Arie is referring to what she saw as the hypersexualized performances delivered by some at the 2023 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans over the 4th of July weekend. Monae flashed one of her breasts to the crowd — though her nipple was covered by a pastie.
— ESSENCE Festival (@essencefest) July 1, 2023
Meanwhile, Megan Thee Stallion performed her customary twerking exhibition, replete with mostly-exposed butt cheeks.
MEGAN THEE STALLION.
Enough said. pic.twitter.com/gbzdTRORjk
— ESSENCE (@Essence) July 3, 2023
“The issue is what is CONTEXT. Humanity does EVERYTHING. But does EVERYTHING BELONG IN A STAGE. No. is everything for KIDS? No,” Arie penned.
“So when we as a culture make something like this mainstream — it shows a lack of discretion and discernment. To those in the comments who laugh at anyone who wants these things for our culture, you certainly have that right.”
India added this: … “Just as many folks have the right to want our MAINSTREAM International export — our Music — to show us in a respectful light. I’d like to on the record saying: this wont age well and thats my issue.”
Some bashed Arie …
When has Essence ever been for kids? What is India Arie even talking about? https://t.co/fainzqg2SX
— Chass (@PEARLfectChassi) July 5, 2023
… while others say Arie has some valid points …
I mean yeah. India Arie made “Brown Skin” but she is making a valid point.
Sexuality doesn’t have the be the main dish, sides, bread, wine & dessert & that’s been the case with a LOT of women who are musical artists.
— J the Wakandan CSM & CSPO 🐅 (@JtheBizDev) July 5, 2023
And the debate rages on Twitter:
Don’t nobody give a damn what India Arie thinks about Megan Thee Stallion and Janelle Monae. pic.twitter.com/gRZFJ6VPYN
— The Moment. (@itsKARY_) July 5, 2023
Oh Lord, India Arie. Don't start coming for Megan and Janelle, nih. They're them, and you're you. Everybody don't wanna be wrapped up on he wraps and wearing skirts to their knees, singing about how beautiful the sky is and healing. Leave them alone.
— Hendrix Monae (@HendrixMonae) July 5, 2023
I don’t have an issue with what India Arie said because I noticed at that one award show all the white female acts were G rated/PG 13 and all the black girls … weren’t. The black artists are pornified as hell. That being said I also don’t care.
— James Harden is ugly (@TwinOfTiger) July 5, 2023
Tbh, if India Arie is so passionate about her stance and really cared for Janelle and Meg, she wouldn’t have posted that rushed statement. She’s an auntie in the game. Is that not a convo you can have privately with love with them? No?
— Black Kat 🐆 (@EarthaKitty_) July 5, 2023