Afro-centric singer India.Arie -- famous for singing about her "Brown Skin" -- is now making excuses for the extremely light-skinned photo on the cover of her new single ... telling friends, her skin was NOT intentionally whitewashed.
There's been a lot of commotion about the new photo -- ironically, for her new song, "Cocoa Butter" -- because India's skin is noticeably lighter than what she really looks like ('memba Beyonce?).
But sources close to India tell TMZ, the criticism is ridiculous ... because the "lightened" skin is merely the product of the camera flash and angle. India never asked to be lightened.
But the fact remains ... India approved the photo, and HAD to notice it wasn't a true reflection of her skin color.
She added, "1. I wouldn't endanger my health that way 2. i'm so in love with myself I have no DESIRE to BLEACH myself. 3. The GLOW you see IS (magnificent) lighting 4. THE LIGHT you see, Well thats all ME!!"