Cosmetics maker L'Oreal placed an ad (top) in the September 2008 issues of Elle
featuring singer Beyonce. The ad quickly generated controversy when critics complained that Beyonce's skin color appeared to have been lightened in the photo. The entertainment website TMZ compared the ad to another photo (bottom) that showed Beyonce with much darker skin color.
L'Oreal denied lightening Beyonce's skin color, issuing a statement that, "It is categorically untrue that L'Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles' features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color." Advertising experts also noted that Beyonce's paler skin color may have been the result of "creative touchups" or of the lighting used during the photoshoot.
Nevertheless, whether the adjustment was deliberate or not, it is evident that the singer's skin color in the ad was paler than her normal shade.
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