Pharrell Marilyn Mondoe

After catching flack from many for the decidedly, uh, beige album cover for his latest project G I R L, Pharrell told dark-skinned Black women to stop being so insecure and expecting the media to represent them, especially him.

Skateboard P explained in Rolling Stone:

There were a lot of black women that were really angry at some of those girls, but some of those girls are the ones that instantly get mad when they don’t see somebody that’s dark. And it’s like: “Yo, you don’t need nobody to represent you. You represent you. You represent the best version of who you could be. You go out there and change the world.”

Despite telling dark skin sisters that they don’t need anyone to represent them, the artwork for his latest single Marilyn Monroe looks like he was listening to his critics.

The bright red cover features Khadija Nicholas, one of Pharrell’s dancers, rocking a red turtleneck in a close-up shot. The image is arresting, beautiful, and perfectly fits the theme of the song, which Pharrell insists is, “You don’t gotta be waif, white, and thin to be beautiful. You can be anything that you want to be.”

Whether Pharrell planned to tap Nicholas before the G I R L cover controversy is unclear, but what’s clear is that representation matters, even when you have to apply a little pressure to get it.

What do you think of Pharrell’s Marilyn Monroe cover?

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  • i mean

    I’ve been holding my tongue on this particular topic, but I want to say something. When Pharrell was with The Neptunes, he always showcased a variety of colors in regards to women. I remember the “Frontin” and “Maybe” where Lanesha Cole was all up in the damn video. This is also true for many of his other videos. As a dark skinned woman, I was not upset, I honestly didn’t care. I didn’t feel like Pharrell was shading brown or dark skinned women, because I knew that he had had them in his videos before. I think the cover is beautiful, and saying that Nicholas got the cover due to pressure, denies the fact that the girl being straight up gorgeous is what got her the cover

  • cocodollie

    Isn’t this the singer with internalized racism and that mediocre song “Cause I’m Happy”? Who cares about him. Why do we care about such insignificant beings?

  • Darrell

    Black women begged for a spot. This still will not change perception or dating habits