Beyonce Under Fire for Fair Skinned ‘4′ Promo Photos
New mom Beyonce can’t catch a break. First she’s conspiring to fake her pregnancy. Then her hospital stay comes under scrutiny. Then her daughter, Blue Ivy, is actually Satan‘s. Now Bey is facing a firestorm of criticism for matters unrelated to Blue, but still related to color: this time, the color of her skin.
In a series of newly released promotional photos for Beyonce’s latest record, ’4,’ the ‘Countdown‘ singer poses seductively on a leopard print couch, wear a black one piece, necklaces, smoky eye makeup and dark crimson lips. No one is denying that Beyonce looks absolutely stunning. However, the Daily News reports that some are saying that Beyonce doesn’t look, well, like Beyonce. Beyonce’s trademark golden hair is there, but her complexion pales in comparison to its typical honey tone.
Is this a deliberate “whitewashing?” That’s what critics claim — and it isn’t the first time Beyonce’s been accused of this. In 2008, L’Oreal got heat for allegedly digitally lightening Beyonce’s skin in her ads for the cosmetics giant. More recently, Beyonce raised eyebrows with her album art for ’4,’ which some claimed made the diva look unusually pale.
“It’s like, Again? Are we here again? I think in a lot of ways shes culpable because there’s history there,” Lincoln Anthony Blades, founder of race-conscious blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, told the News.
Meanwhile, ‘Dark Girls’ filmmaker D. Channsin Berry told the Daily News that Bey is essentially selling out, saying that she’s “doing what she needs to do to be accepted worldwide and keep those sponsors happy.” Further, he thinks Beyonce is caving to explicit pressure to appear lighter skinned. “I wish she had people around her telling her that God doesn’t make mistakes,” Berry said, “that you are beautiful the way you are.”
While we do think the photo, at least at first glance, only bears a passing resemblance to Beyonce, we’re skeptical to think she is deliberately using “whitewashed” imagery to sell records. Based on the leopard print, the victory rolls in her hair and her red lips, the image in question looks like it was meant to evoke a vintage, Vargas girl style pinup look more than anything else. Additionally, the tone of her skin in the shot may easily be a result not of Photoshop magic, but of bright lighting — a fact that her critics concede.