Why do we still do this?

Vogue cover.

Decades ago, before we had Photoshop and airbrushing photographs was a tricky business, one of the best tricks we had to make models look better was flooding them with light. Aiming a high intensity light at their faces made their skin look like it was glowing and hid all the little imperfections.

Now that we have easy tools for evening out those little imperfections in a woman's face in Photoshop, we get more and more non-models on the cover of magazines. But instead of using these tools to document the variety and differences in all of these beautiful women, the old tricks of light are still used to flatten and whiten their faces, even when (as it does in the case of Beyonce, inset) it serves only to create an almost unrecognizably generic looking female. Bereft of her skin color and any distinguishing marks, this could be any young woman. Where is the point in falling back on these familiar crutches when we lose what makes these women interesting and desirable in the first place? It's a shame.