Fashion Mags, Hypocrisy, and Skin Color

I’m right up there with every person of color who wonders why or how she is considered less than because she lacks white skin when it seems every white person on the planet covets tan skin.  If colored skin is so bad, why are women doing everything in their power to be anything other than “white”? (side note: Asian women will generally do anything humanly possible NOT to get tan).

I ask this because no one seems to have really wrapped their collective fashion values around this topic and decided, once and for all, that we should love the skin we’re in.  Of course, that’s just not going to happen AT ALL.  It’s my pipe dream, and I’m smoking it.

Here’s how I know that the “company motto” is hypocritical.  The official message is that “no tanning is safe — including tanning beds”.  However, with the same breath and without a hint of irony comes the other hand, “spray tans are just as effective in giving you that all-over safe glow.”  Yes, my children, you are nothing without that bronzed glow that makes you a goddess.  While, occasionally, the rare Nicole Kidman or Marcia Cross or Julianne Moore might get accolades for their “pale” complexion, they really aren’t put out there as role models.  It’s more like it’s DARING that they don’t get the spray tan, not that we should follow along.

Since I get all the crap magazines (People, Us, Life and Style, In Touch, OK, In Style, etc.), I see the hall of shame when celebrities “dress under the influence.”  Included on the pages are the “Who Wore It Better?” features.  More times than I care to admit the reason why an outfit works for one celebrity more than another is that “the color just washes so-and-so out” or “it’s better with the bronze/golden coloring of…”.

Fashion magazines don’t WANT to be responsible for young women choosing to fake bake or even bake so they pretend that tans aren’t a good thing.  However, if you’re advocating spray tan and making it a requirement for celebrities to “look good” then the message sent is that PALE SKIN IS BAD.  They’re saying one thing, but doing another, and trying to absolve themselves of any responsibility in the process.

The thing very few people consider is that Bob Marley died of SKIN CANCER.  He was, let’s just say it, BLACK, and he died of MELANOMA.  F*ck people.  Really?  Ever worked for a doctor who caters to farmers?  It’s a constant influx of daily “chunk o’ face”.  That’s where the farmer walks in with NO holes in his face and leaves with several “lesions” removed — potentially cancerous lesions.

I’m tired of glamor magazines making it seem that you must have a certain bronzed glow to you in order to look healthy.  I’d like for them to refuse to spray tan ANY model.  I’d love to see Dancing With the Stars stop the practice, as well as any celebrity who does it.  I’d love to see us finish the 2nd decade of the 21st century actually encouraging people to love the skin they’re in.

Maybe then people will finally appreciate the full glory and gamut of diversity on our planet, finding beauty and love for themselves and for others.  And if you can’t do it because it will please me, do it because tanning leads to aging, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and skin cancer.

At it’s worst, it leads to death.  Is fashion really worth dying for?


One thought on “Fashion Mags, Hypocrisy, and Skin Color

  1. Morocco says:

    Well said! The things we do for beauty! When I was it Cancun, I was badly sunburned on my shoulders, arms, and small portions of my face. There is a BIG misconception that black people don’t get sunburned–I’m here to tell you that ANYTHING with skin can burn! On that note, I can’t understand why people do this on purpose. Although I like the results of my “accidental” (a deep rose-gold color), I could not see myself doing this for kicks.

    We really need ro learn to accept ourselves on so many levels. We live in a society that if you were not born with it, you can buy it. It’s so liberating when you can embrace who you are depite what people may think of your perceived flaws.

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