Beyonce is being accused of skin lightening after a promo for new album 4 showed the Grammy award-winning singer sporting skin several shades lighter than her natural color.

In the photo, a blonde Beyonce is seen sprawled across a leopard print couch in a crochet bodysuit, showing a lighter-colored skin.

The ad has already been met with considerable backlash, though the star has yet to comment on it.

Beyonce Has Past With Promo 'Whitewashing'

This isn't the first time the 30-year-old black singer, who just gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy with husband Jay-Z, has come under fire for lightening her complexion to net a wider audience.

In 2008, L'Oreal was accused of digitally lightening Beyonce's skin for their Feria hair color ads.

The white model on the box shared a near-identical skin tone to Beyonce, and the singer was slammed for not representing her African-American roots.

Writer Yasmin Alibhai even charged Beyonce, the daughter of a black father and mixed-race mother, with betraying all black and Asian women.

In a letter to The Daily Mail, Alibhai-Brown wrote, Too many black and Asian children grow up understanding the sad truth that to have dark skin is to be somehow inferior.

It has even been alleged that Beyonce's father, Mathew Knowles, persuaded the singer to use skin treatments to lighten her complexion while she was a member of girl group Destiny's Child. Those rumors have never been substantiated.

'Colorism' Still an Issue

Some writers have already come forward to defend the singer, saying Beyonce's dramatically lighter skin in the 4 promo ad could just be the result of, well, lighting.

But if that's the case, it's still a rather startling transformation. As  Huffington Post writer Julee Wilson notes, it's one thing to hide your cellulose or your zits on camera. It's quite another to change the color of your skin.

Colorism is unfortunately still an issue today, Bill Duke and D. Channisn Berry, co-directors and producers of the documentary Dark Girls, told The Grio.

Dark skin is considered less than light skin in the minds of many in our community and in the media.

What do you think? Was Beyonce's skin digitally lightened in her promo ad for 4? And if it was, should viewers care?