance I fired up my WireImage account to see what she looked like in the most recent public shindig they shot of her on file.
I found these pics from May 6th at the 40/40 Club in NYC.
I want to talk about how horrid that outfit is with the shiny thick dance competition tights and black leather gloves and those disastrous shoes, but that’s not what this entry is about. It’s about the skin tone which is … dramatically lighter.
Once again, with the blonde hair she’s almost unrecognizable, although she is still not as light as the L’Oreal ad. Still, realistically she could have done some extra “brightening” between May and when that photo was taken. Heck, some lighting changes at the shoot could create the full-on “Casper” look.
Once again, not surprised, but it’s disappointing when light brown celebrities become ever-more-lighter-brown celebrities. Mostly because a nose job is a dime-a-dozen and the Britney-Lindsay-Paris-Jessica Simpson celebrity industrial complex lives for orange fake bake and three-square-meals of cigarettes n’ Starbucks per day, but outside of the Howard Hughes tragedy that is Michael Jackson, I don’t know a lot of black celebrities who’ve done something this dramatic to their skin tone. (Wait … just remembered Wendy Williams and Lil Kim, but Beyonce actually has a discernible talent so it seems unfair to lump her in with the Wicked Witches of the East Coast.) Perhaps they start using sunblock or carrying an umbrella everywhere, but there is only so much sunblock and umbrellas can do to fight the natural browning of your blackness.
This is a little silly, isn’t it? Especially when you’re a celeb as ubiquitous as she is, who everyone has seen ad nauseum and is expected to look familiar, not sickly pale, like your liver is failing. Pre-lightening she was already successful and accepted. This wasn’t a Lisa Kudrow “needed nose job to get foot in door” situation. But Jackson, who was a millionaire by the time he was ten, was successful and accepted yet he looks like the world’s least attractive, nose-less Johnny Depp impersonator.
Once you start freaking people out it’s a sign that you’re hitting the point-of-no-return, where folks begin to wonder if this is a black celebrity version of anorexia, but for skin tone. That you’ve become all “vitiligo” translucent not for success, but because you have serious mental problems. The kind where you think if you just become three shades paler all those Jay-Z/Rihanna rumors will go away. Where pigmentation equals improved acting quality. Where whiteness will make that tacky outfit she has on look better.
Nope. Still tacky.