It’s Beyoncé as you’ve never seen her before … and some people aren’t happy about it. Ever since images from an ad campaign for L’Oréal Paris in the September issue of Elle hit news stands earlier this week, bloggers and critics have been claiming that the pictures appear to have been altered to give the singer lighter skin.
Compared to other images of Beyoncé, the singer’s skin tone does appear to be several shades lighter in the ad, and while B herself hasn’t made any comments about the controversy, a L’Oréal spokesperson denied the charges on Thursday. “We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles,” read the statement. “It is categorically untrue that L’Oréal Paris altered Ms. Knowles’ features or skin tone in the campaign.”
Beyoncé has been a spokesperson for L’Oréal since 2001. The new campaign for the Feria hair-color product shows the 26-year-old singer with windblown blonde hair and a skin tone that the New York Post dubbed “shocking.” A rep for the singer told the paper, however, “There is no doubt that anyone seeing that ad will know that it is Beyoncé.”
Eric Deggans, chairman of the media-monitoring committee of the National Association of Black Journalists, told the Post that magazines should be more sensitive to perceptions that light-skinned African Americans are more acceptable.
Beyoncé’s “skin is lighter [in the Elle ad] than the way I’m used to seeing her,” he said. “Advertisers and magazines need to be careful about this, even if it’s just a production process.”