On Being A Dark Skinned Black Woman

by Sara Bivigou

I am a dark skinned Black woman. Or at least I think I am.

Not that I often define myself as such, nor do I’ve ever remember being defined thus. Which is to say I try not to think about it. I was never teased for not being particularly light, nor is my skin so obviously dark that it is ‘blue-black’ like my younger brother, my father, or the complexion of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on my dad’s side. Theirs is skin with a gloss finish, it sucks in all surrounding light and sends it back out as a flat glow, mine is a much plainer, matte. I know that by popular standards of beauty and in the unwritten rules of women invited to grace the covers of magazines, dance in music videos and appear as love interests in general releases I am dark. Which is to say, the ladies that regularly occupy those roles are usually much lighter than me and if I ever found myself in a room with them I would know for sure I was the dark one.

I don’t care that Kevin Hart likes to make ‘jokes’ that women the same colour as me have bad credit. Just as I didn’t care that Lil’ Wayne mused in ‘Right Above It’ that a certain black woman would ‘look better red.’ I don’t care for Young Berg’s pool test. Or that Tyrese believes going with the best means omitting black women. Or that Ne-Yo thinks “all the prettiest kids are light skinned anyway.” Taken individually these slights seem too ridiculous to consider. I don’t take them personally; I tut at them; I brush them off.

But when I think about what these single ideas add up to, of course, I care. How could I not?

I’m crushed by caring. Because they perpetuate an understanding that to be a dark skinned woman is to be less. These ideas build themselves into assumptions and ways of treating women with as much melanin as me. I care because I already know dark skinned women are likely to receive longer prison sentences and less likely to get jobs when qualifications are equal. I care because too often our bodies are used as backdrops or props (i.e. Bella Padilla on the cover of FHM, ‘emerging from the shadows’). Think of how often you see women the same colour as me as surly, head rolling, loud-talking, finger-snapping comic relief (think Pam from Martin). I care because grotesque representations like Makode Aj Linde’s cake/performance art seem to be the only consistent representations of dark skinned black women. I also care about light skinned black women, who are women of colour too, and I do not want to continually feel set against them.

I think of all the dark skinned women I know. I think of how regularly they are excluded, insulted, mistreated. I see them all suspended in a place that isn’t a place, stranded it seems. I’m eager to watch Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry’s Dark Girls documentary, and I’m holding out for its kinship.

  • apple

    Uh oh *grabs popcorn*

  • luise

    I always feel uncomfortable when reading your comments, you always seem to have something negative to say about black women.
    “Women should get it out of their heads that they need to be loved all the time by everyone.”
    How can we when we are constantly told this by the media, our family, our friends and 99% of black men.

  • au napptural

    Nope, not today. I’m a dark sister myself. I’m the first one to say our people are sick, trying look like our oppressors. But I don’t let it oppress me! I’m fire fine and any man, woman, child who is is black, white, Asian, or other who can’t get with that needs to move on. I don’t let anyone darken my door with that crap. It did bother me when I was younger, the lack of representation in mags and the other media, but what can I do? I’m committed to change what I can and support positive images of us, but I will not depress myself in the meantime. Read alternative media, look up gorgeous inspirations and cut out pictures, do w/e to make yourself feel amazing. It works.

  • QoNewC


    My comments have been deleted. You can now be at ease.

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    I was completely anticipating the article to go in another direction but I really liked the way the author expressed herself. This piece was written very well. Only has my darkskinned complexion been negatively commented about, to my face nonetheless, by African Americans. I am Nigerian and there are a range of skintones in my family, never once was mine seen as inferior. I want to say that this is an African American thing because no other racial/ ethnic group has commented negatively about my skintone and if its mentioned its always in the form of a compliment.

  • http://nocturneadagio.blogspot.com LainaLain

    I’m a light-skinned woman. When I hear men say things like “I only date light-skinned girls.” I don’t feel proud or complimented. I feel disgusted. Not only is it an insult to dark-skinned women (and I won’t say ‘black women’ because there are women of different cultures who are dark-skinned as well that aren’t black) but it also shows that men only pay attention to the color of a light-skinned woman’s skin and not anything else about her. She could have a great personality, nice smile, pretty eyes, but the only thing he’s attracted to is her skin. It’s pathetic and sad.

  • Ms. Information

    Well expressed Sara…I, like you was never teased for the darker hue of my skin, but I can remember little digs that I would hear…I also notice the obvious lightening of women on television and in the media…but God made me and I accept myself exactly as I am, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • HowApropos

    Dark skinned and proud to be! I grew up being teased about my skin tone, because i am the darkest of my mother’s children, and because I grew up in a predominantly white town. However, when I was growing up there, there’s a huge mixed population there as well, so the black people there, especially the black men, are terribly colorstruck to the point that when i left in 2000, i can happily say that i’ve never turned back. The bad thing is, this sick mentality that ‘lighter is better’ seems to be all over the place. All the more better for those who are hurt to get a thick skin and work your beautiful brown selves.

    And because of my upbringing, I really don’t hang out with a lot of black people. If anything, I’m a loner and i like it that

  • omfg

    thanks for your honesty sara…

    being a dark girl ain’t easy peazy.

  • Anon

    That’s because she’s a MAN.

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha


  • mahogany

    Do you mind sharing the popcorn. This is going to be interesting.

  • Roberta


  • Ashley

    Thank you! As what some might consider brown skinned, I have several friends who are light skinned and hear their perspectives all the time. The way light skinned women are seen as fetish is disgusting. I think that brown and fair skinned women shouldn’t be separated but rather talked about as a group. As black woman first and foremost we have a problem with how we’re objectified and seen in the media, amongst black people, etc. I think this article is great. While the author is not saying that she has some overwhelming grudge, she is simply presenting a view that can spark a conversation. It is coming from a place of concern, rather than rage, resentment, or resistance. I find myself thinking and acting the same way at times.

  • Yeahright2011

    So they’re just bleaching for the hell of it in Africa and the Caribbean? Don’t play.

  • Ashley


  • jamesfrmphilly

    i LOVE dark skin!

  • CHE


    Sorry Sasha but I went out with a Yoruba guy and after he would take a shower he would get a big jar of bleaching cream and think nothing of sitting there and applying it- not that he was going to get rid of his nice color ever- so yeah it is def not only a Black American thing -its a sickness or a cancer within some Blacks no matter where they are from…and for whats it worth all shades of Black is beautiful to this Black American.

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    I cannot speak for what some people do on a whole continent or in various countries, I am speaking about my PERSONAL experience. What those women and men do in terms of bleaching their skin and the psychology behind it is none of my concern or business.

  • Yeahright2011

    Just this ONE time I have to say it ain’t black dudes having the impact as must as moms, grannies, aunties, and these stupid church women talking that mess around children. And then darker women, us, complain about it around these girls. We’re not helping and giving them one more thing to worry about. Compliment dark girls when you see them, it makes a difference. When I was in 4th grade one of my black classmates said my nappy hair was “pretty”. I’ve never had a perm in my life because of her and my mom/dad confirming it when I got home and told them. I was born in the 90′s either.

  • grateful

    *waves to fellow beautiful darkskinned introvert*


  • Yeahright2011

    Sorry about that Sasha. These pieces are about Nigeria specifically spanning a few years:


    Does this help?

  • wat wat

    Nicely written article…I like that she isn’t coming across as a victim

    Also, I LOVE that picture and that headpiece she’s wearing…FIERCENESS!

    This colorstruckness is a cancer that will most likely not ever go away..it is such a sad thing.

    I love my dark skin..I’m forever exfoliating and moisturizing and drinking tons of water so that it can glow and radiate w/o makeup.

    I was not color conscious growing up…I was definitely more body conscious.
    However, growing up in the south, I always overheard ppl talking about color and ‘good hair’

    It is time that us women stop letting the media, other men, and even family members effect they way that we feel about ourselves.

