Beyoncé’s new ad for L’Oréal True Match, proclaiming that the “story” behind her skin is “African American, French, and Native American,” will probably sell a lot of foundation. But it also raises questions about our basic understanding of the difference between ethnicity and nationality (and which one has anything to do with your perfect makeup shade), as well as what many perceive as an ongoing obsession with emphasizing any nonblack piece of our heritage.
Asking “Why, B, Why?” Janelle Harris at Clutch magazine writes:
First of all, “French” is not a race. Or an ethnicity. Or anything that would require you to match a shade of makeup to it. France is a nation; therefore, “French” is a nationality, and there are about seven major ethnic groups in that country. Ergo, saying you’re “French” is just as generic as saying you’re “American” when you’re talking about a racial or ethnic context. (Not all countries work that way, though.) Her dad is Black, so I guess he makes up the African-American part. Her mother is Creole, a blend of French, African, Spanish and Native American settlers. But the word I do believe she was searching for was “White.” But it’s not just her. For a lot of people, there seems to be a disconnect for the sake of not being just Black or Black at all …
Read more at Clutch magazine.