Fact Check

Does This Photo Show the 'Lightest and Darkest Skin Colors'?

Many different effects are achievable in the world of photography.

Published May 17, 2016

Image courtesy of Facebook
A photograph shows two people with the darkest and lightest skin colors in the world.

A photograph of two men is frequently shared with the misleading claim that it shows the lightest and darkest skin colors in the world:

"The Lightest and Darkest skin colour. Human Diversity is amazing.

While the two models pictured in the photo shown above do have dramatically different skin tones, the colors portrayed in this image were achieved with makeup and does not represent their true skin colors. The photograph was taken by Rachel Litchfield for a spread in Chaos Magazine in 2011, and featured models Papis Loveday and Shaun Ross:


While Chaos Magazine did not provide information about how the colors were achieved, photographs of Ross and Loveday show that their skin tones in person are quite different than what was portrayed in the "Out Of Circulation" photo shoot:

skin color

Furthermore, an image on the website of Alexis Knox, the stylist for the Chaos Magazine spread, shows makeup being applied to one of the models:

alexis knox

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.