Although Beyoncé looks stunning on the cover of French fashion magazine L'Officiel Paris this month, her photoshoot for the publication, which celebrates its 90th anniversary, is causing quite a stir.
By the looks of a behind the scenes video from the L'Officiel Paris shoot, Beyoncé appears with dark face makeup on set and in the magazine. L'Officiel Paris sent Billboard.com an official statement explaining the styling of its shoot with Beyoncé.
"The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season," the release reads, adding that "The series was conceived as using art and fashion in paying homage to African queens."
Additionally: "Beyoncé mentioned [Nigerian musician and political activist] Fela Kuti in the interview as one of her musical inspirations. It was later misquoted as the inspiration for the shoot. We would like to clarify that it is not the case. As for the artistic makeup, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face."
According to official statements released to other publications, the singer's face was "voluntarily darkened" for the shoot. The image, a snippet of which is pictured above, has stirred controversy before the magazine even hits newsstands, with critics likening it to blackface.
The look is completed with an animal-print ensemble designed by Beyoncé's mother Tina Knowles, and colorful, African-inspired face paint.
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