When I originally saw L’Oreal’s advertisement I was outraged but not surprised. I have seen many ads featuring Black women that had their pigment photo-shopped away but, not someone as light-skinned as Beyonce. In the aforementioned ad she was morphed in to a Caucasian woman. I wonder if she finds this depiction of herself with a thinner nose and lighter skin acceptable.
The media reinforces the belief that only light skinned Black women are beautiful. The most successful Black women in media and entertainment are biracial or light skinned African American. Beyonce, Lena Horne, and Halle Berry are considered to be sex symbols because of their “beauty”; they all have very light skin and Caucasian features. Advertisements catered to Blacks usually have very light-skinned Women of Color; however, L'Oreal took things to a whole new level.
Many Black women believe the social and cultural definition of beauty and go to great lengths to become “beautiful” by lightening their skin, wearing light foundation makeup, and sometimes resorting to plastic surgery. The beauty industry continues to market products to Black women that are designed to lighten dark skin.
Sadly the desires to be light does not only affect American Black women. In some parts of Africa women use dangerous bleaching creams to make them more “attractive”. The bleaching creams are usually mercury, hydroquinone, or steroid based and can cause severe permanent skin damage such as turning the skin black, thinning of the skin, and blotches that causes a snake like appearance. Skin bleaching can also cause skin cancer, brain and kidney damage, and sometimes death. The very poor to the affluent believe that they will be ostracized if they do not lighten their skin.
Some believe that African women are resorting to such dangerous measures to lighten their skin because of the images of light skinned African American women in American entertainment and print. Black women across the globe are plagued with feelings of inferiority and low self worth because of their skin tone.
like L'Oreal's continue to reinforce the message to Women of Color that
they must have Anglo features to be beautiful.
WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!