The aged battle that light-skinned, long-haired women are the object of beauty in the black community is just that, aged and passe’. The idea that this small group of women in the entire black community is considered exclusively beautiful is a detriment to our self esteem today and actually upholds the history of white features being placed on the pedestal during slavery, civil rights, and even now in the media.

Over the years I was always complimented for my big fro filled with curly strands and my caramel complexion to match. I’d do fun hairstyles in cool hair colors and rocked it out with a small degree of confidence. My hair was cute and all but when I’d step foot in the NYC club scene I disappeared on the sidelines as men broke their necks and wallets in pursuit of the straight long-haired, light-skinned girls.

I spent more time than I want to admit dwelling on this phenomenon. Over and over at every party I took time away from enjoying myself because I was fixated on analyzing this observation. As I watched men ogle and praise these women, I wondered if it was true; are light-skinned, long-haired women exclusively beautiful?

As I grew older and began to expand my personal definition of beauty, I realized that what men, and people, truly like is confidence. If I don’t exude that at all times, I will always be overlooked whether its in the club, office or subway. I took my new attitude to the club the next time and dropped it like it was hot with my girls and everyone in between. Not only were the guys checking me out and wanting to get my number, the light-skinned, long-haired girls were paying compliments to my “cool hair”.

While I still think the praise of European features is often misguided, I no longer allow it to get in the way of me embracing my own beauty.

-Tunisia Z. Wilson

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  • Excuse me – first sentence – NOT PROMOTED.

  • I think black women’s overall image is shot to hell. Dark skin dimes are seen as rare by black men and black women alike – hence the “she’s pretty for a dark skin girl”

    Slim, in shape, attractive, natural black women shock the hell out of people.

    There are MANY DARK SKIN MAMMIES ON TV AND Roaming the streets in the real word.

    Light skin women do seem to live up to their stereotypes of being pretty and more feminine – they go out of their way to be GIRLY GIRLY –

    many dark skin women try to be the proverbial – STRONG INDEPENDENT BLACK WOMAN – and I think media has tricked dark skin women into going that route.

    So therefore men’s perceptions of dark skin women is not one of BEAUTY AND FEMININITY AND VULNERABILITY.

    U see a dark skin woman and unless she’s just over the top feminine DECKED OUT HEELS THE WHOLE nine – pretty in the face to the point it can’t be denied – I do feel that many dark skin black women get severely overlooked – but I hate when AVERAGE DARK SKIN WOMEN try to compare themselves to DIME LIGHT SKIN WOMEN – I’m like this is not a contest here. This is a TKO. Many dark skin women ain’t tryin to hear that and don’t want to acknowledge that.

    The keep portraying our dark skin women like Amber Riley on the cover of that magazine with the 2 white girls on either side. She’s fat the 2 white girls are slim.

    And black women foolishly think – that they’re breaking boundaries – NO THEIR IMAGE IS GETTING MESSED UP.

    I believe black men have a hard time developing a FANTASY IMAGE FOR DARK SKIN WOMEN – because there essentially isn’t one.

    Media goes – LIGHT SKIN WOMEN BEAUTIFUL SLIM ATTRACTIVE FEMININE

    Then when black women are represented – ITS MAMMIE – FAT – ATTITUDE – ANGRY – STRONG AND INDEPENDENT.

    I’m sorry that image does not make me want to hit that.

    Then u have the curve balls where they do this BS with Alek Wek and always have her in some silly face paint!

    I don’t find her attractive – but regardless – perhaps I would if they threw her in the same dresses and heels and more feminine poses as the white girls.

    But they don’t

    ALEK IS PORTRAYED AS ASEXUAL ART

    But black women are all too thrilled at the fact that OMG she’s in Vogue – or going back to the white women dipped in chocolate theory – all the black women in the vogue magazine 90% are all east african or biracial like chanel iman.

    Get my drift – These models don’t help majority of AA black women – they look nothing like them – They aren’t even the same size.

    Black women really have to try and control their image – Black women are in the media more than black men by design, at least when they obey – but when u really look at it – black women are shown as MAMMIES – if they’re dark. TYRA is the best thing sistas got going.

    Look at the View – they got the young attractive white women up there – and then black men are left to look at Whoopi and Sherri Shephard.

    Throw the self hate card at me all day – I’m breakin it down for you.

    Elizabeth Hasselback wins flawless victory to Sherri Shephard hands down.

    Too many black women think that a black women should win NO MATTER WHAT – not even being realistic about it.

    If a sista says Brad Pitt looks better than Don Chedu (sp) U will not see me have a baby and call her self hating – I’ll be like yea Brads got Don.

    But if I go Brad and Morris Chestnut or Tyson B – NOW SEE THAT’S A CONTEST! or closer too.

    A lot of black women come with these SCREWED UP COMPARISONS and think they are proving something. They only make themselves look worse.

  • I don’t how many dark skin women who I’ve come across who actually believe that being STRONG AND INDEPENDENT is just as appealing to black men as BEING FINE AS HELL.

    smh.

    Media – has seriously convinced dark skin women that they should drop femininity, which only made it worse – and replace it with a High paying career.

    Look at what they say about the sororities.

    AKA’s are pretty and light skin

    Deltas are the dark skin thick – SMART GIRLS

    Why can’t the Deltas be the fine chicks? – Because they don’t base their sorority around being “PRETTY DARK SKIN WOMEN” more so INTELLIGENT BLACK WOMEN.

    Which is fine – can’t no one knock that –

    Problem is – WHEN THE BEAUTY CONTEST COMES UP! – THEY ARE GONNA LOSE – BECAUSE THAT WAS NEVER THEIR FOCUS!

    Meanwhile the AKA’s are threading their eyebrows

  • Lorvine

    dang, i hate to agree, but sargewp is right. 100%, i also like the fact that you didn’t just say it’s just the black women fault.

  • lulu

    ok what about brown skinned girls nia long, kenya moore, biance from antm danielle, i’m telling yall wome from a girl who had long hair and went short women are the ones concerned with length – what men care if is styled good – sure some men prefer long hair but ive men tell me they normally like long hair but they like short hair on me