Pledge not to lighten people of color!
  • Petitioned People Magazine

This petition was delivered to:

People Magazine

Pledge not to lighten people of color!

    1. Marcia Rankine
    2. Petition by

      Marcia Rankine

      New York, NY

In its latest issue, People magazine promises to show us Beyoncé “like never before”, and the magazine has succeeded by lightening Ms. Knowles’ skin beyond recognition. Since this is the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world issue and Beyoncé is only the second African-American woman to grace the cover, the reader must infer that in order to be beautiful or at least have one’s beauty displayed on the cover, Whiteness or the approximation thereof is preferred. This is a dangerous and insidious message to send to young women of color. Beauty obviously comes in all shapes and shades; there is no one default setting to which we all must defer. I’m calling on People magazine to apologize to Beyoncé Knowles and to the public for using Photoshop to send such an obviously racist message. Please join me in saying, “Shame on you, People magazine!” We deserve better!


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • over 2 years ago

      This is not the first time that not only has a person of colour had their skin lightened, but L’oréal "whitewashed" Beyonce's skin tone in 2009. journalist Julianne Hing points out:

      "It’s a common, tired practice, and the routine is well-practiced: beauty companies and fashion magazines regularly lighten women’s skin (and darken the faces of black men), pissed off consumers shout back, and sometimes an apology is issued. But come the next fall collection or election season, photo retouchers are inevitably back to trying to make women of color more attractive by lightening them, and darkening the skin of men of color to make them seem more dangerous and suspect. Color, still, is everything."


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.