I am not sure why, but there seems to be a resurgence of focus on skin color; or maybe (and more probably) the obsession was always there, but more people are expressing themselves on the topic, for better or worse. Or maybe the fascination only applies to public figures. First there was Michael Jackson; then there was Beyonce; recently, there was a viral buzz (including on our own Repeating Islands blog) about Vybz Kartel apparently lightened skin [see previous post Jamaican Dancehall Star Vybz Kartel Bleached Skin?]; now, we are back to Beyonce.
El Nuevo Día reports, “It appears that the singer Beyonce is following in the footsteps of her late colleague Michael Jackson and is undergoing treatment to clarify her skin and that “in recent years Beyonce’s skintone miraculously appears to be changing from dark to rosy.” It goes on to underline that the African-American singer “was recently caught [on camera] sporting a much lighter complexion than usual; the difference is remarkable.”
The article quotes English newspaper Daily Mail’s criticism that her decision to change her skin tone was intended to deny her origin, in addition to being a sample of racism. The Daily Mail article’s title is “My fair lady! Blonde bombshell Beyonce shows off her lighter side.” Meanwhile, Hiphop.popcrunch exclaims, “Hell, she’s practically Pamela Anderson now!”
Readers of the Daily Mail point to her Creole background, the quirks of light in photos, or the possibility of the photos being altered, raising older controversies about whether L’Oreal and Vanity Fair “whitewashed” photos of Beyonce.
For full articles, see (in Spanish) http://www.elnuevodia.com/masclaralapieldebeyonce-894710.html and (in English) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1357759/Beyonce-shows-lighter-side.html and http://hiphop.popcrunch.com/beyonce-skin-bleaching-suspicions-resurface-as-singer-emerges-with-lighter-tone-in-hollywood/ [and for the older scandal, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2008/08/black-women-and.html]