Beyonce in Black Face: Is it Art or is it Offensive?

Last week, outraged news channels like Huffington Post and MSNBC posted images of Beyonce in black face for a French Magazine L’Officiel that sparked heated debates. According to the publication, the fashion shoot was to honor Nigerian musician and human rights activist Fela Kuti, however some critics are not buying it.

“The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season,” the magazine says in a statement. “As for the artistic make-up, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face. We find the images beautiful and inspiring.”

Where does the line cross between art and racism? Are we holding on to the past and not being apologetic to the original purpose of creation which is to create uninhibited self expression? Beyonce’s choice not to speak on the issue is commendable. When does one ever have to defend their freedom of expression? So what do you think about Beyonce’s new spread?

Love and Beauty,


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