Beauty in Black & White


Baby, there’s no mystery ’cause you know how I am. I’m real.

L’Oréal Paris is advertising a Brightening Day Moisturizer that contains a broad spectrum SPF 30.  With a combination of Glycolic Acid, Pro-Retinol®, and Vitamin C, the specially-formulated goop known as RevitaLift® Bright Reveal supposedly reveals brighter skin, helps correct uneven skin tone, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles, all in just one week.

So if that’s the case, if the miracle happens in a week, then why are all the fabulous but over 40 actresses used to sell the product shot in black and white?

Nothing.  I mean nothing is more irritating than the hypocrisy of a product promising to do miracles but fails to perform them on the very special people who can afford to have cucumber, ginseng, and green tea facials ten or more times a day.

If the product fixes these pesky puffy eye problems, chases away dark spots and crescent under-eye moons in a week, then why not take six weeks and then shoot a commercial in color, with before and after shots.  Seriously, even if L’Oréal were to put forth such an effort, it would still be suspect.  Because of the magical effects of cinematography, even then, you wouldn’t be able to trust what the aging eye sees.

Fantasy is good, but don’t you just want something sometimes to be real?


Baby, I’m real. What you get is…what you see???

Artistic license or just a cover up for aging and not so perfect skin in a high definition world, what’s even more annoying is when “colored people” are rendered colorless for the purpose of mass appeal to a pink and stark white target audience.  “Colored people” have gorgeous skin, but apparently that gorgeous skin is too much of a distraction when the product is Rice Krispies.

For the “colored” celebrity, it should seem odd to pitch a product for skincare and beauty using her face as a washed out gray palette. When most women think of beauty, black or white, they never think, “Yeah, I want flawless gray skin.”  It’s not the “sunless glow” or the “even skin tone” most of us have in mind.

Whether for new baby skin or old hag skin, here’s a bright reveal:  there’s something deeply dishonest, ironic, and hypocritical about companies who dream up ads to promote beautiful skin using the murky smoke and mirrors of black & white cinematography to erase the five signs of aging.  Really?  Your answer for sanding down wrinkles and shrinking large pores is to use one bland gray stroke?

What Wizardry of Oz is this?

Maybe beauty companies should repossess the large checks paid to ghosts like Susan Sarandon and Julianne Moore for make-believe and use it to firm up research to fashion and mold products that actually cast the spells they promise.  If the companies show they don’t believe in their products by going all “Zero Dark Over 40,” why should we?

Your final product, the ad, is undeniably a thing of beauty.  But, despite the billions we pay wanting to believe the lie, when we wake each morning to the mirror, we all know it’s doubtful the skincare product had anything to do with it.

Good or bad, what we really get, we get it from our mama.

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