The internet, resourceful as it is, has a nasty underbelly where people's most abhorrent tendencies fester by connecting with other heinous, like-minded individuals.
We previously reported on the disturbing trend of people stealing photos from mothers and photoshopping their babies to appear whitewashed, which they then encourage other users to vote for their "favorite." Back in August, we wrote the following:
"The startling message behind the edits is clear: the white-washed edit is what some consider 'cuter.' As if women didn't have enough unrealistic beauty expectations weighing on them, now human beings in their first years of life are being told they'd be better looking if they were different."
Now, the bizarre subculture of whitewashing via Photoshop has a new target: Black female celebrities.
Our reaction to this can be summed up in the following GIF of Tiffany "New York" Pollard (and we extend the sentiment to Rih, too):
It's a scientific fact that there are no adjustments that could be made to neither Beyoncé nor RiRi to make them better looking. These photoshopped pictures make them look like they were bitten by the Cullen family from Twilight and left in the woods for two months with no blood to eat. If that's your idea of beauty then, yeah, we're just going to fundamentally disagree on this issue.
Although this act of photoshopping is absolutely ridiculous, again, it has a really dark message behind it. These are two of the most gorgeous, talented, successful, respected, well-known women on the planet. But even they are not immune to people's projections of Western beauty "ideals."
It's just another startling example that no matter how perfect Black women may be — and really, who could be more perfect than Beyoncé AND/OR RiRi — that they still aren't enough. The people altering these images send a horrific message: no matter how amazing, successful, or beautiful a Black women may be, society would prefer them to be white. This is an impossible standard and exhausting burden.
For the record, we like our Queen Bey and Rih how they are, thanks very much. For those who don't, that says more about them and their insistence that the only type of true beauty can be found in whiteness.
In case those in the back didn't hear us — stop whitewashing our idols!
(Photos from left: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Fo, John Lamparski/WireImage)
For the past 10 years, Yusef has been dictating all of the beauty trends we emulate via his most famous client, none other than Rihanna. He started out his career as a performer, but he ended up behind the scenes. In Hairstory, he details his rise in the industry from aspiring singer to creative directing the hair for Fenty x Puma.