So she's not exactly a 'green' celebrity, but she's still making a difference. Singer and songwriter India Arie is known for her captivating, thought provoking lyrics and haunting melodies. But she's more than a voice, more than a stage persona. She's using her power as a celebrity to do two very different things: empower women to love themselves as they are and, more recently, helping to turn the world's attention to the AIDS epidemic in Africa. And together they sum up what India stands for.
Let's start with her lyrics. As a mom I'm trying my best to raise my kids to understand that life is more than material possessions, and that beauty is truly more inner than outer. So it's refreshing to have positive reinforcement from India. On her website (http://www.indiaarie.com) she writes "Back when I was little, I thought I needed a lot. A little was overrated, but a lot was a little too complicated. Zero didn't satisfy me, a million didn't make me happy. That's when I learned a lesson, that it's all about your perception." Her words, whether spoken in interviews or sung on an album, inspire women and girls everywhere that it it's not about wealth or fame or designer shoes. It's really about being true to who you are.
And being true for India means reaching out to those in plight. In 2004 India was approached by UNICEF to be a Goodwill Ambassador. She traveled to Kenya to meet with people, young and old, suffering from AIDS. Sometimes being an ambassador means sitting in an office or making speeches, but whether it was visiting the villages, buying food or just touching and talking with the people, India really got involved. She was even featured in the VH1 AIDS documentary, Tracking The Monster, where she again visited Africa and spoke passionately on her belief that the world is failing over a million people who have the disease in Africa. And now she's taking her knowledge and pairing it with her music to help awaken the population. "I just do what I can," she says in an article about her work for UNICEF.
Which makes me wonder, if we all did what we could, how different would the world be?