‘She’s a completely different shade’: Critics claim Beyonce’s skin tone has been lightened in new Tiffany ad to make her look ‘white European’ – and say it sends a message that it’s ‘more desirable’ than being black

• Date Night, a new advert released by luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co this week sees Beyonce, Jay-Z, and their daughter Blue Ivy appear together
• However, some critics have suggested Beyonce’s skin tone in the commercial looks considerably lighter than it really is
• Writer Dominique Samuels said it ‘sends out the message lighter skin is better
• Broadcaster Edward Adoo said ‘black women are still buying skin lightening products because they think lighter skin is more desirable’
• In August, the singer suffered a backlash for wearing a $30million ‘blood diamond’ that came from a colonial mine in Kimberley, South Africa
• In 2008, L’Oreal denied using filters to lighten the star’s skin in an ad campaign
• The latest ad for Tiffany & Co. featuring the Carters has sparked more controversy for the brand – over claims that Beyonce’s skin has been artificially lightened, with one critic suggesting the pop star appears ‘like a white European’.
• Beyonce, 40, and Jay-Z, 51, are seen in Date Night, a new commercial released by the luxury jewelry company this week, as part of its ongoing About Love campaign.
• In August, Beyonce suffered a backlash for wearing a $30million Tiffany ‘blood diamond’, which was traced back to a colonial mine in Kimberley, South Africa.
• Now, Beyonce’s appearance in the latest collaboration has sparked accusations that the advert has been edited to lighten the singer’s natural skin tone – with one commentator, Dominique Samuels, saying the video could send out a ‘worrying message’ to impressionable fans.
• Broadcaster Edward Adoo said the star ‘looked like a white European’ and it was dispiriting to see a black star ‘camouflaging’ her natural skin tones.
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• MailOnline has contacted the jewelry brand and Beyonce’s representatives for comment.
• It isn’t the first time claims of ‘white-washing have been made. In 2008, the star, who was born and raised in Texas by her African father and mixed-race mother, faced controversy when her skin appeared shades lighter in an advertisement for L’Oreal.
• And in 2012, a photo used to promote her album 4, released in 2011, surfaced showing the mega-star looking much paler than her usual tone – again sparking claims of skin lightening filters being used.
• In the latest ad, the pop star and her rapper husband are seen in a Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired video snuggling up on the back seat of a taxi, with daughter Blue Ivy also making an appearance.
• The Lemonade singer appears to channel Audrey Hepburn in a black gown with her hair styled elegantly on the top of her head.
• Writer and commentator Dominique Samuels said the video could potentially be ‘harmful’ to young black women.
• ‘It’s a very stylish advert but you can’t hide the fact that Beyonce’s skin looks substantially lighter than it usually does. You only need to flick back through her Instagram and see she’s a lot darker than in that advert.’
• ‘She’s wearing a lot of make-up, there’s a lot of filters going on – she looks a completely different shade.’
• ‘There has to be balanced, on the one hand, why are we still obsessing over what people look like? On the other, for Beyonce, as a black woman, to appear to change her skin tone sends out a worrying message to her young and older fans who look up to her.
• ‘It sends out the message that lighter skin is better and although skin lightening isn’t as common in western countries anymore, in some African countries it’s still very prevalent. Some people are undergoing very dangerous procedures – literally melting their skin – to get their skin lighter.
• Broadcaster Edward Adoo, from London, said the singer’s true skin tone looked ‘camouflaged’ in the latest Tiffany & Co. ad.
• ‘I think Beyoncé looks as if she has applied some sort of skin lightening cream or a filter. She looks like a white European.
• ‘It would have been great to see her in a natural way, not to camouflage her looks in order to make it more appealing to the mainstream.
• ‘As a young black male growing up, there were hardly any black role models for me. We’re at a different stage and representation has picked up but so much more needs to be done.
• ‘Seeing someone like Beyonce, who has such an incredible following, with blonde hair and light skin, it just doesn’t present the right image in terms of black empowerment.
• ‘It’s dispiriting, if this is happening in a Beyonce commercial, I wonder if we’ll ever get to a place where there is genuine, proper representation.
• ‘The impact affects every generation; in parts of London, there are black women of all ages who are still buying skin lightening products because they think lighter skin is more desirable.
• ‘They’re buying them because they don’t feel right and accepted as who they are.’
• It has been alleged that in the early days of award-winning band Destiny’s Child her father Mathew Knowles had persuaded her to use skin treatments to remain the lightest-complexioned member of the successful girl group.
• Dr. Kadian Pow, a lecturer in Sociology and Black Studies at Birmingham City University, disagrees that the advert purposely lightened Beyonce’s skin tone but does think filtering remains a problem, particularly on social media apps.
• ‘I agree that using filters and lights to manipulatively lighten the complexions of Black women and other dark skin people sends harmful messaging to young people as well as everyone else.
• ‘This kind of practice reinforces centuries of Eurocentric beauty standards that have defined lighter skin tones as beautiful and darker ones as undesirable.
• ‘Though there are some beauty and cosmetics companies today who are sending more inclusive messaging about the beauty of dark skin, the algorithms of social media apps, like Instagram, are not as inclusive, often pelting us with images of those closest to a Eurocentric standard.’
• At the end of August 2021, Jay-Z and Beyonce were unveiled as Tiffany & Co’s newest brand ambassadors.
• They kicked off the About Love campaign as they appeared in chemistry-filled black and white photos.
• The couple followed up with the campaign’s first video ad which was also inspired by the iconic 1961 film. In the ad, Beyonce modeled the controversial 128.54-carat yellow diamond necklace.

VARIOUS CITIES – JUNE 28: In this screengrab, Beyoncé is seen during the 2020 BET Awards. The 20th annual BET Awards, which aired June 28, 2020, was held virtually due to restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by BET Awards 2020/Getty Images via Getty Images)

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