December 12th, 2012
Beauty, Fashion, Fashion Discussion
How Far Would You Go For “Beauty”?
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

As society has grown to be more social media conscience, and camera phones have become permanent fixtures in everyday life, it appears everyone is constantly striving to look their best.  But what exactly does the “best” entail? If recent reports are any indicator, plastic surgery and perhaps skin lightening are at the forefront of the quest for acceptance and desirability. It’s a concerning issue that has not discriminated, latching on to the insecurities of everyday people and celebrities alike.

A recent interview with Bossip saw Tamar Braxton and husband Vincent Herbert address longstanding rumors surrounding the reality star/singer’s complexion.  In the on camera sit down she said, “I just want to know what time do I have to do that. If you really think about it, we’ve been shooting ‘Braxton Family Values’ for two years and then in between that it was ‘Tamar & Vince,’ and now we’re back into production with ‘Braxton Family Values.’ So when did she change her face? I just think I grew up and I don’t look the same that I did when I was 19. I don’t think any of us do.” Her husband quickly came to her defense dismissing the claims as being “ignorant” and “not appropriate”. He also revealed Tamar suffers from vitiligo, the same skin condition Michael Jackson publicly struggled with.

A young Tamar Braxton

These are rumors that have oft and unfairly plagued celebrities–everyone from Emily B to Beyoncé, and most recently, Nicki Minaj have been accused of going under the knife or indulging in brightening cream.  This plays into the shameful myth that lighter skin somehow equates to success; and in order to achieve mainstream popularity, female brown skinned celebrities aim for fairer skin. It’s a part of the ever-growing issue of meeting an unrealistic standard of beauty, which unfortunately isn’t limited to complexion.

We recently featured a viral video of a woman showcasing her botched butt job. In the clip we see her clad in a red thong flipping what appears to be an implant. It’s a troubling sight that is a bit difficult to watch.

General concern is frequently aimed at the youth, and taking preventative measures to help ensure a healthy body image. Yet, imagine their difficulty to take heed to said warnings when they witness adult women who are inherently of sound mind, feeling the pangs of insecurity as well.

Valeria Lukyonova The “Human Barbie”

We all want to put our best face forward.  When you look good, you feel good. The question then becomes, how far would you go for beauty?


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90 Responses to “How Far Would You Go For “Beauty”?”

  1. shoeorgasm says:

    this is really scary and sad. we need to do better and take responsibility.

  2. Indigo says:

    The females mentioned are just EXTRA period! You have to be fake in the industry if you wanna make it to the top…shrug. Tamar know she had surgery. To me,the problem is too much makeup.

  3. Crystal says:

    I don’t want to call Tamar a liar because that’s what people did to MJ and he really had the disease. But she doesn’t even look like herself and most people do look like they did at 19, just older. More than anything, I feel sorry for people like this. Life is really too precious and too short to live like that.

  4. Indigo says:

    @Shoeorgasm, who need to do better?

  5. JParris says:

    Woe! Valeria Lukyonova really does look like a life size Barbie doll, I wonder how many surgeries she had to have to get that final look?

  6. KBS says:

    Not far, I’m already cute and happy with me flaws and all. I don’t think Tamar lightens her skin, I think she just needs to head to her local MAC/Bobbi Brown counter and get the right NC or NW shade. But she has clearly put in an application for a nose job as did Beyonce and Halle and Janet and many, many of these “perfect” women some of us try to emulate. They don’t even wake up looking like that, so why should anyone else expect to, alas they do.

  7. Lex says:

    I blame society for this light-skinned upcession and the “need” to be perfect. When you watch tv, open a magazine, browse online, or whatever there is always a light skinned beauty, rarely a darker beauty, rarely a big girl, or just rarely a ordinary chick. Society is forcing beauty.

    Follow me on instagram spidalegs

  8. Martinique_Fr says:

    The irony is that ALL the people (men and women) who have gone to extremes for beauty, end up not being beautiful AT ALL; and everyone can clearly see the fakeness … so what’s the point?

  9. KBS says:

    Not far, I’m already cute and happy with me flaws and all. I don’t think Tamar lightens her skin, I think she just needs to head to her local MAC/Bobbi Brown counter and get the right NC or NW shade. But she has clearly put in an application for a nose job as did Beyonce and Halle and Janet and many, many of these “perfect” women some of us try to emulate. They don’t even wake up looking like that, so why should anyone else expect to, alas they do…

  10. Summer says:

    This is truely sad. Also, Tamar can miss with the lies. It’s plainly obvious that she has self esteem issues and have had plastic surgery and skin lightning. She spoke about the nose jobs on BFV. Stop it!!!

