Respected fashion magazine L’Officiel has defended the shoot, saying in a statement that Beyoncé was “paying homage to African queens” and as a “return to her African roots, as you can see on the picture, on which her face was voluntarily darkened.” The magazine added: “As for the artistic make-up, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face. We find the images beautiful and inspiring. The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season.”
Earlier this month, Beyoncé was seen sporting what was deemed a “lighter look” with bleachedblonde hair and skin that appeared to be paler than her usual shade, though dermtalogical experts pointed out that it was probably just a trick of the light. And in August 2008, L’Oreal was accused of “whitewashing” the star in an advert by digitally lightening her skin.