Beyonce `blacks up` for a shoot

Updated: Feb 24, 2011, 15:08 PM IST

London: After reports that she has bleached her hair and skin in a bid to "go white", R&B superstar Beyonce Knowles has now donned black face make-up to shoot an African themed spread in a French fashion magazine.

For L`Officiel`s 90th-anniversary issue, the `Single Ladies` hitmaker dons tribal-inspired clothing and accessories and has her caramel skintone darkened by heavy make-up.

The shoot caused an uproar but L`Officiel has defended it, saying in a statement that Beyonce was "paying homage to African queens", reported Daily Mail online.

"It is a return to her African roots, as you can see on the picture, on which her face was voluntarily darkened. As for the artistic make-up, the inspiration came from several African rituals during which paint is used on the face," said the statement.

The 29-year-old donned the heavy dark make-up with tribal-style stripes as well as a leopard print top in the photo in question for L`Officiel magazine

Earlier this month, Beyonce was seen sporting what was deemed a lighter look with bleached blonde hair and skin that appeared to be paler than her usual shade.

She was at the centre of another row in August 2008, when cosmetics giant L`Oreal was accused of "whitewashing" the star in an advert by digitally lightening her skin.