India Arie Accused of Skin Lightening

Brown Skin (India.Arie song)

India Arie is being accused of lightening her skin for the album cover for her new song single “Cocoa Butter.”

The 37-year-old R&B folk rock musician looks more like the color of cocoa butter than her normal skin shades that fall in the medium brown spectrum, and it is causing a lot of backlash since many people believe that she has been lightening her skin.

Arie is known for promoting self-acceptance, love, charity and loving any skin color you have. These themes were exemplified in her radio singles, such as “Brown Skin,” “I Am Not My Hair” and “Video.”

She is one of the only mainstream musicians who spoke out in songs against the George Bush administration, 9/11 and the poor relief response by FEMA for Hurricane Katrina.

Sources close to the singer told TMZ this week that her “lightened” skin tone is the result of the camera flash and angle. And added that the singer never asked to be lightened.

However, the website makes the point that Arie approved the photo without correcting the color of her skin.

She recently spoke out about the skin color controversy surrounding a forthcoming Nina Simone biopic movie.

Arie was upset and disappointed by the photos of actress Zoe Saldana playing the singer with darkened skin and a fake afro wig on set for the film.

She wrote the following on her website: “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.”

A number of famous women have been accused of lightening and bleaching their skin or allowing it to be lightened for publicity purposes. Beyonce has been accused on several occasions, such as her recent cover and photo-spread in GQ magazine and in the promotional photos for her last album 4.

“Saved by the Bell” actress Lark Voorhies was slammed with a lot of public backlash last year for looking as if she had been bleaching her skin.

Nicki Minaj had blonde hair and skin substantially whiter than her normal color for her Roman Reloaded album cover.

Alicia Keys and Rihanna have been shown substantially lighter in photos and music videos as well.

India Aria has responded to the accusations with a Tweet and longer statement on her Facebook page.

She wrote:

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide are you ready for this #SongVersation ?

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. #SongVersation #soulbirdsworldwide

Big love to ALL #soulbirdsworldwide

What do you think of the skin lightening?