Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beyoncé for L'Officiel

Singer Beyoncé
Magazine: L'Officiel
90th Anniversary issue
Photography: Mark Pillai

For their 90th Anniversary cover, L'Officiel magazine chose Beyoncé to don African inspired fashions. The shoot pays tribute to Nigerian political activist and musician Fela Kuti. The cover shot of the African Queen themed shoot shows the pop star rocking a gold dress from Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection.
The shoot has drawn controversy due to the dark face painting that appears in a couple of the shots. This is not Beyoncé's first encounter with skin color controversy. L'Oreal was accused of lightening the singer's skin for a past ad and Beyoncé herself has even been recently accused of skin bleaching. I take no issue with the face painting. It is a common practice and is used here for artistic purposes rather than comic effect. UK singer Estelle recently caught fire for her blackface scenes in her Freak video and Nicki Minaj's tribal painting for V magazine caused a stir.

Check out more photos and behind the scenes footage below.


Яonald Matters said...

People have asked:
Considering her past allegations with skin coloring, why would she do this??

Why didn't they just hire a dark-skinned model like Alek Wek?

How dare she wear blackface like its just another fashion accessory?

I'd love to hear your view on at least one of these.

george.arnett said...

Well, I feel like the black face paint was only used as showing one type of woman. Of course they could have used a different model but I think it was about the transformation. Skin color is a touchy subject. However, if black opera singers can portray Spanish women and white men can perform Othello in face paint, I feel like it should be ok here. Art is art. I have other problems with the shoot. How does this honor Fela Kuti at all? The intentions were good but they missed the mark with that. The face paint is not that offensive to me.