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Beyonce went through an airbrush scandal in 2008 when her skin appeared shades lighter in an advertisement.

But it appears Beyoncé – or her producers – have not learned their lesson. A promotional picture has emerged of  her looking much paler than her usual colour. The new photo, taken before the 30-year-old fell pregnant with her newborn daughter, are being used to re-advertise her fourth album, 4, which was released last year. In the seductive pose, Beyoncé dons a blonde wig and lies on a leopard-print couch, wearing a skimpy black crochet monokini. She also wears suspenders and a lashing of dark red lipstick.

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Too many black children grow up understanding the sad truth that to have dark skin is to be somehow inferior.

Black  parents work hard to give their children a positive self-image and confidence in their appearance, despite the cultural forces stacked against them. But when black celebrities appear to deny their heritage by trying to make themselves look white, I despair for the young girls who see those images.

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Last year Elle magazine had been accused of lightening actor Aishwarya Rai’s already fair complexion as well.

Normally, the photo might be chalked up to artistic license. But Beyoncé has been dogged over controversy about her skin tone going back to her early days with Destiny’s Child. Skin tone among African-Americans has long been a sensitive subject. Michael Jackson was often criticize for whitening his skin. But he claimed to have suffered from Vitiligo, a condition that causes patches of light skin.

Beyonce should know better.

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