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Beyonce
Diane Bondareff  /  AP
Singer Beyonce walks the runway in the 'Fashion for Relief' show Friday, Sept. 16. The star's recent Vanity Fair cover is the subject of controversy.
Access Hollywood
updated 10/18/2005 7:23:31 PM ET 2005-10-18T23:23:31

A naked John Lennon embracing Yoko Ono on the cover of the January 1981 Rolling Stone was voted the greatest magazine cover of all time earlier this week — and without a single touch-up.

But now, almost 25 years later, Radar magazine is claiming that Vanity Fair actually lightened the skin of its latest cover girl, Beyonce. Access Hollywood investigated Beyonce's cover controversy.

Gracing the front of the new Vanity Fair is a stunning photo of a smiling Beyonce. But did Vanity Fair make the music superstar, well, fair?

Beyonce's spokesperson says no way.

“There are very fair-skinned black people in this world and Beyonce is one of them,” Yvette Noel-Schure told Access.

Vanity Fair was outraged by the claims saying the photos were “absolutely not” manipulated.

For now, fans and even some other celebs, are just happy to see Beyonce on the cover.

“If you lighten Beyonce's skin, at the end of the day it doesn't matter because she's still gorgeous and makes great records,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson told us. “It would be different if you just made her white.”

While Vanity Fair didn't lighten the image, the practice of retouching magazine photos is being used more and more.

Brandon Kavulla, art director for Best Life magazine, showed us how easy it is to manipulate images with the click of a button.

“If I wanted to make someone a little more tan, as you can see, as I drag this over it gets a little browner,” Brandon said from his computer as he easily altered a photo within seconds.

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And while retouching ranges from simple airbrushing to putting one person's head on someone else's body, some celebs don't necessarily mind.

“I think anything that can make me look better is good,” Felicity Huffman said.

On a 1989 edition of TV Guide, they took more than few liberties by pasting Oprah's head onto Ann Margaret's body.

Then, there's the famous 1994 OJ Simpson Time cover where the magazine darkened the mug shot, while rival Newsweek left the image alone.

But the new Vanity Fair cover isn't the only cover this year to cause a stir.

A thinner Martha Stewart appeared on the cover of Newsweek one week before getting out of prison. To show how she might look, editor's put Martha's head on a model's body.

“We had a specific point we wanted to make about Martha's reemergence on the scene,” Newsweek assistant managing editor Lynn Staley said. “We did not have the option of shooting her and because we wanted to make a point, this is how we solved the problem by doing an illustration.”

Apparently Redbook is also a fan.

In June 2003, they altered their Jennifer Aniston cover by changing her hair and her shirt color. The following month, their July cover had Julia Roberts' head from the People's Choice Awards in 2002 attached to her body from the “Notting Hill” premiere.

While some celebrities shrug it off, others aren't as forgiving.

“I think it's wrong. I think it's immoral and insane. I think our society and this town is going out of its mind,” Eric McCormack said. “The cover of the Star magazine is [Jessica] Simpson and her husband and their sham marriage, enough! People, it's enough! I want to scream at the magazines, but the people are buying them. People, read a book. Read a book.”

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