London, Dec 24 (IANS) Fashion magazine Elle is being accused of stirring up a race row following alleged digital lightening of Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai's skin for the glamourous cover page.
The 37-year-old, who achieved global popularity after winning the Miss World crown in 1994 and following it up with films like "Bride & Prejudice" and "The Pink Panther 2", appears on the cover of this month's Indian edition of the magazine.
Though Aishwarya looks picture perfect in a flowing gown and a stunning hairdo, readers started reacting with fury after it was suggested that the fashion magazine might have used digital technology to enhance her complexion, reports dailymail.co.uk. Inside the magazine, she is pictured in a series of shots with light skin.
However, fans have been posting angry comments online about the latest cover.
One comment read: "It's annoying because it seems like lighter skin is always in fashion as if darker skin is something to be frowned upon."
Colour discrimination is quite a sensitive issue in India, and it is often percieved that those with a lighter complexion are more successful and wealthy.
This isn't the first time that the magazine has been attacked for appearing to lighten the skin of its non-white models.
In September this year, Afro-American actress Gabourey Sidibe appeared on the cover of the US magazine with a much paler complexion than her usual.