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!
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