Now, I do realize that lighting during a photo shoot is always used and such lighting as well as Photoshop is also used to achieve a desired look. This right here threw me for a loop. When I first saw it I didnt even recognize India! She is a woman who is in love with herself, in love with her blackness and all the things that go along with it like natural hair and dark skin that make us uniquely black and beautiful. Not saying that light skinned blacks dont fit the bill of black and beautiful but anyhoo, I was shocked to say the least at how much paler Miss Irie looked in this photo for the album cover. Was this lighter, whiter India Irie the desired look that she or her lable was going for? If so WHY? Why would SHE want to look whiter? Why would her lable WANT her to look paler?
The first thing that came to mind was maybe she didnt necessarily WANT to go for the light bright look but her management and record lable INSISTED she go for it. Thats what my mind said. I do realize that most artists dont have much control over their image but I also have to believe that Miss Irie would NOT go for this. No, not my India.
We have seen in the recent past other artists who have "changed" the way the look in terms of color and representation. Beyonce and Alicia Keys are cases in point. Anybody with half an eye can see that Beyonce now looks like she can pass and Alicia Keys, one of our beautiful sisters who actually covered herself up now is wearing skin tight cat suits with nothing much left to the imagination. You cant reach a certain plateau of success unless you change to fit into the dominant society or into a manner which is COMFORTABLE for those who are the dominant culture ie white people. We have seen this happen before. I just NEVER EVER thought it would happen to Inida Irie.
I am just disappointed I guess. After all these years, we STILL have to be other than ourselves in order to "make it big." Yeah I know this is JUST a magazine cover, but isnt this how it always starts? It starts small, then it gets worse and worse, bigger and bigger until you look up and dont know who the hell you are and how you got there. I sincerely hope this does not happen to our sister.