Beyoncé in controversial photoshoot Thursday February 24, 2011 USA
Beyoncé has caused controversy by darkening her face for a recent photoshoot.
The singer, who is married to rapper Jay-Z, wore African-inspired clothing and blackened her face with make-up for the L'Officiel 90th anniversary issue in order to pay tribute to African musician Fela Kuti.
According to E! Online, the magazine has defended the pictures, saying: "The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season. 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."
Some readers have found the images offensive, with one African American reader complaining to the Atlanta Post: "As a fan of Fela Kuti, a man who was passionate about the freedom of Blacks/Africans throughout the Diaspora, I'm not quite sure as to how blackface pays tribute to him.
"I'm not quite sure as to why she would agree to do a photoshoot that associates her with one of the most deeply rooted racist images in American history."