Beyoncé has rocked some pretty daring looks over the course of her career— ultra-short dresses, leotards, and skintight gowns. But blackface?
The singer is pictured in the March 2011 issue of the French fashion magazine L’Officiel wearing a variety of African-inspired dresses and donning dark paint on her face. Now Beyoncé and the magazine are under fire by critics who are calling the photos offensive.
L’Officiel released a statement saying that Bey’s face was “voluntarily darken” and that the shoot was a tribute to her African roots. Also, in a statement to Billboard.com the magazine wrote:
“The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season. The series was conceived as using art and fashion in paying homage to African queens. As for the makeup, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face.”
This is not the first time a high fashion magazine has darken a model’s face. Back in 2009, French Vogue darken the face of model Lara Stone, who is white, for an editorial photo spread.
Check out behind the scenes footage of Beyoncé’s L’Officiel shoot
By Brooks Newkirk