Posted on February 24, 2011

Hmmmm….now this is interesting.

So Beyoncé’s latest came under fire Wednesday when of the singer’s famous face appeared in the pages of a French fashion magazine – covered in dark paint.

L’Officiel chose the to don different colorful garbs and headpieces in a to Nigerian musician and human rights activist Fela Kuti in an “African Queen”-themed 90th anniversary issue.

The singer reportedly went to see the show “Fela!” – for which Jay-Z is a co-producer – and was so inspired by the music that she’s even incorporated the legendary musician’s sounds in her upcoming album.

Critics, however, quickly raised their eyebrows – and voices – in protest over what they deemed another instance of offensive blackface for the sake of fashion, while of the shoot argued that the look had artistic value.

The publication issued a statement, asserting that Beyoncé was “voluntarily darkened” and that the entire shoot was a tribute to the ’s “African roots.”

“The designs are all reflective of the African influence on fashion this season,” the magazine said in a statement. “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 and inspiring,” the said, defending their decision.

No one from Beyoncé’s camp has yet spoken out in response to the Internet .

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