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India Arie: 'Skin lightening? LOL' - 'Cocoa Butter' singer calls the rumors a joke

Posted by on Mar. 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM
  • 6 Replies

By Molly Chance, Zap2It


India Arie sparked some pretty ridiculous controversy on the web when she released the promo cover for her new single "Cocoa Butter." The famously Afrocentric R&B singer was criticized for appearing to have a lighter complexion. While some suggested the image was altered, others went so far as to suggest Arie has chemically lightened her skin.

TMZ posted an image contrasting the promo shot with a recent performance photo and argued, "India approved the photo, and HAD to notice it wasn't a true reflection of her skin color." Which, frankly, begs the question: So, what?

Arie has a good sense of humor about the situation and took to Twitter to respond to the criticism:

"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." 

"Oh! And yes!  I love my #brownskin more than EVER! MUUUUUUUCH longer conversation." 

Arie is certainly not the first Black artist to be forced to respond to such claims. Singer and actress Tamar Braxton once had to tell the world via a BET interview, "It's not my fault that I'm light-skinned and, no, I don't bleach [my skin]. But don't get it twisted; I would if I wanted to."

The situation calls to mind lyrics from Arie's 2007 Grammy-nominated single, "I Am Not My Hair," which speaks to critics of her varying ethnic hairstyles. "I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am a soul that lives within," Arie sings. Perhaps this skin lightening drama will promote not only some (apparently) much needed "skinversation," but hopefully another great song or two as well.

Photo/Video credit: Soulbird, Getty Images

by on Mar. 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM
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Replies (1-6):
by on Mar. 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

I'm glad to hear it

by on Mar. 30, 2013 at 10:45 PM

well you'd have to see her in person to judge..guessing

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 8:07 AM
Lighting will and can lighten up anyone. I also will bet the makeup artist used make up on her legs for that great highlight on her shin (vs does it in their models all the time) I'm glad she hasn't chemically changed her skin but she right about the lighting the photographer used :)
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by Jessica on Mar. 31, 2013 at 9:48 AM

LIke someone else said it is probably just make-up.

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 10:21 AM

I really love her voice and her songs. And I, for one am very glad it is just lighting and makeup. I always thought she has a beautiful face and voice.clapping

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:41 PM

India.arie is the African American artist least likely to do anything to alter her appearance-she is totally comfortable in her own skin (and hair). Glad she is able to laugh all this bs off. Lighting can totally change what hue your complexion appears to be.

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