Well, I guess this is a sort of improvement in that it's not Lara Stone painted black to celebrate Fela Kuti. It's just Beyonce ... in blackface to celebrate Afrobeat pioneer and activist Fela Kuti. So, should I only be particially offended? Because, ahem, it's still offensive. In the sense that this "tribute" ignores the fact that there are African fashion models and goes into some weird territory where a lighter complexioned black woman is just a slightly more tan stand-in for the white woman they'd normally have here doing the banana dance.
Entries in blackface (3)
HIGH FASHION BLACKFACE STRIKES AGAIN! This time it's with a white model who's skin is subtly bronzed, wearing an afro, frolicking in the fields with a black baby. Really? Really ... And this is the most earnest shoot to date. Not just meant to provoke or shock. The model wasn't painted blue black for startling affect. She just looks regular to the point she's near passing in some shots. Which is really what's most appalling about the shoot -- the pure ordinariness of it. So ordinary that you wonder "Why not just get a black model?" It's not like these women who happen to be brown and black who model don't exist. How hard would it have been to get a black woman for these shots? The fashion industry's tone deafness when it comes to race continues to annoy and bug. (Via Jezebel, h/t reader Kim)
Some things have to be seen to be believed, like five dorks in blackface (and one in "whiteface") doing a "tribute" to the Jackson 5 as the Jackson Jive. I suppose you could attempt the "maybe Aussies don't know blackface is offensive in 2009" excuse. That might work, you know? If they didn't already have their own indigenous group of brown people who've suffered endless humiliations at the hands of the majority population. If anything it shows how just because you have your own racial issues doesn't make you all that sensitive to the issues of others. Fortunately Harry Connick Jr., lovable New Orleans jazz man, was there to remind folks that blackface just is not funny. Mostly by mentioning that no one would pull that shit in the states for fear of a severe case of beatdown. Unless it's Halloween and you're a drunk frat boy dressed up as a "rapper." But then, if you're doing that it's probably not on television and within the relative safety of your Phi Kappa House.