Beyoncé L’Oreal Ad Controversy Inspires Black Community Backlash (VIDEO)

Source: Alexis Garrett Stodghill / theGrio

Beyoncé Knowles is featured in a new L’Oreal commercial for a foundation system called True Match. In the advertisement, Knowles states, “There’s a story behind my skin. It’s a mosaic of all the faces before it. My only make-up? True Match.”

Knowles’ heritage is described in the ad as “African-American, Native American” and “French” as these words dissolve onto the screen, describing the “mosaic” that composes Beyoncé’s skin tone. The selling point of the range is that its pigments provide coverage based on the unique undertones of one’s dermis, which might logically necessitate a detailed description of the star’s ancestry.

Yet by contrast, Jennifer Lopez’s True Match commercial describes the Latina talent as “100% Puerto Rican.” Beyoncé’s depiction as multiracial in this context has led to criticism.

Popular gossip bloggers have led discussions about the perception that Beyonce’s True Match commercial intentionally attempts to highlight her non-black heritage in order to distance the star from African-Americans. After L’Oreal suffered from an international backlash for lightening Beyoncé’s skin in a 2008 print campaign, underscoring her non-African background in this advertisement is seen as another disavowal of the singer’s black roots.

To read this article in its entirety visit theGrio.

  • Anonymous

    It’s true that a lot of African-Americans have several ancestries in their background. The same can be said for whites, too. I’ve heard white people like Johnny Depp talk about having Native American ancestry. I even heard somewhere that his grandmother is black. It doesn’t have to be that you’ve what is considered a white and black parent, either, to have mixed ancestry. It’s ok to acknowledge the other things that compose your family history. Regardless, just like President Obama, Beyonce identifies as a black American overall.

  • Jess Sumpter

    This is big bunch of BS.  I loved the depiction since I am African American, Native American and French.  As you can see African American is frirst and foremost.  Why should we not give credit to the mix in our blood because some black like tar African American thinks we are all only BLACK.  Well, we are not all anything.  Everyone in the world is mixed with something else and the Black Like Tar African Americans need to stop this dumb and uneducated, white man-initiated response to everything.

    This way of thinking is left over from slavery when the white slave owner pitted slaves aginst each other because he raped one and they had a mulatto baby and then brought that child into the house to be a “house nigger” while the Black Like Tar people worked in the field.

    Believe me, we know that we are BLACK LIKE TAR to anyone that is WHITE and because I have Cherokee and Comanche in my blood, my great grandfather was white Canadian French and my great grandmother was a BLACK LIKE TAR Black American makes me a BLACK LIKE TAR NIGGER to anyone who judges.

    For a black person to judge me because I am proud of my mixed heritage or for anyone to talk in a derogatory way about Beyonce because she is proud of her heritage is just what WHITE SLAVE OWNERS like CANTOR, KOCH BROTHERS,  SANTORUM and  ROMNEY want to hear.  Even though it’s been 200+ years, you are still as dumb now as you were then.

    Get over yourselves.  Be happy the girl is black, beautiful, classy and represents us in a beautil manner whereever she goes.  Stop being a hater, be a supporter and look in the mirror, all BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL.  When I was in scholl I used to want to be BLACK LIKE TAR because I was hated because of the color of my skin by my own people.  How ignornat is that?

    Stop it!!  Stop it NOW!! Celebrate our successful people.  Stop drawing these “color of skin inferences” to everything because it only make a difference to you and your small mind.  To the rest of the world we are all niggers!!

    • Youngartone

      Wow Jess, what’ up with all that “black like tar African American” and “black like tar nigger” ??? If you heard somebody of another race write those words, would you consider it racist?? Talk about “thinking …left over from slavery”…dang!

  • I dont see any offense whatsoever in Beyonce’s advertisement. So many American blacks are a mixture as am I. I liek to call us “Exotic Blends” and proud of it. We are so unique in this world.
    By the way, Beyonce is probably one of the most gorgeous, talented pop stars/actresses to ever have lived. She is up there with Barbara McNair, Leslie Uggums, Lena Horne, Mariah Carey, Dorothy Dandridge and Melanie Amaro.

  • Vic

    Because this racial pie charting needs to stop. It just makes us look even more stupid and self hating. Nat Turner and Fredrick Douglas had white fathers but didn’t distance themselves from who they were. 

