Lenovo, the computer giant, wants in on the Yalitza Aparicio buzz. You can’t blame them either. Aparicio, the Oscar-nominated actress from Roma, is virtually everywhere right now. The former student/teacher became a star overnight after the release of the Alfonso Cuarón-directed film. Companies seem to be clamoring for the Aparicio name and face for product placement now that’s she’s up for an Acadamy Award.
Lenovo is the first company to release an advertisement featuring Aparicio for their #MujeresLenovo campaign. The sponsorship, however, isn’t getting all positive reviews. People on social media are criticizing the company for releasing images with the actress’s skin lightened. While retouching isn’t anything new, especially for ads or magazine covers, consumers have expressed they want more realistic models, which makes lightening the skin something that is frowned upon. At a Lenovo event for their campaign with the star, Aparicio spoke about the negativity the ad has received and said she is leaving it up to the photographers to decide what is best for the image.
“I appreciate the art and every photographer,” she said in Spanish. “They are the experts that know the types of techniques they will use, and I respect their work.”
The perspective on social media contradicted her sentiment, with many saying companies should feature her indigenous beauty and not try to alter it.
“Congrats to Yalitza for becoming an ambassador for Indigenous peoples from Mexico but I really would wish photographers and digital editors would reconsider their lighting choices, this picture is shot in such a way as to whiten her skin,” @GranadosCeja tweeted.
“The color of the skin does not make us different,” @5heyl8 tweeted. “But it is the society, the companies, the bias and indifference that value light skin versus dark skin.
Lightening the skin in advertisements isn’t the norm anymore, especially now that more and more black actresses have expressed their anger toward that method. One of those responding over the lightening of dark skin was Kerry Washington after her AdWeek cover a couple of years ago.
“Look, I’m no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot,” Kerry said on Instagram. “Yesterday, however, I just felt weary. It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It’s an unfortunate feeling.”
Actress Zendaya similarly said about one of her covers in 2015.
“Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19-year-old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self-conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self-love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it?? Thank you @modelistemagazine for pulling down the images and fixing this retouch issue.”