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India Arie Accused Of Lightening Skin, Singer Looks Very Different On ‘Cocoa Butter’ Cover (UPDATED)
The Huffington Post | By Julee Wilson
Posted: 03/29/2013 3:37 pm EDT | Updated: 03/29/2013 7:07 pm EDT


Is that you, India Arie?

The 37-year-old star is almost unrecognizable in the cover image from her new single “Cocoa Butter,” which is causing a lot of backlash and many to believe that she has been lightening her skin. This is quite a shock considering the afro-centric R&B singer is known for promoting black beauty– most notably expressed in her hit songs “Brown Skin” and “I Am Not My Hair.”

Sources close to India told TMZ that her “lightened” skin tone is the result of the camera flash and angle. And added that the singer never asked to be lightened. Nevertheless, the celebrity website makes the valid point that India approved the photo without correcting the color of her skin.

Check out this photo TMZ pulled together on India’s “Cocoa Butter” cover and an Image from 2012 to highlight the stark difference:

We’re also a bit confused about this image since India recently spoke out about the skin color controversy surrounding the Nina Simone biopic. Extremely upset by the photos of Zoe Saldana’s darkened skin and fake afro on set for the film, India 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.”

Issues surrounding skin aren’t uncommon in show business. You might recall that Beyonce has been accused on several occasions (see: here and here) of lightening her skin as well. And Kelly Rowland recently spoke out about the path towards learning to appreciate her dark skin.

What do you think of India Arie’s “Cocoa Butter” photo? Do you believe she lightened her skin on purpose?

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

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


  • ... says:

    I saw this & had to shake my head…she mek the industry get to her if this is so. It could be some really serious lighting & camera angles from a highly skilled photographer & colourist

  • Pina says:

    Mi waan fi si har inna real life
    dis a like pregnancy

  • kgn13 says:

    a f—ry she a chat!! so she never c the pic dem before dem go press.

  • ... says:

    13 memba sometime artist who nuh have the raay right now may not see the pics & it depend on whether she have a patty shop type management…BUT I notice alot of usually dark skinned famous ppl a suddenly get “brown” so mi nuh know maybe a di gmo inna di food

  • MURASAKI says:

    check out her face tuh, seems as if something change desso tuh

  • oh,well says:

    Fron Jill Scott got a nose job, I’ve given up hope for black women in the entertainment industry having anything resembling a backbone. I just listen the music. if the person has done something really reprehensible I do not buy the music. Hence the fact Dancehall nor Hip POP get a red cent from my purse. Too many clever for dunce people in both of those music.

  • Anonymous says:

    Bay rubbings she ah use.

  • I saw India Arie at Whole Foods and she is still looking as she did several years ago [nuh bleaching nah gwaan]–taking it down a notch people…

  • EbonyLolita says:

    Nobody knows what PHOTOSHOP is?! Well I think it’s the DEVIL but I believe it’s probably the culprit w/this picture. She needs to pull this pic back & have them use the ORIGINAL picture. I’d be offended if a “light/bright” picture of myself was used on PURPOSE! They know Ms. Irie promotes a love yourself, black is beautiful agenda. Another example of attempted brainwashing.

  • sekkle says:

    photoshop or not she APPROVED the pic ….or it would not have been released …………..she finally succumb to the “beyonce-ism” dats all….soon see her hair blond too lol

  • Anonymous says:

    No care, she look betta as a browning. No think nothing wrang wid bleaching as long as it mek di girls dem look betta.

  • Anonymous wake up and live nuh man. A wah yuh a talk bout? You can’t be serious with yourself…

  • Addicted says:

    Blessed Easter Sunday Met and all others.
    When i read this article,i said to myself she is aware of how these pictures looked but because of how society looked up on lighter skin women. She decided to go along with as it push her up on to another level and garnish more attention for herself.
    Snoop dog once summed it up and stated that Fantasia may have more talent than Beyonce or another light skin singer but because they are light skin and sexier their music will sell more.
    I find this to be a major problem in our society and the end result,more people are self hating and damaging themselves both within and out.(Main example Lil Kim)
    I am a “browning” and i wish i was a little darker at times as i think a cool dark complexion is so gorgeous.

  • MiNuhCare says:

    I saw her at the EME Awards show with Gramps a while back and she neva look so light. But mi wonda if de sun a give poor lighting too 0_o

  • watsitnotsit says:

    photoshop, lawd and she doesn’t necessarily have to approve of the picture, she just picks her favorite picture from the photoshoot, a lot of celebs have complained about poster of theme after photoshop gets done with them.

  • kia NUNYABIZNIZ bubblez says:

    nuh sure if shi approved r wah since seeing it tho shi shudda pull it. di pic mek shi luk demonic plus 50 shades lighter…its not a gud luk

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