    • Anonymous

      Frederick Douglas was married to a white woman. Beyonce is married to a black man. It’s not about distancing yourself. You can recognize other parts of yourself, yet identify as mostly one thing. African-American was the first ethnicity recognized on the list. Beyonce calls herself an African-American all the time.

      • Vic

        This is a fact about FD. It is about distancing yourself from being black because a lot of these “ethnicities” are just arbitrary. It’s arbitrary to say im half a nationality. There are black French , there are black native americans etc. 

        Theres currently a big push for people feel exotic and special over nothing when it’s really divisive. Im not saying Beyonce is responsible for this , in fact im sure she have very little say in the Ad itself. It’s how and who it’s marketed to. 

        • Myra_A

          It’s ridiculous to say that you’ve to be half of something before you can recognize it’s apart of your heritage. I guess I’m suppose to not recognize my great grandmother, who was full Native American. I know that I’m black and I embrace that, but it’s not like I’ve to ignore her existence or contribution to making me a part of what I am. Also, if we all took genetic tests we would see the people claiming to be full black, full white or full Native American are not. So even if someone is half white and half black. It’s probably not perfectly 50/50. Even President Obama said that everybody is mixed, for the most part, that’s why he identifies as black. Btw, I think black is very exotic. We’ve some of the most varied looks on the planet.

          • Vic

            I hope people know that “race” isn’t biological or genetic , so boasting about one’s “race” and mixture when it’s really a social construct created by white people just sounds completely silly and confused. 

  • Michelle

    The ‘controversy’ is ridiculous.  I see that Jennifer Lopez’s ad was mentioned but what about Aimee Mullins?  Her ad states that she is Irish, Austrian and Italian.  Why isn’t anyone ‘offended’ by that? There is absolutely nothing to be offended by in Beyonce’s ad.

  • Nyah

    I remember seeing a special on Emmitt Smith and when they tested his genetics. They said that he was 88% African, yet it later turned out that his grandmother was white. It seems like nobody gets bent out of shape when Angelina Jolie says that she’s part Native American. We’re all mutts. People just need to realize that. Most African-American people are some combination of black, European and/or Native American. It’s just a fact of history.

  • Yountartone

    LOL! ” The reporter wrote “…this advertisement is seen as another disavowal of the singer’s black roots…” I’m sure no pun was intended, but how FUNNY is it that she is also in a hair color commercial, in two feet of blond weave, promoting hair color that supposedly “matches her own”? What market is being targeted with THAT mess?….

    • Anonymous

      Well, in most of the hair commercials, the women regardless of race are wearing fake hair. That was even pointed out about the British singer Cheryl Cole. Did you not notice in the Gwen Stefani commercial for the same product, that her hair changed length/thickness several times? Most of the celebrity women and models do the fake hair thing. When you wear fake hair, you do have to dye the real hair showing to match. In a Thanksgiving special Behind the Scenes, Beyonce had her real hair in a ponytail and it was dyed blond. I don’t know why people make a big deal about Beyonce having blond hair when Etta James, Tina Turner, T-Boz, Mary J. Blige, etc…have had blond hair also. Nobody ever seems to be concerned about them having blond hair. Btw, do people disavow their racial heritage when they get lip injections and tans. Let’s not start with the double standard. Many black people do have several ancestries that make up their heritage. The same can be said for whites. I hear them say it without impunity.

      • Myra_A

        I forgot to add that Melansians, who are black people on the Pacific Islands, have naturally blond hair a lot.

      • DANNY555


  • Mikki

    Whatever!  I think it is PATHETIC that it took L’Oreal to create a makeup that accurate capture skin tones of Black women of all shades, colors and admixture. They’re still BLACK, no one is denying that! But we come in a multitude of colors and tones. That is the BEAUTY of our race!!! Fashion Fair NEVER got it right and they are a black-owned company…shame on them! Kudos to L’Oreal for recognizing the diversity when our own black make-up company (Fashion Fair) could not!  

    • Queencreole

      Mikki your right black people come in many colors because they are mix in there background. Pure Africans are not light unless there albino. But when the spanish/white ppl toke the slaves and brought them to America thats where the mixture began and when the whites came to Africa and stayed there the mixture began. But in Africa there are still alot of pure Africans Black and btful.

