Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Beyonce "Blackface" Controversy

Beyonce was recently in the March edition of the French L’Officiel Magazine. She has been stirring up some controversy with the “Blackface” photo shoot she did in paying homage to African Queens. In honor of the magazines 90th anniversary, and in tribute to Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, the singer, 29, appears in "blackface" makeup and tribal makeup and costume designed by her mom, Tina Knowles. Her fans have recently found it quite offensive based on the term “blackface” and the way it referred to actors with black paint on their face. It was a method used to show actors as black people, although black people were not allowed to be in films.

Blackface was a way for “white” people to play as black people in films as they thought black people acted. It was a discriminatory, subliminally making fun of black people and portraying their skin as extremely dark. The real reason why people felt that Beyonce was being offensive is that at the end of the day she can take the paint off her face, but what are women who are this skin tone everyday supposed to do? How are they going to take their color off and assimilate to the world’s view of beauty? The controversy arouse because if she wanted to pay homage, she could have just done the shoot, why was it necessary to paint on a face?

Is Beyonce wrong for what she has done? Are her fans wrong for taking the shoot the wrong way? Why is her homage for these beautiful African queens, one of actual disrespect? In trying to respect her African queens she thought being black was beautiful, but when you paint your face darker in order to look more 'African,' aren't you reducing an entire continent, full of different nations, tribes, cultures and histories, into one brown color? These are the questions we must ask ourselves before we make our opinion of this so called disrespectful act. I am well aware of what the "blackface" term symbolizes as well how it was used against colored people, but does that mean Beyonce was trying to use it in the same way against her fans. It is no point in going on pointing fingers or saying that it’s wrong or right, but in honor of her intentions it may very well be she did not intend on being offensive to her fans, but that depends on how this article makes you feel.

1 comment:

  1. I think she looks beautiful regardless her skin colour. I think that was her intentions. And in the article did they use the term "Blackface"? I don't know why people are offended by the fact she can take her makeup off, it is not like she was saying that having a darker skin colour is ugly. She made it beautiful and if anything people should be honoured that she thinks its a beautiful thing and dedicated a whole spread looking this way.