    Man oh man, do you know how BEAUTIFUL it would be to see all of us Black women (of every shade) walking confidently down the street, treating our bodies right, not chasing after low life men, actually smiling at each other, embracing our natural hair texture, and pursuing our passions??? They wouldnt know what to do with us…we’d be throwing the whole equilibrium off

  • goldilox

    I really think all this moaning is doing a disservice to the generation after us. Some of us are light, some brown, some dark, let’s stop going on about what a burden it is. Our kids are listening, we arent healing them, we are simply giving them more issues.

    F*ck what Neyo, Weezy or anyone has to say. Do you!!!!

  • smm

    … I want to say that this is an African American thing because no other racial/ ethnic group has commented negatively about my skintone

    This makes me want to laugh, when I think of all those Nigerian men chasing me down because of my “light skin” (which isn’t really all that light but their comparison was relative).

    This obsession with skin color is definitely not an “African-American” thing. I have recognized it in people of color from all over the world in dark skin people from Asia, Africa, North and South Americas. It’s simply a manifestion of of white supremacist ideaology which is global.

  • lulu


  • lulu

    how about an article on what its like being brown skinned- i never see that always light vs .dark- oan dark skin dislike is across the board- heard it from indian women and mexican women who have darker colors- can someone explain why this across the board thing agaisnt dark women

  • smm

    … I want to say that this is an African American thing because no other racial/ ethnic group has commented negatively about my skintone…

    This makes me want to laugh, when I think of all those Nigerian men chasing me down because of my “light skin” (which isn’t really all that light but their comparison was relative).

    This obsession with skin color is definitely not an “African-American” thing. I have recognized it in people of color from all over the world in dark skin people from Asia, Africa, North and South Americas. It’s simply a manifestion of of white supremacist ideaology which is global.

  • Dreaming

    Yes, LainaLain!

    I, too am a light-skinned woman. I am very fair skinned, to the point that when I was in high school, White friends would point out to me how they were darker than me. I don’t feel any sense of pride or complimented either by men admiring me for my skin color.

    It seems that those (Black girls/women) who aren’t light-skinned think it’s all good for us. I’ve never felt good having people question my ethnicity or even my nationality simply because of my light skin. It makes me cringe every time a Black guy yells out to me, “Aye, light skin!” or “Hi you doing, light skin”

  • HowApropos

    *waving back wildly*

    Hey Pretty!

    (i say that to all the beautiful sistas on this thread and all over)

  • Keish

    Im proud to be a dark skin woman.. Two of the most powerful women in the world are dark skinned..Oprah and Michelle Obama.. I love the skin Im in and my husband is light skinned but that doesnt matter because love is love… Only black people has this light skinned and dark skinned complex and its once again away to seperate our greatness as a race..

  • HowApropos

    Actually, this NEEDS to be discussed before any more generations after us continue this poisonous cycle.

    It’s always on the subject of the issues of dark-skinned women where people wanna get all quiet and wanna stop the conversation. Why is that? I always hear about all the atrocities that light-skinned women have gone through and it’s met with compassion, empathy, even lent extra voices to scorn those ‘jealous dark-skinned girls’ whose made her life so miserable.

    But a dark-skinned girl? We’re told to shut it up and realize that ‘everybody is beautiful’. I’m sick of the double standard.

    So yes, this needs to be discussed until we’re blue in the face and beyond….

  • HowApropos

    Keisha, do realize that Asians, Latinos, and other dark-skinned minorities practice colorism too, right?

    It’s far from being a ‘black thing’.

  • HowApropos

    Black men have EVERYTHING TO DO with why colorism is still big in our community. Where are you getting your info from?

    It was the black women in the church and in my family that instilled in me that my dark-skin is indeed beautiful, while all the black men screwed their faces up and talking about how such and such is just ‘too dark’ for their taste, running up behind any every ls girl with ‘good hair.’

    You can definitely add colorstruck black males to the mix. They’re not absolved of anything, especially our skin issues.

  • honey


    I totally agree with you, As a light skinned women, I find myself getting more offended at the rap lyrics praising light skin more then my browner skinned friends. Receiving preferential treatment due to my pigmentation over anyone is nothing I support or am proud of.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ Sasha

    Hutu’s/ Tutsi’s-ring a bell?!

    Congolese bleaching their skins?!-ring a bell

    Northern/Southern Sudanese?!-ring a bell

    South African woman who is bleaching to be white?!-ring a bell?!

    Colorism infiltrates all systems of society. Let’s not act like we are above it. I’m glad though, that your family treats you as should be the case.

  • S.

    *Joins the “light skin” and indifferent club*

    I can identify with all the comments above. Colorism makes me sick

    There’s nothing like hearing a BLACK man praise the glory of your “lightness” to make you feel uncomfortable and squirmish. Only the most damaged, gutter self-esteem having light complected Black women would view this as a “compliment”

    How can any light Black woman feel proud of her skin color when it’s used as a measure against more than half of her lineage? This logic has always puzzled me

  • S.

    I really thank the author for the honesty in this article because this could have been the usual visionary writing telling the audience how perfect her self-esteem is and how “strong” she is in the face of much criticism but she, instead, kept it real… I appreciate that

    We all know that there are women who, in a moment of weakness and vulnerability, “stretch [their] faces” and never fully rid themselves of doubts that they would somehow look “better” if they somehow different.

    All women can identify with this but darker Black women have the extra burden of living in a society that is (permanently) hostile towards their skin tone.

    You literally have to build a wall around your self-esteem to get around that and if your family didn’t start building your wall early on then it could be a long road ahead

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    @African Mami- Thanks! Its unfortunate that’s not the case for everyone but as I said I was speaking for myself. I can’t vouch for anyone who partakes in skin-bleaching, their body their choice.

    @Yeahright2011- thanks for that website, I forgot it existed. Now to slack off for the rest of the afternoon!

  • Tonton Michel

    Good article, very thoughtful, it is a conversation that needs to happen regularly in order to at the very least make people aware of the manipulation society has on our subconscious choices we make. Solutions are what we should be interested in.

  • Toppin (Formerly Known As Just Sayin’)

    “Black men have EVERYTHING TO DO with why colorism is still big in our community.”

    But they are not alone….the so-called “sickness” is perpetrated by black women too. This will probably be the one and only time I’m willing to give black men the benefit of the doubt and it’s mainly due to the things I’ve heard and witnessed from black women.

    Black boys are growing up in the same exact households as black girls. They are picking up the same exact messages about hair, skin color, etc as black girls. They are getting those messages from their MOTHERS. It’s not right to blame them for ideas/self-hate that black women carry around themselves.

  • iQgraphics

    I never saw the infamous comment, but ya’ll do need to get out of your own heads. Everybody has their own particular preference on who they find attractive.
    This article could have been about being skinny in a world where the proportions of Kim K, Nicki Minaj, etc are preferred.

    At the end of the day, people are going to crap all over you, regardless of their preference, if you don’t walk with your head held high.

    You are all Queens. You will not be desired by ALL KINGS. get over it. get over the uptown downtown stigma. I do appreciate that loving yourself and being comfortable in your own skin takes time and personal growth.

    But then, I speak from a position where I had other features to become comfortable with, I also dealt with my son having mild identity crises’ based on being ousted as a white boy by his classmates. He got over it. We all can.

  • CHE

    YEESSSS! Especially your last paragraph….We, as Black women can make that a reality. The power is in our hands. We are so powerful- if only we could claim it.

  • iQgraphics

    i do often wonder why some blacks treat others so poorly.

