Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black is Beautiful!

Over the holiday weekend I finally got the chance to watch the preview of the documentary, "Dark Girls," directed by Bill Duke. If you're unfamiliar with the video, it explores the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color - particularly women of a dark complexion.

The candor of the documentary's participants is why this must-see video has captured the attention of thousands. Being a mom to a little girl, I can only hope that as she grows up she will love herself regardless of people's ignorance.

Have you ever had any internal issues about your skin color? Were you ever teased because you were dark-skinned? Please share your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

I am a light complexioned girl and I think that we ALL have had some kind of issues or teasing due to our skin color. It's up to US to reinforce what beauty is and to stop looking to the outside for validation.

I don't think one shade's trials have been easier or harder than the next.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

As a black woman I agree with you Sunny. I think most of us have had some issues regarding what the Western world considers to be "beautiful." It's really up to us to break the cycle.

Anonymous said...

Have I been teased, yes. Do I have issues with my dark complexion - no. Why? Two words: strong parenting. My parents are phenomenal and raised me to believe that the sky is the limit and I can do anything I want. People can only make you feel inferior if you allow them to.

Bella said...

As a dark skinned women who came of age in the 80s, I have to say that although, I would not belittle the experiences of my lighter counterparts, in my experience as a younger woman, it was a lot harder being of a darker complexion, especially where I grew up. It went beyond teasing. I was always reminded of the fact that I was dark and therefore unattractive or less attractive than the lighter skinned girls. I cannot count the times that I was told that I was either ugly because I was dark, or that I was "cute" in spite of it. And a myriad of other ridiculous taunts. It was such an issue for myself and my friends that we had specially made up terms and a whole philosophy concerning the subject at 14, 15, 16 years old. Everyone understood that at that time, in this country, it was an immutable fact, lighter was better, prettier, and more desirable. That's just the way it was. The media said so, those around us said so, and even as young girls trying to date, we were constantly reminded bythe boys who bought into e nonesense as well. We could dress cute, we could get our hair done, we could be smart, but the one thing we couldn't be was light and for a teenaged girl who just wanted to be loved and accepted for who she was, this was disheartening and has left scars to this day. And as if this wasn't enough, the hardest part of all was dealing with the people around us who would tell us that we should just get over it, or that everybody gets teased, or that we were just bitter and that this wasn't a real thing. Even though, there is indisputable evidence that from the moment we were brought over on the boats, it was designed to be that way. Just another ploy to divide and conquer us as a race. And it has worked.

Now at the age of 40, I have managed to transcend the whole "colorstruck" phenomenon. I know that I am beautiful regardless of what anyone thinks. But I did not achieve this enlightenment without much hard work, and heartache. If discussing this problem (which still exists) through documentaries and blogs and articles can teach our people and stop another young girl from experiencing what I experienced when I grew up, then in my opinion, it can only be a good thing.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

@Bella - Thanks so much for sharing your story!! We still have soooo far to go. :-(

I still suffer from the damage my family brought upon me for saying that my hair was nappy and ugly. I'm now 31 years old and have finally embraced my hair.

Anonymous said...

this is a topic that we should all discuss. great post!!

mimieyes@aol.com said...

Color is a problem around the world. Every race wants to be white.
I have light skin but I tan very easy to a dark color and in the summer
people always tell me wow! You're dark.
I agree that the more we give in to advertising our society will never change.
I'm proud that I can get a great tan and I usually respond is my natural color.

Ondo Lady said...

I am frankly tired of this issue, as the daughter of a light skinned mother and very dark father I have learned that Black people have issues with their looks disregard of their complexion. I think it is all about having high self esteem and feeling beautiful whether you are black, brown, pink or yellow.

ebjswife said...

I was brought up in a family of light skinned people on both sides. My dad and dad's dad are the only two dark skinned people on both sides of My family. I have taken after my father and his father. I grew up with a cousin who was just 7 months younger than me. At family gatherings on my dad side she received attention, gifts, hugs, warmth. I was ignored. Now could this have been because of my color, in my 7 year old mind it was. I felt as though on my dads side I was shunned because of my skin color but on my moms side I was like regardless. It made me bitter toward my aunts on my dad side. I have high esteem however because of my mom who not only keeps me grounded but has always built me up. She is light skinned but has always told me how beautiful I am as a person period. I am instilling this in my daughters as well as my stepdaughter. Black is beautiful no matter the shade.