Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
So I picked up on this image a few days ago and simply rolled my eyes. Why? Well, honestly I felt it was too obvious to rant about. However the ‘denial’ issued by L’Oreal was the straw that broke the camels back.
"We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles. It is categorically untrue that L’Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles’ features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair colour,” L'Oreal
L’Oreal, we don’t believe you.
Anyone with an iota of sense is fully aware that the image projected in any advertisement attempting to sell a cosmetic product- is a lie. A big fat lie. If your selling mascara, the lashes are fakes and in most hair ads the models are wearing hair extensions. Every single image is photoshopped to death. Unfortunately this time the ‘airbrush artist’ was clearly coked up to their eyeballs and made an otherwise absolutely flawless Beyonce look like the lovechild of Michael Jackson and Jennifer Aniston.
Let me tell you a story that never really got the publicity it deserved. In 2007 L’Oreal’s Garnier division was fined €30,000 (£20,300) after being found guilty of racial discrimination by deliberately specifying that they would NOT hire non-white women in a special shampoo promotion. (Damn those internal memos getting leaked). To put it bluntly, L’Oreal has a slight issue with embracing the concept of diversity.
Do I feel outraged when I see this image? To be honest no. Why? Because there are bigger things, like Darfur and sadly it doesn’t shock me.
The reality is any ethical/moral outrage is a tad bit late. For decades the mainstream media has subliminally pushed the suggestion that being ‘darker’ as a person of colour is somewhat inferior. Anyone who disagrees with me, you may stop reading now because you are a confirmed ignoramus. This isn’t some new phenomenon, so why am I going to pretend to be outraged?
In saying this, I’m not justifying L’Oreal’s deeds. I’m just saying it is merely a picture of an ugly reality.
Females of the world! Whatever race, shade or size you happen to be, embrace it! Don’t let twisted cosmetics giants dictate to you how you perceive yourself. Beauty flows from the inside out, love your core and don't allow their twisted ideals permeate your mind or soul.
To the powers-that-be at L’Oreal. Go jump off a building.
My message to Beyonce. Perhaps this is the time to speak up and raise awareness around an issue that many ignore and/or pretend doesn’t exist. Break the mould, be a voice.
My message to the feminists. This is precisely why I don’t like your lot and will never ever call myself a feminist. When a gender issue has a racial dimension, all of a sudden you are all strangely silent. Do the same as the twits at L’Oreal.