  11. jeda says:

    I honestly don’t think Tamar, Nicki, and Beyonce did any skin lightening procedures. But I do believe that they def go for that look using their make up and hair. Though this is more of a temporary method, it still goes for that same look.

    Its always been this way as far as lighter is better, but I still don;t get it. I basically worship dark skin, and I prefer mid tones too.


  12. Clarah Lopez says:

    We always accuse these celebrities about going under the knife or changing their skin or their overall appearance. However have we ever wondered why they do so. I think being a celeb is extremely demanding and if your job is to be the best at what you do and constantly look appealing, the pressure to enhance your image will always increase. Eventually these celebrities have no choice but to give into the pressures of keeping up that Hollywood glam image.

    For example, how often do we see Kim k without makeup?
    or Nicki Minaj without a wig?

    Their appearance have become so powerful it has given them a brand image, something that makes them famous and memorable. Normally when there is something unappealing about someone or something, it ruins the brand image.

    Going back to the pressures of keeping the celeb glam image, it might also be pressure from the type of industry they work in or the type family a person comes from. For example if you are not accepted in a particular society people tend to change their image or personalities just to fit in and be accepted. In the case of celebrities, they have the money to construct major changes to their bodies.

    (My personal view)

  13. Jess says:

    Wow, Tamar looks like a completely different person in her current vs. younger pic.

  14. AzizMom says:

    Celebrities are held to a higher benchmark than the normal layman. Stage lights, photos shoots and the ordinary day out or plane ride require a full face of make-up. I think it’s unreasonable for the ordinary person and not something we should look to mimic or strive for. Photos are retouched, make-up can give the appearance of shades lighter and the surgery is evident. I think ALL the Braxtons got their faces done with the exception of the one who never sang with the group and Moms.

  15. SSGA says:

    When you’re confident in who you are your beauty will shine through. Everybody has insecurities and until you truly accept and embrace them, no amount of makeup, diet, or surgery will help.

  16. Kapri_H says:

    Before I say this, let me say I don’t agree with skin lightening. A little nip and tuck is ok with me.
    I wonder why it’s ok for white women to tan their skin to appear darker and inject their lips…but taboo for a woman of color to lighten her skin/get a nose job? A white woman can openly wish for more “ethnic” features and nobody will bring up self hate, but if a black woman desires a slimmer nose, they’re told they need to appreciate the skin they’re in/what God gave them. I wonder why that is.

  17. Liz says:

    what is an “upcession” Lex????

  18. Kitana says:

    Lots of blacks do suffer from vitiligo. My mom was diagnosed at 60 years old with this disorder. She went from dark skinned to a hue similiar to Michael Jacksons. So its very possible that Tamar has this disease though I doubt it. That doesnt explain the weird cheek implants either. The woman in the red bathing suit is sick and I hate to admit that I’m glad this happened to her lol. Emilys body is fat grafting extreme, I can’t with her. That girl from Europe is the biggest loser thus far, like who wants to look like that? She looks absurd.

  19. I’m satisfied with my overall appearance and the only thing I would love to do is lose about 20 pounds. I think that celebs and social media increase the desire to be flawless. As long as people are showing you every outfit they wear, every item they buy and and all of their ‘things’ there will be a desire to look better and get more. I agree that Tamar didn’t lighten her skin, but needs to go darker on the make up, look at her face vs. her neck. She definitely had a nose job and more botox than Kim Kardashian, so I hope she’s not trying to lie about that.

  20. Kitana says:


    Black women will always* undergo harsher judgement than others. ALWAYS.

  21. lioness says:

    Emily B and Nicki both have had surgery. I think Emily keeps doing it hoping to keep Fab interested. Its not working. She needs to cut her losses. Nicki and Tamar wear the wrong concealer. There are certain segments of the show where you can see that Tamar is just lighter than her sisters, more her Father’s complexion. She doesnt look like she bleaches.

    If any woman wants to enhance her beauty thru surgery etc then so be it. I think we are seeing celebs that need to look a certain way because that is their brand and that is what keeps them in endorsements.

  22. Caribbelle says:

    I realized more and more folks are getting plastic surgery, so much so I think its just common these days. However as someone who works with photo editing software a lot, I want to address the bleaching accusations I’ve seen thrown around constantly.

    Some artists aren’t bleaching. Hear me out, most of the photos you see are the result of poor makeup and or and tons of lightening done in the software.

    For example, Tamar’s makeup is often 5-7 shades lighter than her actual skintone. That is the problem. I mean, in that picture it is obviously the wrong shade and it isn’t blended into her jawline either. Nicki is wearing a ton of concealer as well, plus that the flash is ridiculous lol. Judging by how much darker her skin is on her forehead, yeah, not bleaching.

