After days of rumbling on the Internets about whether or not L'Oreal used Photoshop or some sort of high school graduation photo-style "aftertouch" (remember that shit?) to make Beyonce's face look that much more cracka-ass cracka-ish in ads for their Feria hair coloring system, L'Oreal issued a statement today saying that they didn't.

And you know what? I'm willing to believe that they didn't. Instead, I wouldn't be surprised if Beyonce has been applying some sort of skin-lightening agent to herself, like Michael Jackson used to do back in the '80s.

It's ironic for a number of reasons.

First of all, as Billy X. Sunday pointed out in his post today, how in the fuck is Beyonce posing in ads for hair lightening cream, when I think we all know good and well that's not her real hair? I suppose, in theory, you could apply a lightening agent to the hair of poor Russian orphans that you buy and it might work, but why not just buy that shit in the shade that you want in the first place?

It could be the case that it's hard to buy fake hair that's as blond as you'd like it to be. But I thought those Russian broads were mad Nordic-looking? (And god bless them for it!) Maybe the ones that end up in orphanages don't have especially good hair. Which might help explain how they ended up in orphanages in the first place. I know a lot of the best-looking ones are shipped to America and Western Europe to be the wives and girlfriends of prominent businessmen.

Those broad's hair? Incredible. Beyonce could only hope to be as attractive.

Which brings me to the next point of irony: Beyonce was already lightskinted to begin with. Who ever heard of a lightskinted broad trying to make herself more lightskinted? This might actually be an historical first.

At least in the case of Michael Jackson, he was about as... shall we say, classically black as a guy could get, short of somehow being born with a gold tooth in his mouth. It's actually kind of amazing he got to be as cracka-ass cracka-ish as he did, given the point at which he began. If only Quincy Jones or someone could have stepped in and gotten him to stop that train right around the time Thriller came out. At that point, his hair was nice and curly, his nose was more or less normal-looking, his skin was somewhat lighter than it had been... That's all he really needed!

Similarly, I'm wondering what in the hell Beyonce was on when she thought it would be a good idea to make her skin even lighter than it already was. Is there anyone, white or black (or, for the sake of inclusiveness, with this being the Olympics and all, Chinese), who thought Beyonce actually looked better in that ad than she normally does? Nah, I think most people would be willing to agree that Beyonce pretty much started out at that point where Michael Jackson was at when Thriller came out, where any work she could have done would only serve to make her look that much more like a space alien. (Aside from, perhaps, some sort of solution to her constitutional incapability of growing a full, healthy head of hair.)

Which makes me wonder how Beyonce came to be convinced that this was gonna be a good idea. Did the TIs sit her down and explain to her that, at her advanced age, the only way she was gonna continue to have a career that doesn't involve her starring in a touring revival of Mama, I Want to Sing or some shit (she was already in the film version of Dreamgirls...) is if she lightened things up a bit? I wouldn't be surprised, since this is arguably the best year for lightskinted ninjas since the heyday of the likes of Gregory Abbott, and since she's married to Jay-Z, whose personal philosophy obviously involves taking any money a TI will hand you, regardless of what you have to give up in exchange.

What do you fruits think? If Obama gets elected, is this about to be 1986 all over again. I'm borderline Wesley Snipes status these days, after having spent three days baking in the sun at Lollapalooza, so I certainly hope not. Lord knows it was hard enough procuring some stank during the Bush administration.