Beyoncé’s Dad Says Her Career Took Off Over Kelly Rowland’s Because She Has Lighter Skin!
Beyoncé‘s father is laying it all out there about skin tone and the perception of race & color in American society — and he’s not afraid to name names in having the tough conversation, either.
Mathew Knowles went on The Clay Cane Show on SiriusXM this week to chat about working in the music industry for the last 15 years — and specifically to discuss how segregation and colorism are still very much at play.
At one point during the show, Knowles acknowledged a hard truth he’d learned and seen first-hand in the industry: that light-skinned black women tend to fare better than darker-toned singers, particularly when it comes to Top 40 radio airplay and success of their respective singles.
Knowles said (below):
“In the music industry there’s still segregation. Programmers, especially at pop radio, have this imagery of what beauty looks like… If you look back even at Whitney Houston, if you look at those photos, how they lightened her to make her look lighter-complexioned…
Because there’s a perception and a colorism: the lighter that you are, the smarter and more economically (advantaged)… There’s a perception all around the world about color — even with black folks, there’s a perception.”
It’s a tough reality to admit, but racism is unfortunately very real in today’s society.
We can’t turn a blind eye to it if we’re ever going to get out of these dark ages, so to speak.
And it’s not just Whitney Houston, it’s happening right now and today — and Knowles was very quick to note that his own daughter benefitted from some of that same colorism, particularly when compared to her former Destiny’s Child contemporary, the darker-skinned Kelly Rowland.
Knowles acknowledged about Queen Bey (below):
“I think [Beyoncé] would have had — I think it would’ve affected her success [to have a darker skin tone].
And I use Kelly Rowland as an example. She’s a great example. But you know, the great thing is, Kelly did exceptional outside of America, especially in Australia. Kelly sold over 4 million records. She just got off-script.”
The elder Knowles may really be on to something there, too — especially because Kelly herself has acknowledged the same situation regarding skin tone.
Back in a 2013 interview with Cnikky.com, Rowland admitted there was a period where she was very insecure about her “chocolate” look, especially when compared to those around her with lighter skin.
Rowland said at the time:
“You know what I had great women in my life to help me overcome that. I remember I went through a period where I didn’t embrace my ‘chocolatiness.’ I don’t know if that’s a word, but I didn’t embrace my chocolate lifestyle. Just being a chocolate, lovely brown skin girl and being proud of that.
I remember Tina Knowles, Bey’s mom and I remember being out in the sun and I was trying to shield myself from the sun and she said, ‘Are you crazy?’ She said ‘You are absolutely gorgeous’ and she just told me how beautiful I was and how rare chocolate is and how gorgeous the skin is, all of this stuff. And I was just like ‘Yeah!’ Like a light went off. So between her and my mother and then me sitting out in the sun a little more, just to be a little more chocolate. You just embrace it. You embrace everything that you are as a woman, even your flaws too.”
Definitely noteworthy to hear Rowland has felt exactly the same pressures Knowles was acknowledging in the interview.
Even more interesting to think about how much the public perception of these amazing, talented women has been affected by something that should be so insignificant like skin tone.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers?? Sound off on the matter in the comments (below)…
PS — You can listen to Knowles’ entire interview on the matter HERE.
[Image via WENN]
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