by Ben Arogundade
In August 2008, recording artist and actress Beyoncé Knowles featured in a magazine ad for cosmetics giant L’Oréal Paris and their Feria hair colour range. The ad drew controversy when the company were accused of deliberately lightening her skin in the photograph. (A charge they vehemently denied). This led to rumors that Beyoncé herself was using skin bleach. There had also been a prior unsubstantiated claim that during her time in the R’n'B group Destiny’s Child, her father Mathew Knowles persuaded her to use skin treatments in order that she stand out as the lightest member of the band.
Since then the accusations leveled at her have failed to dissipate, and indeed were further fueled by a subsequent paparazzi image of the singing star shopping in Los Angeles in February 2011, displaying very pale skin on her face and legs.
There was more controversy on January 17, 2012 when the Grammy award-winning singer’s record company released a startling new promotional picture for her album, ’4′, which originally came out in 2011. The image — featuring Knowles reclining on a leopard print sofa as a light-skinned blonde with straight hair and dark red lipstick — is unrecognizable from previous images of her. The photo sparked fresh outcry in the press. “White out of order!” screamed a headline in The Daily Mail.
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