With her hair a golden blonde and her skin lighter than ever, Beyonce Knowles could once again face questions about the example she is setting to her fans.

The singer, 30, and those responsible for developing her image are using the dramatic look to promote her new album, 4.

But her fair skin - probably the result of clever lighting and some digital trickery - will prompt warnings that young fans may try to recreate the look by using dangerous products on their skin.

There may also be a repeat of claims last year when she adopted a similar look that she is betraying her racial background. Consultant dermatologist at the London Dermatology Centre Dr Sunil Chopra said: "There's no way you could achieve this kind of uniform lightening through skin-lightening products. This can only be done with computer technology."


Dr Chopra said that within some "communities of people with colour there's a perception that the paler you are the more beautiful you are" and added: "A lot of people will cause themselves a lot of harm by trying to achieve this.

"There are a lot of illegal, under-the-counter products that people use that can be dangerous."

In 2008 it was claimed Beyonce's skin was digitally lightened in advertising for L'Oreal, an accusation the beauty company said was "categorically untrue".

In February last year, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who writes for the Mail, said she believed Beyonce was betraying black and Asian women after she was pictured looking paler than usual with long, straight blonde hair.

But Heidi Mirza, professor of equalities studies at the University of London, said Miss Knowles" image was developing "new forms of black style".

Beyonce, whose father is black American and mother mixed race, last week gave birth to her first child, Blue Ivy Carter. Her spokesman was not available for comment.

- Daily Mail