Beyonce darkens her face as a tribute to Fela Kuti

Yeah, I have no idea what is goin on either…

L’Officiel Mag thought it wud be cool to get Bee and paint her face dark brown so she “gets back to her roots” in order to honor Nigerian artist and human rights activist Fela Kuti who passed in 1997. All they get from me is a wtf?

One: How does this honor the dude again? Is his family sitting at home goin “Wow, what an honor!! Beyonce with a dark face!” I don’t see the purpose.

Two: They know how black people get about skin tone, and if they don’t they’re about to find out. They are just begging for backlash on this one and Bey should know better. Anything that reminds us of the Blackface era is not taken lightly.

If the paint on her face resembled African tribal tattoos or face paint then it would not have been a problem.

A lady from Niger in West Africa with Tribal tattoos
A woman from Ivory Coast wearing face paint.

However I don’t know what is on Bey’s face.

Three: What does this mean? Why couldn’t they get a model or musician who was dark to begin with? Why get someone who’s light then make her dark? Or would the tribute have not been complete if Bey didn’t do it? Is the idea that Bey as famous and light skinned as she is, she’s willing to go dark for Fela? Me is confused. Apparently Jay-Z is one of the producers of a musical being released to celebrate Fela’s life called “Fela!”. So maybe that’s the relevance *shrugs*.

I like to think I’m a forward thinking individual and I’m trying to see this spread as just an expression of a make-up artist and designer and a celebration of some of the fashion elements that are defined as African (head dresses, accessories made of bones, feathers etc) but for the life of me the dark face makes no sense to me. I want to hear her justification for this, however until then, my opinion is best expressed by the first lady of the United States


The rest of the spread is cute tho.

Tell me what you think; is it racist, artsy or are you indifferent?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Marci says:

    I find it many things. A tribute is not one of them. It looks quite odd to have a dark face but the remainder of the body is without the darkened coloring. Honestly, if Fela Kuti weren’t mentioned i’d have no idea the darkening of her face and neck were meant as a tribute to him.

    This missed the proverbial mark. It’s not even a valiant effort. However, with the talk and press that will come from peoples confusion and outrage, i’m sure the magazine will be pleased with the publicity.

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