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Critics claim Beyonce’s skin tone ‘artifically lightened’ in new Tiffany & Co ad with Jay-Z

Critics claim Beyonce's skin tone 'artifically lightened' in new Tiffany & Co ad with Jay-Z

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 jewellery 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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Date Night, a new advert released by luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co this week sees Beyonce, Jay-Z and their daughter Blue Ivy appear together – but some critics have suggested that Beyonce’s skin looked lighter than it really is in the video

The Lemonade singer appears to channel Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, wearing a black gown with her blonde hair styled elegantly on the top of her head.

Beyonce pictured in 2020 in promotional photos for her  Black Is King film which was released on Disney Plus 

MailOnline has contacted the jewellery 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.

Broadcaster Edward Adoo, from London, said the singer’s true skin tone looked ‘camouflaged’ in the latest Tiffany & Co. ad

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 balance, 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 any more, 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.  

The couple’s nine-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, who was wearing braces, made a cameo in the ad as she crashed her famous parents’ outing in the Big Apple

‘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.’  

Beyonce and Jay Z pictured in the back of a car in the romantic new ad for the Tiffany & Co.’s About Love campaign

The singer sparked controversy in August, modelling the famed 128.54 carat Tiffany Diamond, making her the fourth female to ever to wear the gem, in a photoshoot alongside her husband Jay Z – it was later revealed the diamond was linked to colonialism

The singer has faced furious backlash for wearing the gem, which was found in the Kimberley mines in South Africa in 1877 – when workers were subjected to horrific conditions

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.

At the end of August 2021, Jay-Z and Beyonce were unveiled as Tiffany & Co’s newest brand ambassador. 

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.


In 2012, Beyonce faced a backlash over a seductive series of photographs for her then latest album 4, which was released in 2011.

The shots saw the star, who was born and raised in Texas by her African father and mixed-race mother, wearing a blonde wig, lying on a leopard-print couch in black crocheted swimwear.

2012 saw accusations of ‘white-washing’ after Beyonce promoted her fourth album, 4, with this photo

In 2008, cosmetics giant L’Oreal denied it had altered Beyonce’s skin tone in a commercial for its Feria hair product

In August 2008, cosmetics giant L’Oreal was accused of ‘whitewashing’ the star in an advert by digitally lightening her skin. The company issued a statement at the time saying: ‘We highly value our relationship with Ms Knowles. It is categorically untrue that L’Oreal Paris altered Ms Knowles’ features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color.’

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. 

Writing in the Daily Mail in 2015, singer Mica Paris criticised the star for air-brushing away her true self. 

She wrote: ‘Not only does it imprint upon every impressionable young woman of colour the message that she is not good enough as she is, it also suggests that, despite her meteroic success, Queen Bee thinks she must alter the very fabric of her being to make herself more palatable to the masses.’ 

The diamond, which was discovered in 1877 in a South African colonial mine, has a controversial history as the country and the mines were under British rule. 

The predominantly black migrant workers were subjected to hard labor and received little to no pay.

Beyonce was said to be unaware of the diamond’s history and ‘outraged’ that she was not informed.

An insider told The Sun, ‘Beyonce is aware of the criticism and is disappointed and angry that she wasn’t made aware of questions about its history.’ 


The Tiffany diamond was discovered in the De Beers Mine in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1877 – at a time when the country and its mines were under British colonial rule.  

Black laborers were forced to work in horrendous conditions at the mine for miniscule pay.

During this time, miners were subjected to dangerous and unhealthy situations, which resulted in many fatal accidents.  

Housing for the workers had no natural water or waste disposal.

The mine lends its name to The Kimberley Process – a certification scheme established by the UN in 2003 to stop blood diamonds entering the mainstream diamond market.  

This content was originally published here.

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