The African American celebrity looked skinnier on her magazine cover than she had on a recent television appearance. She'd photo-shopped away forty pounds, at least. Maybe it wasn't her at all, because that face was three shades lighter than hers. Wait. Had she lightened her skin? Impossible. Never. Damn. She lightened her skin.
Here was a woman who'd faced her body image struggles out loud and in public. She'd helped me accept my own insecurities. I felt like the victim of a bait and switch. That cover screamed she preferred a slender, light-complexioned body to its alternative. It screamed she'd bought into the phony ideal of beauty that she'd been preaching against for decades. Betrayer. Hypocrite. Sell-out. What lies did she tell herself to justify this trampling of her principles?
Then again, what lies did I tell … to justify my trampling of her character? In a single rant, I'd photo-shopped my values––shaved away forty pounds of empathy and at least three shades of kindness.