  • ASA

    It is an interesting discussion to have though I must say sometimes I do grow wary of it. Often times when colorism is discussed, the darker skinned woman is cast as the sad, unloved victim. The trailer of the film, Dark Girls, plays some sad, pitiful music that plays into the stereotype. I know I will not be able to stomach that film if the entire piece has that tone. I am a dark skinned girl with natural hair. I’m very clear and convinced of my beauty. I may not be somebody’s type (which I consider their issue) but my beauty and brilliance are not up for debate.

    I actually consider it a blessing that when I was younger, random boys didn’t consistently affirm my beauty, particularly based on skin color. My idea of my beauty and self worth came from a mixture of my own growth, identity, and the input of those who loved me. I have many friends whose lighter skin tones were constantly affirmed by random people and they did not get a chance to dig to fine their own beauty and self-worth, To this day, some of those friends still tie their self worth with how the outside world views them. So I just want to stress that there is a blessing in not always having the outside world affirm you. I even have a theory that when certain people don’t like/affirm you (i.e. Lil Wayne, Tyrese n company), it actually speaks better of your character than if they did. When dissecting an opinion, I always consider the source. These statements come from very simple boys who have been given a powerful platform – a very dangerous cocktail indeed. But there is precious little about Lil Wayne that inspires me so if my beauty does not inspire him, in my mind, that’s actually a good thing.

    I certainly struggled when I was younger, but there definitely comes a point when we have to decide to affirm ourselves if the outside world won’t do it. In all honesty, if somebody told me that they thought I was ugly today, I would a) think they were clinically crazy b) pray for them to grow out of their simple minded stupidity. I wouldn’t even dream of dating any man who only dates a certain skin tone (whether light or dark) because there’d be a 50% shot that my kids would come out as simple as he! As I’ve gotten older and am clear and unwavering about my beauty and where I stand, I get compliments quite often. And while very flattering and nice (I do love a respectful compliment :o)), they are superficial additives because I am already clear on my worth, my beauty, my intelligence, my creativity, my style, and my purpose. However, until every girl can feel worthy and complete just as she is irrespective of skin tone, it is a conversation that we must continue to have. But my perspective will be to affirm what gives you your unique worth and beauty and not to play into the role of sad, little, black girl when being a bad-ass, confident woman is infinitely more fun!

  • iQgraphics

    we need to show unconditional love to the babies and teach them from the start that they are different and special because of that.

  • Toppin (Formerly Known As Just Sayin’)

    This is something I’ve been thinking about:

    Why can’t dark-skinned black women/girls just be considered ugly? Why does it always seem to go back to their skin color rather than just their looks overall? And yes I know beauty is subjective, but why can’t someone not be interested in them because they honestly aren’t attracted?

    I used to mentor a teenage girl who was dark-skinned. She swore black boys were shunning her because she was dark-skinned. Mind you this girl was overweight, wore a very unflattering weave, and could probably use some lessons on how to be feminine. But in her head she was being overlooked because she was dark-skinned. I didn’t have the heart to tell the girl she might need to improve her physical appearance, but I always thought it was weird that so many dark-skinned women and girls I’ve run across immediately run to the skin color argument when trying to explain why so-and-so isn’t attracted to them.

  • Keep it Real

    The biggest consumers of Skin bleaching are Asians and East Indians. A few have told the truth about this issue and not cheapened and dumb downed the discussion to an American Black male phenomenon. In actuality “nothing could be further from the truth”.

  • Bosslady

    Hey Sasha, I understand the point you are trying to make, but as others have clearly stated this effects ALL cultural/ethnic groups, not only black people might I add. I am of Nigerian descent, British born and raised, but have relocated to The States…The whole light skin/dark skin debate was semi topical in The UK 10 plus years ago, I’m not saying colorism doesn’t existed in the UK but it it’s not as much as an issue as it is compared to how is is in the US. I am a dark skin women and have never once received any negative comments regarding this, or have I ever felt inferior due to my complexion, where as most of my dark skin African American sistas have had negative experiences due to their complexion. Most of these articles about feeling marginalized due to be dark skin, I can’t relate to, however I do appreciate them.

  • dirtychai

    Yeeeees! Women in my family are always talking about this sibling has a “nice texture of hair” or doting on that particular lighter complexioned cousin’s looks. It’s just sad and makes wonder how these women view themselves.

  • Jess

    I’m a dark skin black woman, who was raised by my very light/fair skinned mom. From the day I was born, my mom taught me that my rich, nut brown skin was the height of everything beautiful. Having grown up herself in the south in the 50′s, in a family of darker skinned people, my mom faced constant mistreatment and jealousy because of her perceived arrogance or privilege. Other Blacks assumed that she was stuck up, or thought that she was better than they were. They also assumed that she was the recipient of some unseen benevolence from Whites who preferred her light skin. A true throwback to slave mentality encouraged and fostered by White rulers to divide and conquer. Yet my mother was the most militant, culturally aware person that I have ever met. She let my brother and I know from the time we were little, that Black is Black, regardless of shade, and that to the White man we were all still just Niggers. She vehemently rejected the color struck code that is resoundingly still prevalent amongst Blacks today.

    There is definitely an attack, a rejection of African American beauty in society as a whole, but most destructively within our own community. Thankfully, I had the world’s best mom, who taught me that the most beautiful thing about Black people, is that we come in so many assorted shades. From freckled and fair, to richly honed mahogany, there is simply nothing on earth prettier. Yes as a dark skinned woman, perhaps many brothers aren’t checking for me (or so popular culture: tv, magazines and music would have me believe), but I’m okay with that, because I’m 36 and grown enough to realize that those are not the men for me. Their loss.

    On that note, I’d like to give a shout out to my mom, for giving me the greatest gift in the world, self love. I’m just sorry that all Black people can’t say the same thing.

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    @Toppin: LMAO! So basically in a nutshell you are describing Claireece Precious Jones? If thats the case I would say that she could be the fairest of fair and based on your description she’d still be ugly.

  • http://www.itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    Thank you for understanding @Bosslady. I definitely appreciate the article. I am just glad that what I said finally came across to someone. I wasn’t dismissing anyone’s experience but sometimes people are so quick to jump down your throat because you are speaking YOUR truth and its different from what they think THE truth is.

  • Dalili

    Well said @ ASA!

  • Toppin (Formerly Known As Just Sayin’)


    Naw…she wasn’t precious. Poor thing just needed to work on her physical appearance.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Sara, I appreciate your honesty. Thank you for sharing (:

  • HowApropos

    Much respect to you and your mother, Jess….

    My mother is also a light-skinned black woman and she also raised us to love our color, regardless that we were all different hues in the spectrum.


  • HowApropos

    Toppin, I’m very much aware that black women have a hand in it too. I’m not denying that at all.

    But to say that black males are absolved from this is pure-dee bullshtt.

    Just letting the poster know that this is not another ‘blame black women for this moment.’

    And in my experience, it’s been mainly black males who do this, and very few black women.


    So us black men have EVERY THING TO DO with it? really? Did It ever occur to you that there are sistas out there with skin tone preferences? Dont act like some prefer light skin brothas over the brown (me) or darker skin brothas. Its no shock either that some prefer a chocolate brotha as opposed to the light skin guy. your personal experiences dont speak for everyone in the community. Easter sunday I was leaving church and decided to head to the grocery store. I came across a conversation between two brothas and one sista. they all said where they were from,so the woman said she was from Georgia. I thought, cool,but then she said there are some nice looking sistas up here in ohio (specifically columbus) even the dark skin ones. WTH?

    People have to love themselves and not let other people determine their self worth or beauty. Once you define yourseif,no one and i mean no one can. As for me, I’ll take every shade of black women, because thats one area where it all looks good to me. Now things such as character,frame of mind etc is the measure of a solid sista.

  • Toppin (Formerly Known As Just Sayin’)

    Who exactly is absolving black men of any responsibility here?

    I personally say both black men and black women are the problem. However, I think it’s a stretch to say something along the lines of “Black men have EVERYTHING TO DO WITH why colorism is still big in our community” because they are not doing it alone.

