Natural hair beauty India Arie is facing a new kind of controversy. According to a March 29 TMZ report, Arie is taking some heat for her very “light” complexion on the cover of her new single, “Cocoa Butter.”
The singer, who waxed poetic about her “Brown Skin” is reportedly defending the album cover, telling friends that she has not bleached or lightened her gorgeous dark skin. Sources close to TMZ tell the publication that public criticism is ridiculous and blame Arie’s lightened skin color on the album cover to the “camera flash and angle.” They also confirm that the singer did not ask for a skin color change on the cover. Arie cannot escape the fact that she did in fact approve the photo, which appears to inaccurately reflect her actual skin color.
In response to the controversy, Arie tweeted, “Personally speaking! i'm happy to say I have NOT BLEACHED my skin LOL! ROTF at the thought.” She continued, “1. I wouldn't endanger my health that way 2. i'm so in love with myself I have no DESIRE to BLEACH myself. 3. The GLOW you see IS (magnificent) lighting 4. THE LIGHT you see, Well thats all ME!!”
The Huffington Post articulates the public surprise and confusion surrounding the lightened image, especially when Arie’s reaction to Zoe Saldana’s complexion change for the “Nina Simone Biopic” is taken into consideration. Upset over Saldana’s darkened skin and fakeafro hair for the movie, the singer opined, “Yes there should be a movie made, and YES they should have chosen someone who LOOKS like Nina Simone, ESPECIALLY since her RACE played such a PIVOTAL role in WHO, WHAT and WHY, she was.”
Arie is not the only one who has been accused of bleaching/lightening her skin tone or approving a publication of images featuring much lighter skin color. Beyonce faced the same drama for her Loreal commercials.
The bigger issue is lost in the skin discussion – her highly anticipated new single, “Cocoa Butter.”