I woke up yesterday morning (well more like 1pm in the afternoon.. hey its Sunday!) to beautiful Beyonce gracing the cover of the French Magazine "L'Officiel" to celebrate it's 90th Birthday.
I love the idea of Beyonce going back to her African roots and portraying an African Queen, and I do appreciate that she is publicly waking up to that part of herself.
The black face on some of the frames became a subject of intense discussion on Twitter among the afropolitan and afro conscious /afro centric crowd.
I did not mind the "exoticism" part of it, I mean, It's beautiful and if people want to paint their faces darker to resemble me, I am flattered! However the way it was done here is disturbing.. but artistic expression is personal so.. hey.. (Note that because I grew up in Africa, I haven't experienced the history of humiliation attached to the black face, but respect how anyone may feel about this)
But as an homage to Fela the activist, the fighter, the philosopher, I think it's cool to remember him for the style, the music AND the message.
And I do hope that l' Officiel gets "the layers below"
I d' love to know that they've hired some African designers to dress Beyonce for this shoot for example highlighting emerging African designers...
As the buzz for Africa is growing and buzzing, I want to say this: Make the Afro chic look a trend and match that with the fight for equality and the diversity of the black beauty and a true love and understanding for Africa.
By the way here are pictures of Fela's Queens, taken by French photographer Bernard Matussiere in 1983.
If you remember Bob Marley for his long dreads and weed smoking, you've missed the prophet.
If you remember Fela for his underpants and his many wives, you've missed the message.