  • Nilyge

    When will black folks do away with what we have been brainwashed into thinking we are.  We are not AFRICAN AMERICANS.  WE WERE NOT BORN IN AFRICA AND WE ARE NOT 100% AFRICAN.  Alek Wek is an African-American.  She is an African who is an American citizen.  WE ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR WHO HAPPEN TO SHARE AFRICAN AND EUROPEAN ancestry, and some of us are mixed with other cultures as well.  Educate yourselves folks and stop speaking negatively about those who know and accept who they are.

    • DANNY555

      Amen! Amen! Amen!

  • Puccanu

    It’s not that’s serious, It’s obvious she has other things in her, and there’s no need to get “angry” over them. 

  • Jade

    so sick of black people and especially dark skin black people being mad when mixed or anyone identify their cultures/race other then black but then when you identify with black they consider you not be a “real” black person because you don’t look like them. stop with your low self esteem and move on, maybe you should take a ancestry test then you can have something to identify with too

    • Danny555

      Black people are becoming more and more Ignorant. Leave the Light Skinned or Mixed Alone. People have the right to be whatever they want to be. Its a free world. Who are we to Judge?

  • Thatgirlang

    Why do we care… her life, her depiction…Freedom of choice on how she chooses to describe her racial identity. Choose what you want and keep it moving. Geesh!

  • queencreole

    I am a woman of Color I am French Creole I am proud of my Mexican, French, Black, Native, Chineese, and Spanish heritage. No one in my family were slaves and no one in my family got raped and not all whites were hatred. I am to light to be black and to brown to be white. On Mother Day weekend goto the Creole Convention and learn about the Creole Culture. Its hard being mix b/c ignorant people cant except the reality that mix people dont have to except one race to identify them. I know my history and I am proud to say I am a btful Mexican French Creole human being. Beyonce is btful she is a Black woman mix  with French Creole roots! POW.  

  • Sfdjk

    Looking at these comments. You people are stupid.

  • How is it that we accept Halle Berry as a mixed race black woman but not Beyonce? This thing of someone only being “mixed” if their immediate parents are of different races is a sham. Is Beyonce’s black Creole mother’s phenotype not obvious in her appearance? Most black people from Canada to Argentina are of some degree of mixed race. Beyonce, Melissa Harris-Perry and and Halle Berry all define themselves as black women. There have always a wide range of phenotypes in the African-American community. She’s a black woman of mixed ancestry. Period:

    • Nenda

       Seriously!! Because Halle is CLEARLY bi-racial with a white mom and black dad. She’s not claiming to be Siamese and 1/3rd Blackfoot Indian. Silly question. Beyonce’s ad is laughable and pathetic.

      • Danny555

        Thats so Fucked Up. Your a Hater. You Just dont like Beyonce.

        • Liel

          I LOVE Beyonce but Nenda’s just stating that an immediate list would have been much more preferable. For ex. African American and Creole listed without any elaboration upon French and Native American would make that jab upon culture and race much more unemphasized. Hence, there wouldn’t be much controversy over a simple makeup ad.

        • Liel

          I LOVE Beyonce but Nenda’s just stating that an immediate list would have been much more preferable. For ex. African American and Creole listed without any elaboration upon French and Native American would make that jab upon culture and race much more unemphasized. Hence, there wouldn’t be much controversy over a simple makeup ad.

          • Liel

            Afterall, I live in a predominantly black community and I too am a little skeptical over the claims of native american blood that many african americans make. But although I know that it is true in some cases, not risking arguments or controversy, the truth of proof and evidence counters all statements made. Like “look at this certificate, my great grandmother was clearly native american and from the _______ tribe in which she is still registered in” or something of that sort. The word of mouth fails often and lies do erupt…. just sayin’. SO RESEARCH PLEASE TO AVOID SUCH NONSENSICAL PROBLEMS ‘YALL!

    • O’sun Elle

      HALLE’S COMMERCIAL stated that she was African American even THOUGH she has a white mother. beyonce has 2 black parents and is still splittin’ hairs. girl SIT!

  • dreads

    did anyone in this discussion see Henry Louis Gates’s special where all these black celebrites claimed they had native blood and when they did the gentics most were less than 1%. im mad because it seems like some black people are always looking for a way out. A way to look or be less black. And they always seem so happy to be whatever it is as long as it’s not black. is beyonce fluent in french? does she still have ties to her naitve heritage? but i bet she can bounce that ass in a leotard to one of JayZ’s tracks.

