Sunday, September 24, 2023

Beyonce and The Limits of Beauty.

April 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

( At 30-years-old, 15 years in the music industry, 16 Grammys and countless awards, accolades and starring roles in films later, Beyonce Knowles Carter is finally named “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine. 

When I first learned of the title gifted to Beyonce I was nonplussed. It made sense. Kind of like when Halle Berry or Angelina Jolie is named “World’s Most Beautiful Woman.” I said a small congratulations in my head and continued about my work day. 

But no sooner than I was over King B’s new title did the blogosphere erupt with comments and criticisms. Peculiarly, it wasn’t over the fact Beyonce was named “World’s Most Beautiful Woman.” It was over nothing else than skin color. 

When Beyonce covers a magazine the substance of the interview does not matter as much as the high definition of the pictures. Pictures so clear and  glossy you can count the pixels and decide what was used to make up the light tone of this Black woman. I understand the scrutiny. The L’OREAL Feria ad from a few years ago set this skin color, tragic mulatto, “she must hate herself” dialogue in motion. But no matter the public outrage from the Black community, and Black women especially, one thing has remained through it all, Beyonce is still a Black woman. 

It matters not if Beyonce’s race and ethnicity were as ambiguous as Mariah Carey’s or as evident as Alex Wek; Beyonce is a part of the African Diaspora and that’s all that matters. The fact she’s celebrated as a world beauty is something all women of color should be proud of, not something we should dissect because a magazine that caters to the fair-skinned other tried to make their cover girl more appealing to their base demographic. 

People is trying to sell magazines. Putting Beyonce on the cover sells magazines. I’m sure if Beyonce looks more like Lily than LaKeisha that will sell more magazines too. 

I’m tired of Black women judging each other and tearing each other down for that which may or may not be in our control. I highly doubt Beyonce, as powerful as she is in the entertainment industry, gets final say on what her image looks like on the cover of a magazine she is not the CEO or Editor-in-Chief of. I know she’s a King and all but even a King has limitations. 

The point is, “The World’s Most Beautiful,” Beyonce is being celebrated by the world. Her beauty is as undeniable as her talent. Who cares if People rather see her a shade beneath cafe au lait than as the torched top of creme brulee. 

Having seen Beyonce up close and personal on a recent trip to New York I can attest she is not that light. But she’s not that dark either. She’s still a Black woman. No matter where Mrs. Knowles Carter falls on the color spectrum she is still a Black woman to be claimed. A Black woman who feels beautiful in her own skin, “more beautiful than [she’s] ever felt, because [she’s] given birth.” Beyonce is a beautiful Black woman who is “confident” and has “embraced [her] flaws.” A woman who like any woman wishes she could change one thing about herself. 

Of all the things on Beyonce I doubt the thing she wishes to change is her outer epidermis appearance. I don’t think she craves less melanin for a lighter pigmentation. Granted I do not know her and I could very well be wrong, but just like Michael Jackson at the end of the day knew he was and would always be a Black man — no matter how altered his appearance (physically or technologically) — I believe in my heart of hearts Beyonce will always embrace the Black woman inside herself despite other people’s hang ups. 

As a community we should be proud one of our own is recognized even if for many, the majority, her beauty, Beyonce’s beauty, is limited by what she is. 

Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper

To connect with this sister feel free to visit; Change Comes Slow.


7 Responses to “Beyonce and The Limits of Beauty.”
  1. liz says:

    What a joke of a post. I don’t care about Beyoncé. She can do whatever she wants, but it’s obvious she’s trying to be white. To say she has no say over her image is naïve in the extreme. She clearly choses and enjoys the blonde look. Nobody is forcing her. And for the record African American women are not obligated to support any black celebrity. We have a right to embrace or criticize what we see in the media. The fact that many black women and black people take offense to Beyoncé’s obvious white-washing is a reassuring sign that African Americans aren’t oblivious to the obvious. We have enough racial pride to know what real black beauty is. A confident black woman is “real” period. Beyoncé is anything but.

  2. Tony Jose Morales says:

    I miss Bey and Jay-Z. driving through my hood. Playing in my hood. Happy in my hood. Will they ever come to again ? -Tony

  3. Eleanie says:

    I believe in my heart of hearts Beyonce will always embrace the Black woman inside herself despite other people’s hang ups. Despite other people’s hangups. So do I my sista.

    I sit and wonder why some of my sistas hate on each other so much. Is it because of the lack of love some of us have towards ourselves?

    It kinda reminds me of girls in high school that say “she think she cute”. See how ridiculous that sounds. Yet we have some grown sistas with the same mentality.

  4. Starr says:

    Very well written article. Thank you

  5. fatu sankoh says:

    thank you Nikessha Leeper for this article you make my day

  6. fatu sankoh says:

    thank you i like your article beyonce is the most beautiful talented humble smart every thing good is bey we should be proud and happy for some one like her i am so happy for her as a mother i like for other people to do well bey their is norting to hate about you you are the reasion i buy magazine thank you for all you you are the one and only may god continue to bless protect you jay blue ivy c and your family for life long happy life ever lasting long happy married more success in all your business proud and lucky to be your fan for life


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] Brand New on Thy Black Beyonce and the Limits of Beauty. […]

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!