    Black women do it ALL THE TIME. I think many just overlook it. For years light-skinned black men were more favored than dark-skinned black men…now it’s the complete opposite.

    Bottom line: Colorism seems to come from both genders.

  • binks

    “How can any light Black woman feel proud of her skin color when it’s used as a measure against more than half of her lineage? This logic has always puzzled me”

    Amen! That has puzzled me to S. This is why this issue is a two way street that we need to try to understand from both sides. Because trust me, we as black women are victims of this issue no matter what side of the color spectrum we fall in. I know we can’t walk in each other shoes but we can understand each other pains and try to fix it. I was not born to be anyone’s fetish or knock my fellow sisters of darker hues who is not my skin tone. I refuse to be a victim of it or let others use me to make others a victim of colorism. So these rap videos, those individuals’ quotes in the artlce, rappers, men who only date light skinned women, etc. can go kick rocks all day everyday with me…shrugs

  • MsQuita

    Exactly what I was thinking.

  • The Taker

    Agrees. So true.

  • MsQuita

    I really appreciate how this article was written and I can relate as a dark skin woman. Also I can understand the comments from the lighter skin women because my mother and daughter are both light. No matter what our complexion, someone is going to have something negative to say. Sadly, it is just another way of blac folk comparing and degrading each other. I teach my daughter that she is beautiful with her caramel skin and I even teach my son that he is beautiful and dark chocolate. I can only hope that they grow up to love their own skin as well as each others…… anyway black is beautiful, no matter what shade :)

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    No No No!

    This is the topic that won’t die. I swear I refuse to think that dark-skinned blk women have such sad awful lives. A lot of this is for attention and page hits. If anything, article after article like this is making it tuff for dark-skinned blk women since you’re airing “dirty laundry” to the masses.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    and 99% of black men.

    Awww come on, it is not that bad. I’m blk, fem, and I live in the hood. I’m not dark-skinned but I’m not light-skinned either( Bobbi Brown Stick 6.0-6.5). Why don’t I have these feelings of being less than and all blk men hate me?

  • Tonton Michel

    Being that your not dark skinned, your willingness to dismiss their pain and what they feel is an issue runs parallel to whites dismissals of racism to blacks and men’s dismissal of misogyny and sexism to women. Best thing to do is to look around and see it from their eyes.

  • HowApropos

    Um, Toppin, I’m not sure why you’re trying to discount my experience. You don’t agree with it, that’s fine, as that was my experience and mine only.

    We both agree that both genders are held accountable, however I experienced more colorism from black males than black females.

    Take it how you want…

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Think of how often you see women the same colour as me as surly, head rolling, loud-talking, finger-snapping comic relief (think Pam from Martin).

    And this is where as blk women we come down on blk actresses who “perform” roles like this. Didn’t blk folks come down on Hattie McDaniel for that BS. Yeah I know her response but still we should not be regressing to the days of Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne.

    I also care about light skinned black women, who are women of color too, and I do not want to continually feel set against them.

    That’s right queen, it’s good ole divide and conquer. Don’t fall for it.

    I care because grotesque representations like Makode Aj Linde’s cake/performance art seem to be the only consistent representations of dark skinned black women.

    Oh this isn’t true. I find consistent representation of dark-skinned blk women every month. Just look at the Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus catalogs for God’s sake, go to sites like beauty is diverse. Look at fashion shows from the early 90′s on youtube, check out some street style blogs.

    A chic elegant sister on the sartoralist.

  • Are You Serious Bro

    I must admit that when I first read her comment I didn’t see it, but once again Tonton is right.

    Take out the dark skinned and black and you’re left with:

    “No No No!

    This is the topic that won’t die. I swear I refuse to think that women have such sad awful lives. A lot of this is for attention and page hits. If anything, article after article like this is making it tuff for women since you’re airing “dirty laundry” to the masses.”

    This is not a knock at you Chic Noir, but you know if a poster came in here with that nonsense, you would roast them as you rightfully should.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Don’t stop there look for Diahann Carrol(Dynasty) videos on youtube. Look at international fashion magazines. U.S. Vogue includes at least one blk model in an editoral often two or three per issue now. Jourdann Dunn is an Anna Wintour favorite for God’s sake.


    W magazine has a blk fashin editor now, check out the editorial he did here^^^

    Look for old images from the Ebony fashion fair, Jet beauties of the week, and Essence editorials.

    Go check of Shala Monrique’s pages on the fashion spot and also google Genevieve Jones. Not every blk woman darker than a paper bag is suffering. Google image Beverly Peele, Karen Alexander, Nana Keita, Ataui Deng, Herieth Paul, Tomeko Frasier, Roshumba, Yasmin Warsame, Beverly Johnson, Iman, Liya Kabede,etc…

    Brandy and Kiaria Kabukuru had a contracts with Covergirl for God’s sake as did Tomeko Frasier with Maybelline and Jessica White with both.

    I’ve got to give my mom props, she is a major pack rat but she saved so many magazines, videos and books etc.. for me to see myself and thank God. Those of us who were around from the late 80′s up to 2005, got to see yourselves via the MSM in a positive light often.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Vogue Italia Febuary issue, IIRC this was a 20+ page spread featuring Marihenny Rivera and Shena Moulton. Please take note that Shena Moulton looks like the average blk grl from the neck up.


    ^^^ Is this not a postive representation of YBW?

    Google the Harper’s Bazaar all black model spread from March 2011. IIRC, Sessilee Lopez had a pretty good editorial in that issue as well. Sessilee Lopez is one hell of a model, just look at her pics on google images.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    I thought, cool,but then she said there are some nice looking sistas up here in ohio (specifically columbus) even the dark skin ones. WTH?

    Oh I would’ve checked her for that. I would’ve Dr. Phil her butt right on the spot.

  • Okay

    There’s a pecking order. And I say that as a woman who is not dark and not light either. I’m about Queen Latifah’s complexion.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir


    A beautiful sister here^^^ in a Lancome video and while you’re there check out Arlesis Desosa’s videos for Lancome. Two very pretty flat nosed brown skin girls.

    *chic noir takes a bow*

    Sorry yall to go a little crazy but I hate this topic. It’s become the banal topic of “blk women’s issues” right behind DL brothers and the myth of the strong blk woman.

    Trust there are images out there with blk women darker than a paper bag. If you have issues with your skin color, follow some of my links, cut the print the photos and put them on your wall, use some as screen savers. Surround yourself with positive reinforcement of who you are and stay away from the negative stuff.

  • TypicalBlackWoman…

    Let’s not even pretend like there aren’t *some* black guys out there who would prefer to have an obese light-skinned or white woman in their arm over a darker woman.

    Please note that the word “some,” which also emphasizes the fact that they’re the ones with the problem…

  • Yevi

    What I find sad is the men who have no problem with admitting their preference for light skin women out loud. If I was a man, I would have at least kept that to myself because of what it implies.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    from the authour I’m eager to watch Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry’s Dark Girls documentary, and I’m holding out for its kinship.

    *chic noir screams*

    NO NO NO! This is like pain porn for you, watching this will only justify the negative feelings you have about your skin color.

    Sadly, I never get past 5, but I always count. I am always annoyed with myself for counting

    It’s fine to count, I do too. Just go to other outlets to go past 5.


    Another of my favorite brown grl editorials. Werk Ajack!


    Another good one, make one of these images your screen saver. Do not wait on all of mainstreem America to understand your beauty. “We” know the power of a dark skin beauty. Work it and own it.

  • jamesfrmphilly
  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Are you serious bro,

    Yes I would and while I’m not dark-skinned, I’m not light-skinned either. I just refuse to believe that the bulk of Americans can’t recognize a beautiful dark-skinned woman when they see her. You think Gabrielle Union isn’t turning heads whether in the suburbs or the hood. Come on my friend.

