(Cross-posted at Charcoal Ink)
I was magazining it in Borders last week. And for this painful reason, I can’t get this advert out of my head. I was reading Black Beauty & Hair magazine. It’s a beauty mag for Black British women with tips on beauty etc. It has stacks of photos on tips for hairstyles. I was hoping to find some ideas for Natural hair. Needless to say, I didn’t find many. Anyroad, flicking through the mag, I saw an advert that was advertising Lightenex Plus:
I was shocked. What was even more disturbing about the advert was that it had a light skinned black woman with blue eyes and above her a caption read: “For Darker Skin Tones”
I was shocked and very distressed to be honest to see this advertisement in a magazine for black beauty!! Good Grief. What the fuck is going on here? My problem is not the fact that they used a light skinned model with blue eyes. Black women are Black women as far as I am concerned.
My problem was the caption and the product they were advertising. It is wrong to promote skin lighteners to black people in any shape or form but in a magazine for BLACK BEAUTY? It must be said, I was really disappointed. I’m studying journalism; on my internship in December, I saw how fucking hard advertising sales people work but there has to be a sense of integrity.
For this reason, I cannot support this magazine any furter. I just cannot.
Promote white skin/light skin is wrong. We are all black and beautiful. It’s not about erasing one’s dark skin; it’s about celebrating the parts of you that are African and beautiful.
Any black person who doesn’t see that is exactly what Frantz Fanon said in Peau Noire, Masques Blancs: a négrophobe. As Fanon wrote:
Nous l’avons dit, il existe des négrophobes
For the beauty advert industry to have negrophobia is expected. For black people to condone this behaviour in their publications is wrong.
No wonder the magazine industry is dead.