Sunday, May 29, 2011
I remember my big sister wrote a letter to Ebony magazine, asking them why they always portrayed the children models with fair skin and wavy hair.
My sister, who is brown with thick lips and hips, never got an answer. She lives with shame to this day of her complexion. So much so, that the fathers of her children are fair-skinned. Nope she is not a hood rat, but on her second marriage with a medical degree, and still is not happy with the skin she inherited.
I really wish she could see the beauty we all see in her, and see she is worthy of being adulated and revered like all women.
All of my sisters, including me are a darker shade of brown. I clearly remember having the door slammed in my face by some brothers who opened it for my fair skinned-roommate, the first week I was at Florida A&M University.
They called her redbone. It was the first time I ever heard that name. I asked her what that was, and she explained. Since my mom comes from Louisiana, color complexions varied much in my family, and my folks never favored in complexion. So it was disturbing to be in Florida where color really mattered in most social circles.
I am not saying that I was immune to it. Growing up in Los Angeles, the choice pick was a light-skinned man with pretty eyes and good hair. However, in the black community, to have a physical feature that was as far from being associated to "black" was a luxury and serious bonus when it came to beauty points.
What I mean by that was to have light skin, or a fine nose, or wavy hair, or long hair, or light-colored eyes, brought adoration. So to be big-bootied, big-boned, dark, with kinks was considered inferior. And I have seen so many girls who desired attention would give their bodies and souls to the first bidder, just because they wanted to be wanted.
Still, dark-skinned black girls and women are suffering in many ways.
And it is not a figment of the imagination. Ask why CNN continuously casts fair-skinned newscasters, especially "black" women who are racial-ethnic rainbows. Or why Carol's Daughter, the natural hair care mogul, has all fair-skinned models to represent the line, when dark-skinned women put stock in that effing place.
It hurts to not be liked or loved because of skin color. Getting passed over for a lighter woman, or being treated like shit because you are darker does monstrosities to the self-esteem.
It is disgusting and disheartening when black people still devalue a color that everyone craves. Then, black women must get appreciation from others in order to feel beautiful
This video points to the pain of many.
Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.
And though I love this song by Black Star (Talib Kweli & Mos Def) it boggles me that Mos Def married a bi-racial stripper after being with her for less than a week. It killed me a little inside when I saw his wife because all the time I had been rocking that song, it felt like he never was really singing it to me.
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