    I know dark-skinned women who aren’t always bemoaning the fact that they have dark skin.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    When you see/hear something, say something. Ride their butts like a bat out of hell when they dare make such stupid comments. As another commenter mentioned, young Black children esp girls are listening.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir


    Are you Black? Is your son Black or bi-racial? Just asking so I can understand your comment.

  • HowApropos


    So we’re playing clueless here, yes?

    You know as well as I do that black males are indeed more vocal than black women when it comes to their so-called preferences.

    And yes, I have heard some black women talking about how they want a dark-skinned male, however the latter is much louder.

    You’re a man, so I really don’t expect you to agree with my findings.

    Just my observation…

  • Ms. Information

    Being dark skinned and looking like a model is a very different experience than being a regular woman and being dark skinned, otherwise this topic would be irrelevant…I have a friend who is blue/black dark skinned and not a model.. she has broken down on my shoulders from remarks that black men, black women and her own mother have said to her about her skin tone…she’s been called ugly, tar baby, jigga boo…unless you have experienced this, you cannot call it irrelevant or dismiss it like it doesn’t happen. Brown skinned women cannot speak for darker skinned women…you have not walked in their shoes.

  • ASA

    @Toppin. The reason why it’s not so cut and dry is because there is very real conditioning to equate skin color with attractiveness. Not everyone can even see features. I guarantee you that many of the people who love Beyonce’s physical appearance would look at her a bit differently if her skin were significantly darker. It is a hang up that a lot of people can’t get over.

    In general though, I do think that we place too much emphasis on the attractiveness of women. But if that girl you were referencing learned her true worth then knowing her beauty would just be another aspect of her personality. It also seems that you were holding her up to a very limited notion of beauty that plays into the problem. I’m not saying she couldn’t help herself out by putting a bit more effort into her look, but the true work is in her character development. That is what builds real and lasting beauty irrespective of weave, size or “femininity.”

    @the Precious comment – I hope that you will one day learn that we are all creatures capable of intense beauty and ugliness. Choosing to call someone one or the other is more a reflection of you than of them.

  • 90until

    @Chic Noir,

    I see what you’re doing by posting images of these beautiful black women. but do realize that colorism is a problem. I agree with Toton. You have to walk around in the shoes of a dark skin women to truly realize how severe the problem is. In actuality, by dismissing this issue as minimal and refusing to believe how bad it is you only aggravate and not help it. I suggest you do the counting of dark images in the media that the author admitted to doing. And I’m talking about main stream images that permeates all forms of media everyday. Will you come up with more than 5?

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

    “I never saw the infamous comment, but ya’ll do need to get out of your own heads. Everybody has their own particular preference on who they find attractive.
    This article could have been about being skinny in a world where the proportions of Kim K, Nicki Minaj, etc are preferred.

    At the end of the day, people are going to crap all over you, regardless of their preference, if you don’t walk with your head held high. ”

    The realest thing ever said right here!!!

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Ok, you know what, I’m not dark-skinned so you’re right I won’t feel it the same way. I will apologize to any sister I may have offended when I dismissed this topic.

    Thanks for getting my point with the images and I’m glad you enjoyed the links :)

    I think it’s most important for dark-skinned girls to see positive women who look like them since you can’t control what other people think but you can control (to an extent) what you expose yourself to.


  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    I apologize Miss information if I can across as insensitive.

    BTW, isn’t being dark-skin and pretty vs being average looking moreso than looking like a model?


    Another blk model to google Loraine Pascal she walked Chanel, been on the cover of Elle.


  • jw

    @Yeahright2011.What do church women have to do with the dark skin women being made to feel inferior to light skin women?

  • jw

    @Yeahright2011.What do church women have to do with dark skin women being made to feel inferior to light skin women?

  • lovelygirl

    I do believe that it’s about beauty not skin tone. If women are waiting for others to validate their looks that’s the problem in itself. No one should expect society to build their esteem. And why is any woman looking to lil wayne, kevin hart, whoever to validate them?

  • TJ

    This is so tired. But at the end of the day-it’s still relevant.

    What continues to bother me is people’s self identification as ‘light-skinned?” Can we do an article on people who are just as dark as me and call themselves light skinned.

    Let’s do that article clutch.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Anyone saying the color hierarchy doesn’t exist is lying. Basically everyone, not just dark skinned women, has to unlearn all subtle notions they have been taught all their lives, whether directly through family, or indirectly through the media. And even if you actively try and negate all that you’ve learned there will still be your subconcious to deal with…I remember working for a pro-black organization and one of my co-workers liked me , but had no shame in telling me he doesn’t like dark skinned girls because they have attitudes, but he reassured me that even though I’m not dark he would’ve liked me anyway because I would have still been pretty…….It disgusted me that someone over the age of 25 would talk like this and it also made me feel minimized to just my skin color too. What was worse was that he used to tell one of the students in his group how “black” she was all the time. The girl was no more than 16 years old. Talk about damaging.

    Also, I’m glad the author mentioned Martin cuz watching it now that I’m older I noticed that not only was Pam portrayed as a neck snapping type of woman, but her body was picked apart almost every episode. There was always some comment about her ass, it never failed. She also wore skimpy outfits many times and fit right into the “jezebel” stereotype. The light skinned “bougie” Gina was rarely picked apart in the way Pam was.

  • Charlita

    You can refuse to belive whatever you want, that doesn’t make it untrue. A lot of white people REFUSE to believe in racism, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  • grateful



  • Ms. Information

    @ Chic Noir, I think that you having given many good examples of celebrated dark beauties…this has lessened more and more as time goes on though…I do remember in the 90′s where there was much more of a mixture..

  • Allie

    I feel sorry that you care, but as a young woman that isn’t necessarily light-skinned either I have decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to feel bad or apologize for not being born into what society thought was aesthetically pleasing. I understand that for some it’s a struggle, but we all as POC face bigger issues then the amount of melanin in our skin.

  • Ms. Information

    *have given

  • Steve

    FWIW … I am so totally in love with a dark-skinned black woman, she’s the most lovely lady I’ve ever known, she’s for real and she totally rocks my world. Skin color don’t mean a thing to me, it’s just another feature of her beauty to me. Oh and I’m a white man BTW.

  • Keke

    I’ll say this about the issue just as prejudices are held against dark skinned women/men they are also held against light ones…I’m not dark nor am I light but on the spectrum I am closer in others eyes to the light…though my mother and sister are lighter then I am we all have the beautiful brown eyes that ppl get lost in…as an in the middle brown I have had prejudice against me from darker counterparts…I feel ya pain….but I a light caramel brown skin tone ,have my own pain because I’m not dark I get it from both sides …oh I also have gotten heat for not being light enough…what is that….as far as men color I have a preference…originally it was subconscious you like what you are surrounded by i grew up surrounded those my color and lighter but I would date darker I went not just on color but on substance…but you see later….It was because i was gang rapped by a bunch of darker skinned guys and yrs later a single dark guy and as hard as I tried I still cant, even with therapy stop getting flashbacks when I get touched a certain way by a darker guy–yes I’ll say it I have a preference …light, bright,______ near white…I don’t apologize because see just at you couldn’t help being born dark I couldn’t help being born of a lighter tone and I couldn’t help all my aggressors being darker and hunting my visions of joy….we all have our own experience we learn from them deal with then pray go to therapy…don’t plague the kids with it if at all possible…..but lets not envy each other because of a standard not even originally set in place by our people…cause even I feel I’ll date darker men again one day maybe….

  • Mrvardot


  • Alexandra

    Thanks for sharing your story. I almost thought this would be a pity article (not that all experiences shouldn’t be shared). Your experiences with being darker woman are identical to mine on this issue.

