L’Oreal and Skin Whitening

18May09

So, remember when L’oreal whitened Beyonce skin in their advertisement and also altered many of her features to make her look more European.  Well, funny story…

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They did it again to Freida Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire.

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It’s like so obviously racist I can’t even comprehend.  Advertising agencies are clearly saying that these BEAUTIFUL women need to be altered in some way to fit white beauty standards.

So frustrating.

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6 Responses to “L’Oreal and Skin Whitening”

  1. 1 kate

    lame 😦

  2. 2 ceby

    While I admit that I find this disgusting and find both women beutiful on their own. I also saw this on the blog feministing and they contacted L’Oreal and L’Oreal said that it was a picture given to them by Frieda Pinto’s agency.

    • 3 cmarque1

      i didn’t know that. it’s sad though that Pinto’s agency felt the need to do it then. thanks for brining that to my attention!

  3. 4 cgreen1

    From what I understand, in many cultures having pale skin is more desirable than having darker skin. This was true even before there was a significant influence from exposure to Caucasians. I know it was true in China, and I believe it was also true in Africa.

    Many times this preference for pale skins reflects the distinction between poor manual laborers who must work outside and so get tanned (e.g. farmers, or today’s construction workers, landscapers, etc.) with those who work inside and so are pale. (consider also the romantic period in Europe, where even among white people, being whiter was desirable, especially for women, as it indicated a level of wealth most people could not attain).

    Of course, a bias for whiteness because it shows class or wealth difference is not really good either. It points out, however, the preference for paler skin seems to exist independently within races in addition to across races, thus the problem may be more complex than simple racism. Unfortunately, that also means it is harder to resolve.

    • 5 cmarque1

      i agree that colorism exists in many communities of color in the united states. but they are far from independent of white communities. colorism, or a desire and valuing of lighter skinned people, exists (in my opinion) because of white supremacy. communities of color have internalized racism placed upon them by white communities and as a result sometimes we end up valuing white beauty standards. in my opinion, i would place the blame for that on the white community. and china and africa (i wonder if you meant a specific country not the whole continent?) are far from outside of the white gaze given the LONG history of colonization and oppression.

  4. 6 ogal

    That Freida Pinto’s picture isn’t from L’oreal , it’s old and from her own portfolio.


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