Beyoncé 'Voluntarily Darkened' Skin for L'Officiel Shoot

Is Beyoncé courting controversy with her latest fashion shoot?

The singer's skin was "voluntarily darkened" with makeup for her African Queen–themed spread for the March issue of L'Officiel.

Celebrating its 90th birthday, the French magazine pays tribute to the late Nigerian musician and human rights activist Fela Kuti with the shoot, which features the pop star—in a gold Gucci Spring/Summer 2011 dress on the cover—wearing tribal body paint and head wraps.

"Far from the glamorous Sasha Fierce, the beauty posed for the magazine with amazing fashion designers' clothes but also in a dress created by her mother," L'Officiel says.

"[It's] a return to her African roots … on which her face was voluntarily darkened."

The star has been the subject of skin-lightening accusations in the past, so it will be interesting to see how this new shoot plays out.