Berry bleached for SA woman’s mag?

2010-11-14 13:34

Black American actress Halle Berry may be too black for the tastes of the genteel South African suburban mlungus who read woman&home, a women’s magazine published by Caxton.

Why else would a strange, ivory-complexioned version of the sexy, coffee-coloured actress decorate the cover of the magazine’s ­November issue?

The Halle Berry featured by woman&home is indeed as white as a Waterkloof wife.

And her newly acquired pallor has not ­escaped the eagle eyes of others in the ­magazine industry.

“Photoshop pale fail for Halle Berry?” enquired Hurricane ­Vanessa on her blog “from the Cape of Storms.”

This blog is but one of many in cyberspace dealing with what appears to be an endless fascination with Berry’s racial origins.

But it is the only blog that asks why the actress, who has publicly stated that she regards herself as a black woman, ended up as a sort of caucasian version of herself on the cover of a South African ­magazine.

Hurricane Vanessa is the cyberspace alias of Cosmopolitan ­editor Vanessa Raphaely.

Photoshopping Berry’s race is, in her opinion, well, in the same class as the readers of woman&home.

“Even though it is not one of our stable I am quietly something of a fan of woman&home,” she writes.

“While it is not for me, (Shoot me if I ever become this ... er ... nice. Please!) I think it gets its blend of cosiness and encouragement absolutely right for its audience, who, I have always presumed is the middle-aged plus, nice white lady demographic.

“You know, the lovely ones who bake cakes for church fetes and who are really decent wives, friends and sisters.

“I like them, they’re good eggs, I just don’t want to be them. And I’m not sure Halle Berry wants to be one of them either.”

To boot, Raphaely points out, the only woman of African-American descent who ever won a best actress Oscar “had no choice” in the matter.

But woman&home’s art director Christelle Matheus denied the charge.

Neither the magazine, nor Great Stock, the agency from which the pics were ­purchased, had fiddled with the colour of Berry’s skin, she said. The actress’s colour, she ­added, was so light because the pics had been shot in daylight.

“It was not touched, not by us and not by them.”

Berry is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. She was the star of Monster’s Ball in which her character had an ­interracial ­affair and for which Berry won an Oscar for best actress. She also featured in X-Men and she was the Bond girl Jinx in Die Another Day.

Her white mother, Judith Ann Hawkins, was a psychiatric nurse. Her African-American father, ­Jerome Jesse Berry, was a hospital attendant, who later became a bus driver.

Berry has said in published ­reports that she regards herself as a black person. “I don’t see a white woman. I see a black woman, even though my mother is white,” she declared. “Knowing that has made my life easier, I think.”

Hillary Dennis is one of the bloggers who responded to Hurricane Vanessa’s remarks about the woman&home cover.

“Would her (Berry’s) nearest and dearest even RECOGNISE her ……?” she wanted to know.

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