The ever-"Happy" Pharrell Williams may need to take his light-footed lyrics to heart today because the Internet backlash surrounding his new album cover art is nothing to clap about.
The cover of his March 3 release, G I R L, has been kicking around for about a week now, but the outcry seemed to reach a fever pitch on Wednesday (February 26), as wounded women, angry-tweets (and a few hilarious memes) flooded my timeline over P's failure to include any Black women in his LP photography. The image, framed up with canary yellow borders, features the super-producer/artist and three beauties of various complexions in terry-cloth bathrobes and sunnies.
But, to the naked eye, it would appear none of the trio of girls on the G I R L cover is Black. On January 28, an open call went out, including via Twitter, from The Agency, asking "Want to be on the cover of PHARELL's next album? Submit now!" Whether Williams and/or members of his team were involved in the casting process is unclear but what we do know is that no Black girls made the final cut — and that just didn't sit well with some fans.
A producer/musician writing under the pen name Mr. DaMention hoped to "spark discussion" about the marginalization of Black women in pop culture. He asserted in a blog post that: "Pharell would have done well to positively add to the ever going argument about the idea of beauty and the representation of Black women in the media, to decry this lingering notion that Black women are an acquired taste or better yet, some sort of abstract art that only a selected few would possibly ever like."
For veteran hip-hop journalist/filmmaker dream hampton, who like many dissenters described herself as a Pharrell fan, the omission was just disappointing: "Couldn't be more disappointed by @Pharrell's album cover. I was so looking forward to it too. Just, wow." hampton's disillusionment over the cover was echoed by other women who not only found the image lacking, but said it represented a pervasive trend toward making Black girls invisible.