08 August 2008

Beyonce, L'Oreal, and Photoshop

It is common knowledge that magazines air brush and photoshop some, if not all, of the pictures that make it into their magazines. However, the last few days has seen the issue explode into a bit of a race controversy as L'Oreal has been accused of photoshopping a picture of Beyonce Knowles (aka Mrs. Jay Z).

The ad in question was for a hair color product, Feria, and the ad appeared in the Elle, Allure, and Essence magazines. The allegation is that L'Oreal whitened (perhaps lightened the skin tone) the skin of Beyonce making her dark sultry skin tone a few shades lighter than it supposedly really is.

I have never seen Beyonce in person and therefore could not really say. I only ever see her in magazines and on the tv. But Beyonce has been a spokesperson for L'Oreal since 2001 and since this little controversy broke has been adamant about not making any statements beyond that issued by L'Oreal.

The entertainment website TMZ was first to air concerns about whether or not L'Oreal photoshopped the Beyonce add and ran a side by side comparison of a couple of pictures (above).

I wonder would there be the same degree of controversy over a picture of a white person that had the skin tone darkened a shade or two with a view to selling a tanning product?


Anonymous said...

It's strange that L'oreal use Beyonce as their campaign and then paint her white. I thought they use her because of her exotic look? Why don't they just use a fair-skinned model then?

Rob Baiton said...

Writer One...

This I think is the question being asked, "If you wanted a white girl, then why not enter into an agreement with a white girl rather than enter into an agreement with a dark-skinned girl and then whiten her up with the use of photoshop?"

It is all a little bizarre for me. I had never thought of photoshopping myself. This is probably because I cannot use the software (gaptek).

However, some of the recent job adverts I have seen have asked for a photo as well, so maybe I will have to learn how to touch myself up (in the photographical sense).

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