Jezebel on Beyoncé | Mark Pillai | African Queen | L'Officiel Paris March 2011

God give me strength! On the one hand we’ve got the men of South Dakota wanting to make shooting women justifiable homicide if a fetus is involved; and on the other hand we have Jezebel absolutely smashing vitriolic pc accusations at Officiel Magazine for featuring Beyonce in their March 2011 issue ‘African Queen’ editorial.

What is the world coming to? We are all going insane in the culture wars. What does Jezebel’s Dodai propose? Shooting all the artists and creative people? 

L’Officiel is a French magazine and I prefer to hear people of colour from Europe discussing this editorial. Without supporting for one moment the French colonization of Africa, there’s a reason Josephine Baker and many other African Americans lived in Paris.

Having been to France over 250 times, I am confident that most people of colour who actually live in France would not be offended by the editorial.

Dodai writes that she’s been to places like Tunis, Tangiers, Marrakesh, Gaborone and Johannesburg and she didn’t see any persons wearing face paint or leopard skin. While I don’t recall seeing face paint in Paris, one regularly sees African ethnic costumes on the streets in some neighborhoods.

I will put out a call to my friends in Paris to check the French press and blogs for a reaction to the editorial.

Dodai is totally condescending to Beyonce who approved the shoot. Here we have a mega star who knows that she is influential with people of colour and young women generally, making an artistic statement that gets her skewered by American bloggers.

It’s the same nonsense that happened over the Vogue Italia Steven Meisel oil spill editorial.

It is really difficult to leave me stupified. But I am speechless and understand one more time, why America is just going down the toilet with our totally provincial views of creativity and life in the rest of the world.

There is nothing I can say about either Jezebel or Stylelite backing up Jezebel. I am so speechless that I must come down to earth and reminds myself that when Americans evaluate global culture which — quite frankly — is almost always a problem.

It’s like Joseph McCarthy era all over again in America. My relationship with African American and African readers is proportionately stronger than Jezebel’s.  If you disagree with me, please feel free to call me on my statements.

A composite of beautiful images by a very successful black woman who is truly female-centric is drilled with accusations by the politically correct feministas. Seriously I am aghast. And it’s not Phyllis Schlafly or Sarah Palin talking. It’s Dodai Stewart of Jezebel. Wow! Anne

We publish L’Officiel’s statement at the end of images.


via Fashiontography

Statement from L’Officiel:

L’OFFICIEL is very proud to present its March issue featuring Beyoncé in African-inspired dresses and jewellery by top designers, including Gucci, Azzedine Alaia, Fendi, Pucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Rodarte, Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier and Lanvin. Designer Tina Knowles, who is also Beyoncé’s mother, created a one of a kind couture piece. The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season. Miss Knowles poses with royal allure. A queen, a goddess, Beyoncé is a bombshell beauty with a divine voice. We’re thrilled she’s opening a season of celebrating the 90th anniversary of L’Officiel de la Mode. The series was conceived as using art and fashion in paying homage to African queens.

Beyoncé mentioned the artist Fela Kuti in the interview as one of her musical inspirations. It was later misquoted as the inspiration for the shoot. We would like to clarify that it is not the case.

As for the artistic makeup, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face. We find the images beautiful and inspiring.

L’Officiel would like to thank Beyoncé for her outstanding contribution to this celebration of African influences in Fashion.

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