Actress Aishwarya Rai Protests Elle Skin Whitening (photos) 1Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, apparently isn’t beautiful enough for Elle magazine’s India edition. The Indian actress is the latest to charge that her skin was lightened for the cover.

The former Miss World is so incensed she said she is considering suing the magazine, the Times of India reports.

“Aishwarya’s first reaction was disbelief,” a source told the newspaper.

Aishwarya “believed that these things don’t happen anymore. Not in this day and age when women are recognized for their merit, and not for the color of their skin.

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Actress Aishwarya Rai Protests Elle Skin Whitening (photos) 2Aishwarya RaiActress Aishwarya Rai Protests Elle Skin Whitening (photos) 3Actress Aishwarya Rai Protests Elle Skin Whitening (photos) 4Actress Aishwarya Rai Protests Elle Skin Whitening (photos) 5Actress Aishwarya Rai Protests Elle Skin Whitening (photos) 6

“She is currently verifying this skin-whitening allegation. If there is any proof of this, she might even take action,” the source said.

Another source said Aishwarya considers herself the global face of the contemporary Indian woman. “The last thing she’d want is to have a global image colored by a racial suggestion,” the person said.

Fashion magazines around the globe have be hit by similar allegations involving women of color.

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi got an unwelcome makeover for a cover shoot by TV Guide. Her photo her a decidedly lighter skintone.

Lakshmi, 40, is pictured on the cover with co-host Tom Colicchio, promoting their reality TV competition, “Top Chef All Stars.” But her her dark tawny skin looks the same as Colicchio’s, who is white.

Recently, the U.S. edition of Elle magazine came under fire when African-American actress Gabourey Sidibe appeared dramatically lighter-skinned on its October 2010 cover.

TV Guide and Elle both denied digitally bleaching skin.

“At a photo shoot, in a studio, that is a fashion shoot, that’s glamorous, the lighting is different. The photography is different than a red carpet shot from a paparazzi,” said Elle Editor-in-chief Robbie Myers.

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