So, recently one evening I received a call from a well known New York daily publication, asking if I could comment on Beyoncé's new album cover. They told me it was for a feature they were doing, I am going to recap the interview for you.
Interviewer: Hi Dickey, what do you dislike about Beyoncé's new album cover, that has stirred up a lot of controversy because of her obvious lightning of her skin and blonde hair ?
Dickey: Excuse me?... (pause) I didn't say that I disliked it.
Interviewer: Oh, well then can you comment on the fact that she appears to have lightened her skin and hair ?
DICKEY: Oh ok, well I love it. I can find no fault in Beyoncé, as an artist, her creative process, and what she ultimately creates for herself and her audience. She is one of the world's greatest entertainers and there has been a high bar set after several albums and dozens of videos that have to be visually unique from one another.
INTERVIEWER: No, what I want you to say is...
INTERVIEWER: But what about Grace Jones and black women that don't alter their appearance?
DICKEY: Well aesthetically, the difference being Beyonce has light skin and can easily pull off lighter hair, whereas Grace Jones is chocolate brown and an icon in her own right. How can you possibly lump all of our beautiful shades of people, into dark and light? Unfortunately the U.S. is a very young country, with it's recent past with Jim Crow which did not officially end until 1965. So our legacy of discrimination, violence and segregation from one ethnic group to another is still a reality for many people.
INTERVIEWER: (interrupts) No, what I want... I'm trying to say...
INTERVIEWER: I mean how do you think people feel about her representing those types of images?
DICKEY: Those heated discussions are always at the surface. My belief is that with the help of mainstream media, TV, social media and print editorials, if we can start to simply give an honest and accurate depiction of how diverse this country and our world really is, it would cut down on the controversy over artists like Beyoncé and her global appeal. We live in a world where beauty is still shopped for in ethnic and non-ethnic aisles. So every day, we are still segregated, marginalized and marketed to based on the usual suspect black and white or light and dark. I think we have a greater responsibility to start celebrating our unique differences.
INTERVIEWER: Oh hey, I have to get this call can I call you right back?
FYI... I am still waiting for that call, but I am not holding my breath...
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