    It’s beyond sad how common place it is to lighten skin in photo editing software. It usually starts with the usual: to hide the wrinkles and little imperfections in addition to the blurring, air brushing and adjusting of body parts. I’ve seen people do it without even thinking about it, because its so easy. If you’re proficient in photoshop you know what I mean.

    Granted, the folks I’ve seen who’ve bleached their skin, the result looks very obvious. It doesn’t look natural at all.

  23. Kitty B. says:

    Dead @Lex

    @Jeda, you better search for old photos of Nicki hanging in the streets of QU back in the day, Take a look at beYAWNce when she first walked into the industry…and Tamar, it’s just obvious and foolish of her to deny what she has done to herself.

    I believe it to be okay to get a nip tuck here and there and to make something a little smaller or bigger…but Nicki, Kim K. and Tamar are just the poster children of what self hatred looks like…oh did I mention Ms Lil Kim?! who stated in a 1998 article with Vibe that she hated herself so much that she dreamed to be white…truly sad…

  24. bella says:

    Beyonce has never bleached her skin. Y’all are delusional as hell. Yes she has had a nose job but skin bleaching? no. I don’t think Tamar or Nicki has either. It’s just bad makeup sometimes.

    I wouldn’t go that far. There are few things I would like to change one day. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enhancing your looks when it’s done right. Kelly Rowland is a great example. Most people don’t even know she’s had a boob or nose job.

  25. Kitana says:

    I don’t believe Bey has bleached, she’s a light skinned woman and in winter has the potential to be even lighter. She tans, but skin bleaching would be more obvious and unattractive…

  26. Fenise says:

    I lost 90 pounds thats it im done

  27. Soul Touch says:

    Some celebs use skin lightening/bleaching techniques because they have uneven skintone (dark spots, age spots etc) and the end result is that they end up getting lighter compared, which may not be there intention. And then there are others who bleach to obtain lighter skin ie Lil’ Kim.

    I think a few get a bad rap because the lightening in their pics tend to be due to LIGHTING for that shoot. I take personal pics and sometimes my shades are different based on the lighting used.

    I also think we forget that we change shades at different times of the season. I’ve never thought that Beyonce bleached her skin so that she can be lighter, the girl was never dark to begin with.

    Surgery…hey to each it’s own. I think it’s sad when we have to manipulate african features (ie nose). And the butt injections, implants, and so forth are out of control.

  28. Soul Touch says:

    But do you blame a lot of these people, the world is full of catty synical people who are ready to rip you apart. I think that was the downfall of people like Tameka…

    I don’t envy them.

  29. Indigo says:

    Ya damned if you do and damned if you don’t… I recently had my teeth fixed and I’ll do it again in a heart beat. But some over do it. And I think the ones who look weird and ugly,are weird and ugly on the inside…

  30. Brenda says:

    The Braxton that didn’t sing with the group is gorgeous. I personally think she is the prettiest sister. She is the spitting image of her mom. I say let’s see more of her. Tamar looks like a completely different person than her picture at age 19.

  31. Problem ? says:

    @Bella you say never as if you spend your days waking up and going to bed with Beyonce. Shutup you delusional stan. So obsessed.

    Does it matter what these celebs do when fans put things like this above them because they have money and fame? Fans act as if celebs don’t suffer from media scrutiny, insecurity and the pressure to look damn near perfect.

    @Kapri_H that’s apples and oranges comparing a black woman lightening her skin or narrowing of her nose to a white woman tanning. When have white women ever been attacked for being too white? Nose and lips too thin? Even when they’re tanning they aren’t trying to be black but simply add a bit of color to their paleness so stop. Seems like you’re looking for a reason to justify your inner wish to be a white girl.

  32. Tamar clearly had some work on her nose.

    And she’s kinda pale without her makeup. You could see that when she went to see her dermatologist on one of those T&V episodes. She often wears the wrong shade of foundation. Unfortunate but does not equal bleaching. lol

  33. Destination Everywhere says:

    Wow @Problem?
    Why are you so hateful? You are taking an interesting discussion and poisoning it. You can state your opinions without being rude and taking personal jabs at someone. I just hope the ladies you have slammed don’t bother responding to your negativity so the debate can continue.

    That is all for my attempt at moderating.

