Let’s face it, Beyoncé has been the woman to talk about. From all the hype around her new baby Blue Ivy, to all the hysteria accusing her and hubby Jay-Z of getting special treatment, Bey continues lighting up the headlines. Now here’s another headline she’s after — and yet another thing of which critics are accusing her. Critics say she “whitewashed” on the cover of her latest album.

Beyoncé does still have her music to promote, despite her new mommy status. The latest image for her album IV (which is also allegedly where Blue got her middle name Ivy) has sparked a lot of conversation. While a lot of performers seek to his or get her album into the conversation, the chatter surrounding Bey’s album has pretty much nothing to do with the music but rather, her appearance.
 

If you can’t tell, Beyoncé is looking, well, lighter in her promotional photo. Although her skin is naturally on the lighter side, the image has people claiming that the star deliberately lightened her skin for the shot. The blonde wig and eyebrows only add fuel to the critical fire. While many people might just chalk it up to bad lighting or photo shop, history seems to be on the critics side. Bey also caught some heat for a similar thing happening for her ad campaigns for L’Oréal. [via Fashionista]

The issue remains such a hot topic because the growing trend of skin-bleaching and lightening creams. Society created this idea that “lighter skin is bette,r” causing some women with darker skin to feel that this is the ideal they have to live up to. Add to that fact that someone as popular as Beyoncé is consciously or unconsciously caving into those standards, and the issue only swells.

It’s no surprise that women of all skin colors look up to her, and whether she intended to or not, she’s in a way supporting that message — or is she?

Whose fault is it when this happens? Those in control of editing the photo? The products at hand? Or the person? When Beyoncé saw the end results of her photos or ads, should she have said something? I’ll admit that she does look a little paler than normal, but with her rockin’ body and curves, she’s been known to go against society’s norms — so why would an issue as important as this be any different?

So what do you guys think? Can we chalk it up to bad lighting? Do you think Beyoncé is intentionally making herself look paler?