After catching flack from many for the decidedly, uh, beige album cover for his latest project G I R L, Pharrell told dark-skinned Black women to stop being so insecure and expecting the media to represent them, especially him.
There were a lot of black women that were really angry at some of those girls, but some of those girls are the ones that instantly get mad when they don’t see somebody that’s dark. And it’s like: “Yo, you don’t need nobody to represent you. You represent you. You represent the best version of who you could be. You go out there and change the world.”
Despite telling dark skin sisters that they don’t need anyone to represent them, the artwork for his latest single Marilyn Monroe looks like he was listening to his critics.
The bright red cover features Khadija Nicholas, one of Pharrell’s dancers, rocking a red turtleneck in a close-up shot. The image is arresting, beautiful, and perfectly fits the theme of the song, which Pharrell insists is, “You don’t gotta be waif, white, and thin to be beautiful. You can be anything that you want to be.”
Whether Pharrell planned to tap Nicholas before the G I R L cover controversy is unclear, but what’s clear is that representation matters, even when you have to apply a little pressure to get it.