  • There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your multi-racial hertiage.  However, I am not sure if it was necessary in this commericial.

  • Happyfeet Ib

    I swear some of yall dumb as hell, beyonce getting paid to do the commercial let it go, dam she can say whatever she wants to she is a beautiful grown woman, the people probably said beyonce mention your other races, so she did dam you act like she killing you or something, fvck what people think beyonce do you girl, you are beautiful talented,hard working mother, and you love your family your blessed, i get so tired of people being ugly and hating on this nice,heart warming down to earth girl, what goes around comes around thats a fact, all you hating on this girl is ugly inside and out, if the bitch have mixture so fvcking what its her and its true, shes mixed threw her mother, yes she has the mixture to its not far down the line,,,,,, round 2 im grown as well my mothers black and a little native american, and my father is white,native american and its real indians not fake shit blacks love to claim because of someones hair texture is different, yes my proof is my grandparents and great grand parents was raised on the indian reservations, some moved off the reseravation to get better jobs because they was so dam poor i fell sorry for them sometimes, but they made it, today they are thousands of family members today, from family thats from pink,white, pale, yellow, red, light brown, peacan tan to dark, yes i have full dark indians in the family you dont have to be light at the dam time mixed people come in different shades, and the hair comes from wavy,curly, straight down to some of there knees i have pictures to prove it, i have a beautiful family that i will die and kill for im bless, they range from petite, tall,short,thick,skinny,boney, mean,fiesty, pistol shooting, hacthet throwing,tobacco chewing,gin drinking,corn whiskey drinking, hook nose,slanted eyed,high cheeks e.t.c. Lol lol sorry i said alot but you get what im saying nothings wrong with beyonce saying shes french,black, and native american, i can see it in her yes i can tell, wearing hair piece doesnt mean nothing all races wear extra shlt in theyre head, just because people might be mixed or multiracial doesnt mean your gonna have long flowing hair thats a myth, yes im black but nobody gonna tell me about who i am, some of them native american helped raised me so im supposted to forget them because im black and there full blooded indian hell no i got that blood to maybe not as much indian blood as my full blooded family but i got enough to make me into me today,and i dont give.a fvck what nobody say about it me i will claim all my races to the day the lord takes me home, so do you,claim real heritage not claim shlt hard proof solid proof from the heart, census records, on and near reseravations, marriage documents, thats proof you need not here say, beyonce has proof of her creole roots threw her mother, beyonces related to real french white people whos still in louisianna today all over the place ago with other mixed creoles, so she can claim whatever she wants to, beyonce i love you girl, fvck the haters everybody got haters, thats a fact, yeah girl that them ugly,hating,ass nasty people laugh at you,pick on you, lie and spread rumors on you and me, fvck them hold your head up high to the sky, im proud of you you didnt let the hating media scare you away, i like you stay humble, them hater know you a good girl,you dont drink,no drugs,partying all night,cheating, you a good girl who stays out of drama, so the haters got to find some dirt on you or make some stupid shit up, yes there are good people out there who are no drama,,its just theres alot of bad people out there, stay away from them, that them suffer own there own, karma is a big titties bitch, lol lol god bless, remember people be yourself dont let nobody tell you what you can or cant say about your family mixtures,your styles,hair,or clothes do you to the fulliest,

  • Eroc

    Why does it matter? Why can’t people just be people and forget about race.

  • marie bowman

    Beyoncé I saw your L’Oreal commercial… should be ashamed
    of yourself!! We are Black people and we have to do everything we can to make
    African heritage a symbol of pride. You just played into the American system of
    downplaying Black heritage. First you let them lighten your skin, now you’re
    calling yourself something other than Black. You had to know the impact of that
    commercial in racist America. This country has never fully celebrated Black
    Heritage. You should be ashamed of yourself!! All those young Black girls out
    there that saw you as a symbol of Black pride now will feel they have be more
    than just Black because Black just ain’t good enough. You should be
    ashamed of yourself!! We all know the story behind Black folks mixed
    heritage, but we are oppressed because we are Black and we have to fight back
    by putting our Black African heritage in the forefront. We must embrace it at
    all cost. You should be ashamed of yourself!! Some folks will do anything for

    • John gonsales

      Read your reply and then ask yourself who the true racist are.