    I too was never teased for my complexion. I never felt inferior because of my dark skin color, nor have I ever a gave flying hell what guys liked (Black or not). Only in the past few years have I noticed this new club of men who preface flirting with: “I like dark-skinned women”, digging for points. If there’s any concern I have the most, it’s usually for the young dark girls. I do notice the subliminal messages in popular media, and yes they are out there. Replace ‘Dark Women’ with ‘Black’ and it’s still the same, so I’m confused at some comments stating to brush it over. Dark/Black… what’s the difference? Dark/Black skin is, and has been equated with negativity for hundreds of years. I’m dark but I’m aware that some people view me as masculine, dirty or downright inferior because of my color. Will it take another hundred years to erase the accepted notions?

    It would be nice if certain men would shut the hell up and stop putting darker women down, it would be nice if the dark women in the media weren’t one-dimensional, and of course it would be nice if the media-machine changed for Black women completely regardless of skin-tone.

    I also have to agree with a comment that stated there are women who perpetuate this colorism as well, and/or benefit from it. Men aren’t the sole blame. Even if they were, women need to stop seeking that type of validation! And why aren’t you recognizing your power in this?
    Dark skin Black women have preferences like men do. I know I have mine. So please don’t think we’re all wallowing in pity. I never tried to attract someone who wasn’t attracted to me and I’m sure as hell not trying either today, tomorrow or ever. My complexion isn’t a crutch, but a repellent for people I don’t want in my life. I like being a tall, kinky-haired, dark skinned Black woman.

  • RightOn

    Mine too!!! And when you bring it to their attention, you’re accused of being jealous of your light skinned family members…instead of acknowledging their self-loathing ways, they turn it on you to make you look like the bad guy.

  • maureen

    As a light skinned, hazel green eyed Nigerian woman….This topic always makes me cringe….P.S. Absolutely, beautifully, written piece. I Love your brutal honesty and yes it does hurt. I am black and i have been treated differently because of my shade. In Africa, i was well aware of it as a child. Adults treated you different and peers tend to shun you because of that.Weird for me coming from a family where all the beauties were darker skinned. There was the period i came back to live in Britain and literally got bullied for being light skinned….Then time went by, i became a woman and realised that people were still shallow enough to date you because of your shade e.t.c….I hate it and i wish that we can just accept the beauty and uniqueness of our race..but i will not pretend that this issue does not exist..Shalom Xxx

  • maureen

    ….This topic always makes me cringe….P.S. Absolutely, beautifully, written piece. I Love your brutal honesty and yes it does hurt. I may be “light skinned” but first I am black and i have been treated differently because of my shade. In Africa, i was well aware of it as a child. Adults treated you different and peers tend to shun you because of that.Weird for me coming from a family where all the beauties were darker skinned. There was the period i came back to live in Britain and literally got bullied for being light skinned….Then time went by, i became a woman and realised that people were still shallow enough to date you because of your shade e.t.c….I hate it and i wish that we can just accept the beauty and uniqueness of our race..but i will not pretend that this issue does not exist..Shalom Xxx

  • maureen

    The dark shade versus light shade issue….This topic always makes me cringe….P.S. Absolutely, beautifully, written piece. I Love your brutal honesty and yes it does hurt. I may be “light skinned” but first I am black and i have been treated differently because of my shade. In Africa, i was well aware of it as a child. Adults treated you different and peers tend to shun you because of that.Weird for me coming from a family where all the beauties were darker skinned. There was the period i came back to live in Britain and literally got bullied for being light skinned….Then time went by, i became a woman and realised that people were still shallow enough to date you because of your shade e.t.c….I hate it and i wish that we can just accept the beauty and uniqueness of our race..but i will not pretend that this issue does not exist..Shalom Xxx

  • http://blog.classyblacklady.com/2012/04/do-some-dark-skinned-black-men-hate.html Sammi

    I agree with HowApropos, it does need to be discussed and not ignored. That is why I wrote my recent article posted on CBL regarding dark skinned self-hatred. While I would love to say that the opinions of those in pop culture like Lil Wayne, Kevin Hart and Neyo don’t matter, they do to young black girls who listen to them religiously. Their parents should be shielding them from all that tells them they’re not good enough because they’re black and dark skinned, but they simply don’t.

    The generation that came before us didn’t have these discussions when we were coming up, which is why we’re in the situation we’re in now. I grew up in a family where light skin was quietly praised. I cringed recently when I witnessed a young 15-year old dark skinned nephew of mine hold a newborn baby and say “aww what a beautiful light skinneded lil baby!” The brainwashing continues generation after generation.

    I’m happy that the site has decided to tackle this dark-light issue after all and that was a beautiful article penned by Ms. Bivigou, thank you.

  • Sammi

    I agree with HowApropos, it does need to be discussed and not ignored. That is why I wrote my recent article posted on CBL regarding dark skinned self-hatred. While I would absolutely LOVE to be able to say that the opinions of those in pop culture like Lil Wayne, Kevin Hart, Nikki Minaj and Neyo don’t matter, they do to young black girls who listen to them religiously. Their parents should be shielding them from all that tells them they’re not good enough because they’re black and dark skinned, but they simply don’t.

    The generation that came before us didn’t have these discussions when we were coming up, which is why we’re in the situation we’re in now. I grew up in a family where light skin was quietly praised. I cringed recently when I witnessed a young 15-year old dark skinned nephew of mine hold a newborn baby and say “aww what a beautiful light skinneded lil baby!” The brainwashing continues generation after generation.

    I’m happy that the site has decided to tackle this dark-light issue after all and that was a beautiful article penned by Ms. Bivigou, thank you.

  • David Michael Rich

    I’m so sorry to feel the pain of this writer, not because I am black and dark, because I’m not; I’m a white man. I’m sorry because of other reasons: first, most people I know are slef critical for some reason, and it just happens that the reasons for each are different. We’re all measuring ourselves against some imagined “ideal” that doesn’t exist, some set of criteria that if we possessed them , would make our lives perfect and without pain. And yet we all have so many examples at our finger tips of people who appear to possess the “perfect characteristics” and yet exhibit behaviors that reveal their inner insecurities. This is true from John F. Kennedy to Whitney Houston. The second reason I feel sorry for the pain of this writer is that the pain stems from appearance, over which we have no control, and while I get that, I’ve lived long enough to see that beauty really does come in large measure from within. I’ve seen and met lots of physically beautiful people in my life who are truly ugly, and lots of people who might not fit some person’s ideal of physical beauty but who are gorgeous beyond belief. I’m sorry because her pain stems both from comments made by other black people and non-black people. And finally, I’m sorry for her pain because it appears that the comments of those people have somehow drowned out the comments of other people such as myself for whom the dark black color she laments is a characteristic we find so exquisitely beautiful. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and I’m hoping we can do better at beholding ourselves beautiful.

  • Yeahright2011

    Most people familiar with the “CHUCH” know what I mean. Old women who are usually older than mom or friends with granny who think they can say what they want with no back-talk. They act out in church then turn into mean heifers when they get a chance. Its a cultural reference if your people came from a Southern state.

