The new photo, taken before the 30-year-old fell pregnant with her newborn daughter, are being used to re-advertise her fourth album, 4, which was released last year.
In the seductive pose, Beyoncé dons a blonde wig and lies on a leopard-print couch, wearing a skimpy black crochet monokini. She also wears suspenders and a lashing of dark red lipstick.
Experts say the appearance may have been down to lighting used in the studio. However this is not the first time the wife of rapper Jay-Z has accused of appearing to 'lighten' her skin.'
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.
And some commentators have expressed fears, that these images of the superstar singer - who is famous for her honey-toned hair and complexion, could have the effect of making darker-skinned black girls ashamed of how they look.
Flawless and lighter: In August 2008, L'Oreal was accused of 'whitewashing' the star in an advert by digitally lightening her skin
And last February, a very blonde Beyonce stepped out, wearing a black minidress which revealed unusually pale skin on the star.
At the time writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown accused the singer of 'betraying all Black and Asian women.'
She wrote in The Daily Mail: 'Too many black and Asian children grow up understanding the sad truth that to have dark skin is to be somehow inferior.
'Of course, black and Asian parents work hard to give their children a positive self-image and confidence in their appearance, despite the cultural forces stacked against them.
'But when black celebrities appear to deny their heritage by trying to make themselves look white, I despair for the youngsters who see those images.'
At the time, the cosmetics house denied that the pictures had been altered in such a way but The New York Post newspaper called the advert ‘shocking’ and accused it of making the singer look like a ‘weird, nearly white version of herself’