The photoshoot is gorgeous. Gorgeous colours, gorgeous lighting, gorgeous and inventive haute couture clothes. Everything’s chill… until… you hit the 2mins13sec mark. Then shit gets weird and I go ballistic.
Yet, no one here (France) seems to think this is odd. Not just that they only painted her face this one shade of brown to symbolize the infinite diversity of Africa. Not that it is ignorant to stake a claim on what is African and what is not African - especially if you’re coming from the mentality of a former colonial empire like France. A minstrel show is a minstrel show as I see it: doesn’t matter who’s under the paint. A lot of the commentary The first thing that struck me as an odd choice of words in this other shorter video here was in the narration:
“…Beyoncé a voulu puisé dans ses racines africaines, ambiances sensuelles, look de princesse d’ébène, maquillage dément…”
“…Beyoncé wanted to look towards her African roots, sensuous moods, the look of an ebony princess, mad makeup…”
It’s awesome when narrators incriminate themselves with their own concise and careful chosen words. “African roots” apposed to “Sensuous moods”, followed by “Ebony princess” apposed to “Mad makeup”. You’d think they were vouching for a whole new Venus Hottentot, exhibited as an animalistic African princess with wealthy physical sexual attributes.
And what is she wearing? Leopard print! An African dress - but they apparently couldn’t find an African designer. What? No Ozwald Boateng, born in Ghana, artistic director for Givenchy? That’s just one… but there are others… Instead she opted to wear a leopard print design furnished by her mother.
Leopard print = Africa in 2011? Way to go Beyoncé…
Of course, they didn’t put that picture on the cover, the cover looks like standard Beyoncé fair:
Others bring up good counter points though, like Kristin Wong from Hollyscoop:
But the thing is, if Beyonce would’ve taken the photos without the makeup, everyone would be complaining that her face was too white. Either way, she was screwed.
Perhaps she would have been screwed. But it would have done way less damage. Either way, people are talking about her and about this stupid ass magazine and I guess in the world of press, all press is good press. So yay, the evil side won.
Beyonce Voluntarily Darkened for Fashion Shoot (Jezebel)
Beyonce Causes Controversy With Dark Face (Hollyscoop)
Ainsi va le monde (8) Beyonce plus noire que jamais! (Black Bazar: Le Blog d’Alain Mabanckou)