All it takes is a bright flash or lighter foundation to send the skin bleaching rumor mill into overdrive. India.Arie learned the hard way when she released the artwork for the first single off her new album “Songversation,” entitled “Cocoa Butter.”
The artwork shows India.Arie posing against a brown wall in a purple head wrap and printed jacket. Some feel the singer, who is known for promoting inner beauty and self love, looks several shades lighter than her normal complexion. Skin bleaching rumors abound, and people are concluding that India.Arie must not be happy with her God-given skin color. The thinking goes if she did truly love herself, why would she use skin bleaching/makeup/lighting to appear lighter?
Rapper Rhymefest even joined the chorus of speculators, saying “It’s not the lights, even if it’s make up! Why India Arie!? This isn’t You! Please tweet her and ask her why…I hope her music sells I like her message but lookin like Alicia Keys isn’t the way nothing’s wrong with dark skin.”
I don’t know India.Arie from a can of paint but I highly doubt she’s bleaching her skin. She seems like one of the few artists that practices what she preaches when it comes to self-acceptance. I doubt she would succumb to the dominant culture’s limiting notion of beauty when she’s been so vocal about defining beauty for oneself.
Her representatives addressed the claims via TMZ calling the criticism ridiculous and attributing her lighter skin to the angle and camera flash.
Whether the claims are true or not, she now joins a growing list of artists from Dawn Richards to Beyoncé, who have been accused of skin bleaching. It’s hard to tell if a skin lightening trend is really afoot in the industry or if the public is just obsessed with speculating on whether our favorite celebrities have indulged. What do you think, Clutchettes?