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But editors of the publication have explained the styling and shot back at critics.

A statement from a L'Officiel Paris spokesperson reads, "Far from (Beyonce's alter-ego) the glamorous Sasha Fierce, the beauty posed for the magazine with amazing fashion designers' clothes, but also in a dress created by her mother.

"A return to her African roots, as you can see in the picture, on which her face was voluntarily darkened. All the pictures will be available in the collector edition, on sale at the end of this month."