  • lexdiamoz

    I AGREE and relate to this so much as the light child in a dark family i was always ridiculed with the momma’s baby, papa’s maybe is your daddy white??? or the infamous…. redbone, light bright , BS and it TRULY affected me as a child i would regularly tan and bronze to be browner as a kid i would PRAY to be darker so my family would stop picking on me….umm and it also didn’t help I had long curly sandy RED HAIR…LOL…. i am so over the color-ism within our own families moreless our communities bravo for this piece i feel you only on the OPPOSITE side of the spectrum

  • lexdiamoz

    i don’t however agree with the black man being the problem per se … because I got the most flack from my aunts and female cousins.. we as WOMEN have to break the cycle of how we treat people and how we allow people to treat us … PERIOD … If we want to make the change

  • Race:Human; Life:Difficult

    Since I was two weeks old I have been dark. I hated myself for being dark, I prayed to God that one day I would get lighter, I prayed that I could be as pretty as a lighter girl or have “good hair.” I prayed and waited while getting bullied and taunted by mostly black boys. These young black boys were picking up the same message as me: that to be darker is a curse, something to ridicule or persecute for. Most of the boys parent’s were the same complexion as me yet I still cried and wondered “why am I hated for being dark?” Even though I mostly received the nasty comments with increasing volume from the black boys, some black girls looked me up and down and decided that I was too dark, too awkward, too uncomfortable in my own skin. To tell you that I hated myself for not being my parent’s complexions or just light brown would be an understatement. It wasn’t until tenth grade that I began to feel that being dark was a curse that God had given me for some unknown sin committed. I began blocking out the voices of the colorists around me and began acknowledging the compliments I would always get from older ladies at church, aunts, and uncles, my parents who for the longest time had been telling me I’m beautiful the way I am. After acknowledging those compliments I noticed that ninety-nine percent of the people giving me compliments were somewhat or totally lighter than me. When some were bullying to get rid of their self-hatred, a lot more was telling me how gorgeous my skin is or how amazing my hair looks natural.
    This isn’t meant to put the blame on the younger generation for picking up the baton of colorism and running with it but rather to say that the only way we can get lessen the abuse that comes with being the unappreciated colors whether that be cappuccino brown or espresso black. Only we as young and old stop that awful abuse before it can ever get to the point where I was at of hating myself for not looking lighter and using that pain to fund self-deprecating jokes. Colorism stops when we as human beings make the time to educate those who believe dark skin is a curse to be prayed over, or a misfortune to be avoided. At the end of the day we’re human, I don’t want people to just see me for the color of my skin but for the intelligence of my mind and I don’t want anyone to feel like I did or still do at my more insecure moments. And similar pain happens for lighter girls too who are thought to have the greener grass in society or the better side of the coin. It’s not right to persecute someone for being dark or “too light.” The only light I care about seeing in anyone is that coming from the heart unweighted by burdens.

  • D. Smith

    I know exactly how the writer feels. Even though I am married I still struggle with my blackness. I was actually relieved that my baby is light skinned. She won’t face the ridicule that I did growing up. As a dark skinned woman I have to fight harderfor everything. Even being in the army doesn’t help.

  • S.

    “The chicken or the egg” blame theory is getting old

    How bout we get rid of colorism as a commUNITY because the complexes of both genders greatly impacts our environment

  • angel

    To Sara, the author of this beautifully written article: THANK YOU. I feel like you are writing from inside of me. I thank you.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    If only people’s don’t give a fug odometer was high, we would not have these debates! t

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    If only people’s don’t give a fug odometer was high, we would not have these debates! A non-entity in your life should NEVER be given space to influence who you are. NEVER. If somebody tries to bring you down, you should know that they don’t have your best interests at heart. So why do you continue to listen to the likes of Lil Wayne and em?! If a man prefers light skin sisters, why are you trying to stick around in hopes he changes his mind?! If the media is bombarding you with only one image of what’s beautiful and you don’t see yourself in it, why are you buying Vogue and not Essence or Afripop mag?!

    Tune out the “conventional” standards of beauty, and embrace reality! The conventional is not reality,it is just but a slice of it! Just fug it, and love the skin you’re in.

  • Chnyere

    I all most cried

  • Chnyere


  • Bubbamae

    A major problem is white people going for the darkest person they can find so they can prove that they are with a Black person. Basically, they’re saying that if you’re not dark skinned you’re not black. That’s why I don’t even pay attention to white men’s advances ; they’re not interested in me, they’re interested in being able to show me off to their friends as proof that they’re not racist. Same goes for white and Asian girls too. Why does it always happen that the person you supposedly love regardless of color is always dark skinned if it’s a Black person???

    I just wish you’d leave us alone and let us sort out our own stuff without your guilt trips and desire to ‘be’ something different by bumrushisng other cultures and demanding to be accepted. It’s interesting that most Blacks hang out Blacks of a similar shade. All my girlfriends and every Black man I’ve seriously dated has been dark like me.

  • Bubbamae

    In my area there are still light skinned families that were anti-darkskinned for generations and a lot of their boys are now purposely seeking out dark skinned women.

    A Black Washington Post reporter (possibly Donna Britt) noted years ago that more darkskinned people are in prison than light skinned, and that the dark skinned girls in the inner cities so hated being dark skinned that when they wanted babies they were purposely getting pregnant by the Salvadoran men. That’s ironic, because Salvadorans are some of the most racist Latinos and think that Black women are only good for sex anyway. These girls,without realizing it, end up validating the Latino prejudice against Black women and Black people in general. Of course, the men have no interest in claiming these children, so the girls have these “beautiful light skinned babies” to themselves. That is so sad.

    Beautiful dark skinned Black women are not shown on TV except old BET movies. Most of the Black characters on TV are mixed or they have those funny light eyes as proof that they have at least one white grandparent.

    I think there’s a conspiracy to do away with dark skinned Blacks by encouraging mixing out. First the men, because men will generally sleep with anyone, and now Black women are being shown with white partners. Usually dark haired to ease the transition to blonde and blueyed. And if you don’t agree, or prefer Black men you’ll be ostracized as … a racist!!


  • Trav

    I realize that some of you will say that I have no business gettin in your business here about this because I’m a white guy butt, I’ll jump in anyway.
    My first love was a fairly dark, beautiful Black girl.
    Back in the day, IR relationships were much more difficult to have than you today people can imagine.
    Ask some of your older friends or family who might have been in them. They’ll tell some surprising things to you.

    Some of you will hate me just for my skin color which says more about YOU than it could ever say about me.
    I don’t own that gene.
    I’ve been told so many times that some Black people find it funny that I like a darker girl.
    Well, I do and, that’s the way it is.
    I never understood this prejudice~~especially because it’s in so many Black people.
    WTF are you afraid of about being with someone who’s dark??!!
    Is this something your parents instilled in you that you shouldn’t own?
    Why don’t you stand?
    That’s just racism on your own people and, it just isn’t right.

    A dark girl’s skin is just as soft, just as smooth, smells just as good and tastes just as good as any other Black girl’s skin.
    And, for me, it’s so much more enchanting and alive.

    Some imbecilic white people like to tell Black people to “just get over it” when they talk about racism and/or prejudice between different races/ethnicities butt, when it’s Black on Black racism, it truly IS something some of you need to get over.

    You want to dis me for supposedly being out of place, go ahead on butt, I believe in what I said.

  • Angel

    To those who say that Black women express their preference as Black men for light skin, just remember these facts;
    it’s usually the man who pursues or expresses interest in the woman.
    Men are physical creatures, Black or White so a woman’s physical appearance usually takes precedence initially over her inner attributes.
    Lastly, it’s a fact that in 90% of Black men/Black women couples, the man is darker than the wife.
    If Black women have a so called preference for light skin, why (in Black/Black relationships) do 90% marry darker skinned Black men?

  • London Gal

    This article is beautifully written and conveys the writer’s experiences on being a dark-skinned black woman. As a black woman of chocolate complexion, I’m very worried about the way dark-skinned black women’s femininity is always questioned. An example of this is the Beyonce’s video ‘Single ladies’ where there is a beautiful dark -skinned dancer and the commenters on Youtube are always saying she is a man! These posts seems to be from mostly White people which feeds into the beauty ideal of lighter is better mentality or more beautiful.

  • H

    BubbaMae, you’re being ridiculous. You assume that every non-black person is only interested in dark skinned black people. I’ve seen non-black people with black people of many different shades. Most black people have friends and family of different shades. Don’t throw your ignorance at people like it’s a fact.

