India.Arie is an R&B artist who most certainly uses her lyrics to go against the role that the media assigns women. The chorus of one of her most popular songs, “Video,” includes, “I’m not the average girl from your video, and I ain’t built like a supermodel, but I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally…” These lyrics speak to a lot of young women who struggle with body image because of society’s current opinion that women should be thin. India Arie is also black and the way she dresses and represents herself show that she is deeply connected to her African heritage which goes against a stereotype.
Not many black female musical artists represent themselves as African. “Video,” also says “My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes, no matter what I’m wearing I will always be the India Arie.” Arie really seems to live by this belief which goes against the expectation society projects onto celebrities: that they should spend lots of money on clothing.
African-American artists are strongly present in the music of today’s popular culture. India Arie’s “Video” was on the popular radio stations for a while, but other than that, she has mostly remained out of the hottest spotlight. Is this a compromise of her fight against stereotypes? What would happen if she “obeyed” these stereotypes? Maybe she would be hugely famous. I think that taking a stand against stereotypes can make it very hard for a celebrity to gain a lot of publicity from the media.
India.Arie – Video