Three messed up things black girls say

Anti-light skin frenzy

Anti-light skin frenzy

Because we're still posting memes like this...

Because we’re still posting memes like this…

It's time to truly embrace this skin and no, not by dating someone who's lighter-skinned

It’s time to truly embrace this skin and no, not by dating someone who’s lighter-skinned

#1 I don’t need make-up
If the statement above is made and left right there, you are probably being really honest and really don’t need make-up. If instead, it goes along these lines, “I don’t need make-up. I can spend a whole day without it, just not my eyeliner, mascara, press powder and gloss…” you definitely don’t really think you can live without make-up. We all know there has been a growing number of men who prefer women to not wear make-up because they find it more attractive. Some women like this while others hate it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing make-up. The problem is why you wear make-up. Some people’s almost mechanical-response is, “It enhances my beauty” or “It hides this and that” or “It brings out my favourite features more”. While this may be the case, if you cannot go a single day without wearing make-up, it is most likely because you think there’s something wrong with the way you look without it. We women are constantly trying to look gorgeous and there is nothing wrong with this even if you are convinced that you are doing it for yourself.
But the more dependent you are on make-up, the more weird you look in the mirror without it. And believe me, the more accustomed to something your mind becomes, anything different from that is then strange, or even ugly. Watch how it happens with children who have coloured princesses hair blond in their colouring books all their lives, and the moment one girl colours it green, everyone’s face scrunches because it’s unfamiliar- ugly.

#2 I cannot date a guy who’s lighter skinned than me
This is so common among teens these days. If you’re white, you may not be too familiar with the reality and the background of the anti-light skin movement. Light-skinned black males have been made the primary targets of jokes that imply that they are immasculine. Immasculine is a slang term that describes something associated with women and not with men. Being a Seer, I tried to figure out where this sudden bitterness was coming from. Unsurprisingly, I remembered a time when women only found light-skinned guys attractive. The likes of Boris Kodjoe, Michael Ealy and Nollywood’s Van Vicker, excluding those like the Taye Diggs, Omar Epps and Chris Tucker. Suddenly the wheel turned and it seems the darker-skinned male’s popularity rose. The reason for this, and I can only speculate, goes deeper than simple preference. Some young women like to be the pleasant complement in the relationship. A “cute” couple is one where the one is darker than the other and the beauty of the relationship seems to come from the honour and “prestige” of being chosen by a lighter skinned person. I have often heard people say, “We can’t both be dark or both light,” and I don’t know about you but this smells like some deep personal issues to me.

#3 No delete it, I look so dark!
Once again, the black girl struggle continues. We are so obsessed with light skin that we don’t even realise the kind of messed up things we say. In the viewing of an Instagram picture, the school yearbook or in a random circle of friends huddled around a cell phone, at some point I guarantee you’ll hear, “Oh my gosh, who’s that dark person there”. Every time I hear that I look the person sternly in the eye and ask, “What’s wrong with being dark?” The response is often a sheepish silence and averting of the eyes, but unimpressed with the picture nevertheless. In instances where the person responds, “Nothing, it’s just that I’m not dark, so it looks ugly,” I am not even going to spell out what’s wrong with that statement alone.


5 thoughts on “Three messed up things black girls say

  1. A writer from the East

    You see, people of color have been internalising the usual societal norms set by the white man a long time ago, and even today I find it appaling that there are skin lightening creams, treatments etc etc for darker skins in Asia and African people.
    We have been conditioned to a level to accept that the images of beauty that come to mind are white skin, straight blonde hair, colored eyes.
    The fashion industry is also full of this sort of shit, I find it annoying to see South Asian models photos are tampered to become more whiter to appear on covers. WTH is this?
    I also feel that these are issues that have influenced heavily the three topics you have covered here.
    I hope that I have no offended any one on this forum, its just that being a dark skinned woman and feminist, I struggle with the naunces of race, color and nationality within the whole debate of feminism.


    • Thank you for that Saaida. I think that while we need to be mindful at all times, we must not be so afraid to cause discomfort with our opinions as long as it is done respectfully.
      When discomforting views are raised, people are forced to talk and I think that’s exactly what we need because too many people think”I’m not a woman” or “I’m not Muslim”, “I’m not black”, so it does not concern me. So we need people who aren’t impacted directly to speak up too.
      We need to encourage those who are offended by things to step up and join the discussion and not merely cower away.
      But let’s continue to speak until we find the nuances of these complex issues. Get more people talking and more people thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A writer from the East

    You see, that’s why I have had my issues with mainstream feminism because I saw how it was doing opposite to what you and I feel so strongly about, if we would be wary, hesitant etc etc then the status quo would continue.
    It is important to engage I think with people and communities that have been impacted indirectly too, because we need to afford the equal rights for all is not just talk.
    This is also why I feel very criitical against the myth of “third world women” and their helplnessness, desperation and being voiceless. In 16 years of working as a field journaloist, I have yet to see a person without a voice.
    Now that for reasons known and unknown, people’s vpoices are being dilebertaely silenced is something that we need to be very aware of.
    We also need to engage with people in power positions, because that is the only constructive manner to go about it. I guess you are getting what I am trying to say here.. 😉


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