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India.Arie Responds to Skin Lightening Accusations


India.Arie has responded to the accusations that she lightened her skin, which stemmed from for the cover art of her latest single, ‘Cocoa Butter.’ The image has generated a heated discussion about how dark-skinned women are presented in the media.

It even prompted rapper Rhymefest to jump on Twitter, urging the Atlanta songbird to answer for what he felt was a misrepresentation of herself on the cover. “The woman who said she loved my pretty brown skin lightened hers up for what reason? I’m actually hurt,” he tweeted.

Arie went on Twitter first to deny that she had bleached her skin. She then wrote a longer message on her Facebook page. It reads:

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide are you ready for this #SongVersation?

Personally speaking! I’m happy to say I have NOT BLEACHED my skin LOL! ROTF at the thought.

1. I wouldn’t endanger my health that way

2. I’m so in love with myself I have no DESIRE to BLEACH myself. Lol

3. The GLOW you see IS (magnificent) lighting

4. THE LIGHT you see, Well thats all ME!!

Politically speaking racism/colorism in the black community is a MUUUUUUUCH larger #SongVersation #skinversaton

THAT I’d LOVE to “shed light on”..that conversation IS REAL, …let’s keep talking. #SongVersation #soulbirdsworldwide

Big love to ALL #soulbirdsworldwide”

Her explanation satisfied some people, but others were still questioning the photo. “Lighting” (and photoshop) may explain why your complexion appears to be lightened in the pic, but — since you know the extent of colorism among blacks and the industry — why sign off on a promo pic that makes your complexion appear to be so much lighter?” asked one reader.

Another follower wrote, “I think you look amazing in the photos. Those of us who are regular followers of you and your music know that you are comfortable and beautiful in your skin.”

Controversy aside, India.Arie is set to release her fifth album, ‘SongVersation,’ on June 25. The LP’s first single, ‘Cocoa Butter,’ will be available on iTunes April 9.

What do you think of Indie.Arie’s photo? Sound off in the comments below.


Listen to India.Arie’s ‘Cocoa Butter’

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