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Did Beyoncé really decide to lighten her skin?

Her mother, Tina Knowles, has spoken out about the allegations of whitewashing

Did Beyoncé really decide to lighten her skin? Her mother, Tina Knowles, has spoken out about the allegations of whitewashing

Beyoncé is at the centre of attention. Not because of her talent, her beauty or because she has surprisingly released a new single called My House. After she made a splash at the premiere of her concert film Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé with a new look, the star was accused by some social users of wanting to lighten her skin and "look white". The singer's mother, Tina Knowles, responded to the sterile and unfounded insinuations in a lengthy internet post, in which she points out the ignorance of the haters and how closely it all relates to colourism and discrimination based solely on a person's skin colour, as well as Bey's unwavering commitment and pride in the BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) community.

But let's take a step back and understand what happened.


The "incriminated" look

On 25 November last year, Beyoncé appeared at the premiere of Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé in Los Angeles in a silver dress with a plunging neckline and bustier by Atelier Versace. She also wore tonne sur tonne gloves that picked up on the colour she had chosen as the theme for some of her tour dates. A whole team took care of her glamorous look. Together with stylist Shiona Turini, who also chose the platinum earrings from Tiffany & Co, Neal Farinah took care of the long, sleek platinum blonde hair and Rokael Lizama did the make-up and flawless complexion that has caused so much controversy. For the London portion of the film, Bey opted for a bejewelled bodysuit from Balmain's Pre-Fall 2023 collection, paired with black velvet opera gloves and, once again, off the algid blonde hair, but this time half blow-dried.

The reaction on social media

@styledbysaddes Beyonce looks white? Yes but they’re obviously reasons for that. This is just a picture chile #beyonce #renaissancefilm #beyonce #fyp #foryoupage #viral original sound - braydin

Beyoncé's style change pleased some, including designer Donatella Versace, who wrote: "Beyoncé, you are a vision in Versace. You are unique. One of one, the number one, the only one!" However, many others were confused or even disappointed, accusing the star of being too much like the Kardashians and wanting to look like a white woman. Online comments included numerous messages such as "Is that Beyoncé?", "Is that Kim Kardashian or am I seeing Beyoncé?", "I wouldn't have recognised her!" However, most focused on the fact that Bey's complexion looked much paler than usual, insinuating that she was whitewashing: "She looks so white"," "Why was Beyoncé Photoshopped to look like a white woman?", "Why isn't she our skin colour anymore?" and again "Why is she white?", "She's not a black woman"," "She hid her heritage"," someone wrote. Other fans even called on her to return to her original skin colour and wrote: "Beyoncé go back to black please"

Tina Knowles' reply

Bey did not comment on the accusations made against her, but Tina Knowles did in a long Instagram post. The caption is accompanied by a video in which the singer's mother compiles several images of her daughter to the notes of Brown Skin, a song from 2019 in which Queen B sings "Your skin is not only dark (Only) It shines and it tells your story" and proudly celebrates all shades of black skin. A way to highlight how Beyoncé herself has always defended her roots, her blackness and the BIPoC community. Mrs Knowles begins, "Came across this today and decided to post it after seeing all of the stupid ignorant self, hating racist statements about her, lightening her skin, and wearing platinum hair wanting to be white." ."She went on to explain that the new hair colour and make-up were a simple stylistic choice that reflected the aesthetics of the project she was presenting: "She does a film, called the renaissance, where the whole theme is silver with silver hair, a silver carpet, and suggested silver attire and you bozos decide that she's trying to be a white woman and is bleaching her skin?. How sad is it that some of her own people continue the stupid narrative with hate and jealousy."

Racism, hatred and a Eurocentric view "carry on this stupid narrative"

Concluding, she reiterated how colorism remains a big problem, perpetrated by racism and the result of ignorance and hatred: "[...]Lying and faking and acting like you're so ignorant that you don't understand That black women have worn platinum hair since the Etta James days. I just went and looked at all the beautiful talented black celebrities who have worn platinum hair and it has been just about everyone of them at one time or another. Are they all trying to be white? I am sick and tired of people attacking her. Every time she does something that she works her ass off for and is a statement of her work ethic , talent and resilience. Here you sad little haters come out the woodwork. Jealousy and racism , sexism , double standards , you perpetuate those things . Instead of celebrating a sister or just ignoring if you don't like her. , I am sick of you losers. I know that she is going to be pissed at me for doing this, but I am fed up ! This girl minds her own business. She helps people whenever she can. She lifts up & promotes black women and underdogs at all times."

Why do we always comment on a person's skin colour?

This is not the first time a black celebrity has been accused of whitewashing. It's happened to Bey herself when she appeared in a L'Oréal advert in 2018 with very light skin and blonde hair, as well as Nicki Minaj, Lil' Kim and Rihanna, who was speculated to have lightened her skin in the post-processing of a Vogue photoshoot. In response to the allegations, Lil' Kim had reiterated that "haters will always have something to say" That's true, but we wonder if one day we'll stop judging or commenting on someone based on the colour of their skin. Unfortunately, that day still seems a long way off.