The darker side of beauty

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It’s disappointing – though sadly not at all shocking – to see today’s publicity shots of singer Rebecca Ferguson all over the morning papers.

The beautiful mixed race singer looks deceptively white in a set of images which have clearly been tampered with.

Now, I’m not completely against air brushing. If I had to have my mug plastered all over the world’s press, I’d quite happily let them hide the odd pimple or touch up any dark circles. That being said, this is something altogether different.

Rebecca is the latest in a long line of stars to find themselves sporting much lighter hues in their promotional materials. While her spokesperson has shrugged it off as a trick of the studio light, I find the pictures far more sinister. Surely someone noticed during the production and distribution of the images that they were not a true reflection of the star’s natural skin colour? Why is it then, that no one saw this as a problem? Or worse, why is it that someone saw this as a positive outcome?

Actions like this perpetuate beliefs that someone’s natural colour, shape or size is something to be ashamed of. The celebrities who find themselves in this situation are role models to millions of children. They should be helping their fans to embrace their differences, not change the basic fundamentals of who they are.

Sadly, not everyone agrees. Some would even argue that darker skin is lightened so as not to alienate white consumers. Personally, I find this thinking pretty offensive. I would think that most people, whatever their skin colour, would agree.