Jezebel is doing a good job of pursuing the whole skin-lightening-as-gross-epidemic angle, with lots of informative and scary links on bleaching of the skin and there being a market for these products. But I think focusing on the skin-caucasianizing of Miss Knowles is sort of missing the point.
Many people in the comments and elsewhere have referenced Michael Jackson in relation to this "scandal." I think one question with regards to MJ serves as a great reminder of why the bleached skin is not the issue: Does anyone think Michael Jackson is attractive?
No one of sound mind and body sees obviously bleached skin as "hot". Maybe there are a small percentage of folks who are f'd up in the head enough to think slathering your face/body with dangerous chemicals is worth it to get just a little more
Point being: if you're going to get hrrumphy about the Whitewashing of Beyonce as it pertains to reinforcing improper beauty standards, well that slave ship sailed long time ago. I'd actually contend that the hair is the real issue here. Straight, sleek, satin-smooth, that ain't no black person's hair! And no one's batting an eye at the actual point of the product being to get the kinky blackness out of your hair, soooooo ....
But do we really think L'Oréal would have the brainstorm that Beyonce would be more attractive if she were white? Photoshop mistakes happen, in this case it's the equivalent of airbrushing out a bellybutton or whathaveyou; a definite testament to the artificial beauty complex, but not with any racist intent.
And if you want to combat the White Beauty Standard, let's get Beyonce in an ad campaign rocking an afro. Maybe a little Náps by L'Oréal?
Everybody Staring At Beyonce's Skin [Gawker]
Photoshop of Horrors [Jezebel]