  34. lolodoll1 says:

    Tamar – chile please. Nose job, cheek implants and no telling whatever else she has had done. Also, only if Vitiligo = hydroquinone will I agree with Vince. It’s not secret a lot of these famous women whose “beauty” folk gush over (i.e., Halle, Beyonce, Alicia, Kim, etc.) have had work done. At a min, everyone on that list has had their nose altered. Let’s not talk about the lipo and butt injections for a few as well. I’m sorry, but I just cannot consider someone beautiful knowing they’ve had body / face altering cosmetic surgery. It’s sad our little girls look up to this nowadays. As for Emily B…no comment.

    Cliche – well written article. I actually scrolled back up to the top as I thought this was written by Claire. Finger snaps!

  35. Crystal says:

    Can we stop comparing black women for bleaching to white women tanning. STOP! White women don’t get criticized for being white or needing to appeal to a black audience. I don’t believe their culture has waged a war within their own community of pale vs. tan as we’ve done with light vs. dark. Call a spade a spade. Our own community has horrible self esteem and self love. I still have people in my family that will make a comment like ‘don’t marry him, he will give you some black babies. It’s disgusting.

  36. Problem ? says:

    @destination you can shutup too! What’s hateful about someone speaking for a celebrity as if they are one of the pores on their face and me calling them out on it?

    There was nothing hateful about what I said. What you mad? And they can respond just like your silly emotional self did. Truth hurts.

  37. Jhess says:

    to each his own, that’s all im gonna say. I believe that getting plastic surgery to enhance your own personal image is equivalent to going to the gym, just more expensive.

  38. E says:

    I started skin bleaching 5 years ago due to extreme hyperpigmentation.

    I have tinea versicolor. I started skin bleaching and using aha lotions to even it out and now I can not stop. It does get addicting. Then you start focusing on other areas.

    Black knees
    Black knuckles
    Black ankles

    I got teased ALOT when I as younger for having those things. By males. Alot of black women suffer from this. I fixed it all, too. Now my skin is flawless very lighter. I have become addicted. And men treat me differently now that I am lighter. It sucks that it took light skin to get different treatment, but that’s the reality of our society.

    Skin bleaching is getting more popular. There are popular forums like skincaretalk and blackbleachingbabes blog I just came across. I bleach to cure a skin issue but too many people these days do it to gain acceptance. It’s scary.

  39. Natasha says:

    Is there a vitiligo race to sign up for? Like Run For the Cure because this is apparently rampant now and I’m ready to help :sideeye:

    But, let’s say for the sake of discussion, that skin lightening was a side effect of “evening out skin tone.” It’s time to look to the pharmaceutical industry to create products conducive to darker skin tones.

    Oh wait, we’ve yet to barely get that done in the mainstream cosmetics industry. I’ll keep waiting…

  40. Soul Touch says:


    Totally agree. Unless unrealistic, you can obtain the body you are searching for in the gym, especially if you are speaking of glutes. Use the same technique used by body building – heavy weights, shorter and slow (holding) reps, short rest period.

  41. Terilili says:

    E, thanks for sharing your story. Even if I don’t agree with it, it’s really interesting to here someone be honest about it.

  42. Soul Touch says:


    That’s the problem, because of our pigment, we are at risk for patches and skin lightening. The say the same ‘caution’ is given for skin peels as well.

  43. Soul Touch says:

    Skin bleaching is not only a problem with the black community, but in the Asian (east and south) as well. Mainly because lighter is more accepted and the chances that you will marry at a higher status is better. I have a number of south asian friends and each of them as a personal story of mistreatment due to a dark pigment. A coworker sister (in India) has had men tell her parents is that the only way they will marry her is if they offer more money….her value is just not high due to her darker skin.

  44. Soul Touch says:

    …sorry for the grammer errors, multi-tasking :s

  45. SAW says:

    Wow E!! I appreciate your honesty. I myself wanted to try bleaching cream to get rid of the acene scars on my face, but I haven’t in fear I might become addicted.

  46. SAW says:

    On a lighter note Tamar looks like Lil Kim’s twin

  47. Steph says:

    Colorism is a fantastic book that deals with the issue of the preference for lighter skin within the African American community.

  48. Indigo says:

    @Destination Everywhere O_o

  49. tica-pica says:

    @ SAW ‘on a lighter note’ – hahaha, i see what you did there haha

    I have nightmares about this – waking up to find that somebody has performed cosmetic surgery on me, particularly bigger boobs or ANYTHING on my face. If i’ve done one thing right when it comes to my appearance it’s to accept the beauty of being one in a million – there is only one, and will only ever EVER be one of each one of us, with the features and characteristics I have, I would hate to lose that to try looking like what i’m NOT

  50. Pinky says:

    This is so sad. Esp. the light skin/ dark skin issue among blacks

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