Saturday, August 9, 2008


Now I love me some Bey, but baby girl, what in the hell is going on? Beyonce Knowles has a new campaign with L'OREAL Feria hair color and it seems as though they found a blonde, Swedish woman named Inga to fill in as a body double for Baby Bey. Now I love creative expression and artistic freedom as much as the next fashion designer living in NYC, but, come on now! If that photo were any lighter, you would only be able to see Bey's corneas.

Now this is the thing, we do not know if Bey and Mama T have photo approval as a clause in their contracts. This may ALL be the fault of L'OREAL. Bey never struck me as a person that hates her blackness - just as a girl who likes blonde hair. Does the love of blonde hair, light, skin, straight noses and light eyes speak to a deeper issue? I actually believe it may. It still amazes me that Americans are still stuck on this damn color issue. Blacks and whites in America can still have the field/house slave mentality when it comes to color. Amazingly enough, blacks all over the world experience this phenomenon - the lighter you are, the more beautiful you are, the less threatening you are, the smarter you are - the closer you are to being white. Many have embraced this as their own ethos. Sad.

Many blacks in Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean have ingrained, deep-seated issues with self hatred fostered by our collective and individual histories and by images of beauty in the media. I think it speaks volumes that far too many blacks (of myriad backgrounds) question the beauty of an Alek Wek or an India Arie, when the beauty of their lighter peers is instantly absorbed into the collective conscious. Now don't get me wrong - this is NOT hateration for my lighter sister and brothers. I think my life is actually enriched by acknowledging the beauty in ALL people, no matter if they are white, tar black, high yella, short, fat, skinny, bald, unbeweavable or have polka dot skin and striped hair. I do not want to cut myself off from any of God's beautiful handiwork. The real kiki of it all is that beauty truly does come from within - the outside, including our skin and hair, is all drag.

I love Bey in all of her blonde fierceness - I just hope that her Blonde Ambition isn't sending the wrong message to all the little Lakeishas and NayNays out there. I hope that these little girls (and boys too) - no matter how dark, nappy headed, broad nosed, big bootied or thick lipped they may be - will see the absolute perfection in their beauty. I hope they realize that GOD made them exactly how they are and that He only makes masterpieces. Their true beauty lies in their hearts, minds and spirits. When we can truly embrace that, we won't see our fellow man as ugly or as less-than.

A couple of years ago, Kiri Davis, a young black NYC high school student, created a film that documents the horrible stereotyping that we as blacks do to ourselves and that this form of self hatred starts with our small children. Please watch:

Now my take on it is that L'OREAL isn't thinking about the Coretta-Scott-King-ness-of-it-all, they are thinking solely about the coins. Corporate America and the American media could care less that a seed of self hate may be planted in a little colored girl in the projects in Fort Green, Brooklyn because all she sees is 'the other', never herself. In fact, it is that seed of self hate that will grow into a raging monster that cannot buy enough weave, perm, Ambi and hazel contacts that will keep these guys rich and keep her poor in the richness of her true self.

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