India Arie is responding to the rumors that she bleached her skin, after a recent album cover shows her shades lighter than her usual complexion.
“Personally speaking! I’m happy to say I have NOT BLEACHED my skin. ROTF [rolling on the floor] at the thought [sic],” she wrote on Twitter.
"I wouldn’t endanger my health that way…I’m so in love with myself I have no DESIRE to BLEACH myself. Lol…The GLOW you see IS (magnificent) lighting…THE LIGHT you see, well that’s all ME!” India Arie continued.
The notion of skin lightening has been problematic specifically within the black community since historical times, as dominant beauty standards tend to enforce white cultural norms and images.
She went on to admit that colorism in the black community is something that must be addressed.
“Politically speaking racism/colorism in the black community is a MUUUUUUUCH large.#SongVersation #skinversaton THAT I’d LOVE to “shed light on”..that conversation IS REAL, …let’s keep talking [sic].”
India Arie has a new album in stores in June after three years, but more focus was being paid to her latest promo picture over the weekend, which features the singer looking a few shades lighter.
She sparked rumors that she bleached her skin as the cover art for her new single, “Cocoa Butter,” from her forthcoming album, “SongVersation,” features the artist looking less like herself.
“Is it me but does India Arie looks a lot different [sic]," tweeted @DeterminedLeo33.
Hip-hop artist Rhymefest, who has worked with the likes of Kanye West, even commented on the singer’s new look. “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 [sic].”
Arie is known primarily for singing songs that promote self-acceptance and black beauty, such as “I Am Not My Hair,” which has the chorus “I am not my hair/I am not this skin/I am not your expectations no no/ I am a soul that lives within.”
Arie is not the first black artist to be accused of skin bleaching. Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Dawn Richards and Lil’ Kim are other notable celebrities accused of lightening their skin in recent years.