    I don’t understand how a white person liking a dark skinned black person is a problem either. Do you really think non-blacks sit around and say I want a black friend, and I want them to be dark skinned? You think that all non-black people have some agenda when it comes to black people, maybe in your small, insulated world where you only have dark skinned girlfriends, and dark boyfriends, and every non-black person only likes you if you’re dark. I wonder if you’ve even had an experience where someone tried to show you off, or if you got that fetish idea from someone else and decided to apply it to every non-black person.

  • SJ

    I think she said that because ironically older “church folk” are some of the biggest perpetrators of this mess. They spread these ideas that light or white is right to their children and grandchildren with seemingly innocent comments, then go right on to the front row at church.

  • Robbie

    @Bubama. Stop with your ignorance. I am a black woman and many of my girlfriends also black of different shades are married to a white man and not because of any agenda but out of True Love. They are happily married and I could not be more happier for them. Just because a white man finds a dark skin woman attractive does not mean that he is into trying to prove something to himself and his friends.

    @H Well said!

    @David If you find dark skin women beautiful, good for you. There is nothing wrong with that.

    I am not a dark skin sister but I feel like the ignorance and the hate that comes out of some people’s mouth has to be stopped. I have never experience being mistreated or called names by other blacks because of my skin, but as a black woman, nonetheless, it hurts because skin color should not be an issue when it comes to love and relationship. Unfortunately, that will never go away.

  • mbm1ame

    I know exactlyhow the writer feels, its I’m the only dark skinned one in my family, I took my dads skin tone, and it took a long time for me to be proud of my skin tone.

  • http://twitter.com/?utm_campaign=FaithBowmanSays&utm_content=193793295963521024&utm_medium=fb&utm_source=fb#!/FaithBowmanSays Faith Bowman

    “While I wear my blackness with pride in many ways, I have a difficult relationship with it aesthetically. I am a dark skinned black woman, negatively visible or invisible, defensive and defenseless.”

    Are you fricken kidding me? LMFAO!!!! I just laughed so hard at this article! I’m dark. And me biggest feeling about that is- pass the hot pink nail polish. I’m dark- proof that black genes are strong and can withstand years of hatred, denial, and self-hatred. I’m dark, I matter, and I love me. I just do, can’t help it.

    Why do we dwell on this crap? I have a retail job where I work with beautiful black women of all shades. I’m proud of them. And I’m proud of myself for representing something at my job- the darkskined sister with short hair, a nerdy look, and almost encyclopedic knowledge of shopping. I talk to people of all races and ages, and they look me in the eye and talk right back. Because I’m cute and fun. Because I’m inteligent. And also…because I’m dark. lol!

    It’s 2012. Let’s stop this, ok? Because if you come in sayinf ‘They hate me cause I’m dark” you might be in denial. Dark is not an affliction, at least not for me. For every rejection, there’s a stronger and more life affirming ACCEPTANCE.

    Black is the presence of every color in the spectrum. Think how awesome that is, and keep it moving.

  • http://getme-lolly.blogspot.com Getmelolly

    Reading the article & comments I had to hold back the tears. I’m a dark skinned girl, and even though people tell me I’m beautiful. Somewhere in the back of my mind I don’t believe it because ‘how could a dark skinned girl really be beautiful?’ However I can see the beauty in other dark skinned girls. I hate myself for feeling this way… and I wish I knew where the insecurity came from. My family is a mix of all complexions. I’ve never had anyone tell me I’m ugly because of my skin colour. If I was really honest with myself I’d put it down to whether I’m attractive to black men? If I where to believe what the media portrays I’d think they weren’t.

    Whatever the reason I need to sort it out! I loves me some chocolate brother, so I might be having dark skinned babies (unless a throw back genes gets in there) and I don’t want to pass on my insecurities!

  • Bkbrown

    Triumph over adversity = character. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who owns her beauty (ie has the confidence to know she can have any man she pleases, among other things) and has real character. As a beautiful brown bombshell, I will say I’m thankful for all the teasing and nastiness I endured when I was younger because it led me to love and accept myself first. Women who are considered desirable by the standards of popular culture often have a difficult time feeling as confident as one would think they do because they are always looking outwardly for reassurance that they are beautiful. The more we as chocolate girls walk with our heads held high, the more we serve as an example for younger girls. Yes, some of them will have to go through being rejected, etc. But at the end of the day it’s up to us to own our sexy.

  • Hachet

    It’s a reference to anybody from an Africanised-Christian area.

  • Dwayne

    Historically, Colorism is juxtapose to white supremacy. After Reconstruction prominent blacks were forced out of the south and moved to the north. Now at this time most of the black folks suffeted under cruel and harsh restriction as Jim Crowism grew blacks in the north began ti adopt the dominate cultures values which would become Colorism. Colorism suggests ths closer to white you are the more pure a individual is and more socially acceptable. furthermore, several test emerged out of the black community i.e. brown paper bag test, comb test, flashlight test some black orgaHistorically, Colorism is juxtapose to white supremacy. After Reconstruction prominent blacks were forced out of the south and moved to the north. Now at this time most of the black folks suffeted under cruel and harsh restriction as Jim Crowism grew blacks in the north began ti adopt the dominate cultures values which would become Colorism. Colorism suggests ths closer to white you are the more pure a individual is and more socially acceptable. furthermore, several test emerged out of the black community i.e. brown paper bag test, comb test, flashlight test some black organizations pick these tests . The medias portrayal of Africa plays a factor in the image of black people and since Africa is no considered ecotic luje Brazil or another West Indie area black people tend to disassociate from Africa.

  • Hachet

    It’s true. People can pull up as many articles as they can, but the situation speaks for itself in Nigeria where the first African Miss World was a dark Nigerian woman. Also, the most popular female musicians and actors in Nigeria are mostly dark. Besides, there are three main cultures in Nigeria so no one can generalise.

  • Hachet

    @ smm, A Nigerian guy may complement you on your fair complexion, and may even be bleaching himself, but will never call a dark woman ugly because she’s dark. The most popular foreign black women in Nigeria are Kelly Rowland and Oprah.

  • omfg

    my grandmother is chocolate. she actually told me i was ugly a few years ago. she said i was ugly because i’m dark.

    i completely understand this particular sentiment.

    in my family, the light skinned/mixed girls were always favored and fawned over. i always felt like my grandmother preferred her other grandchildren because they were male or, if female, light skinned.

    but, i’ve caught hell from male and females, old and young, relatives and non relatives, because of my color. so, it really doesn’t matter. you just need to be black to be afflicted by this particular form of nonsense.

  • tisme


    1.Black people who go through this should separate themselves from the people that are dishing it out FOREVER.Just because it’s your family who is verbally abusing you and showing favoritism that doesn’t mean you have to stay around them.Once you become an adult if you aren’t already become more discriminate about who you allow into your inner circle.Create a new family filled with loving people that are NOT racist or coloracist.Those this may be a widespread phenomenon being surrounded around a few good friends and loved ones is better than being surrounded with your enemies.

    2.Seeing as though dark skin people face color discrimination in the employment arena I would suggest more dark skin people become business owners and employers.
    Also more supportive of other dark skin people.

  • tuttifrutti

    Man oh man… it’s 2012 and we are still talking about this issue! Why? Because of the ignorance of men like Kevin Hart, Tyrese, Ne-yo, Ice Tea, Lil Wayne, etc. etc. etc. Why is it that Black men have not been able to accept all shades of women, as beautiful? But more importantly, why have so many Black parents failed at instilling pride in our children, regardless of skin shades? Until this happens within our families and we stop assigning higher values to lighter skinned (or in some cases, darker skinned) children, this ignorance will be perpetuated generation after generation. Ultimately, Black women will have to stop seeking approval from men who don’t value each of our shades of beauty, and focus on self love, self worthiness, self esteem and self! Mothers and fathers…watch what you say around your babies… self loathing starts early.

  • CatchACase

    The lightskinned girls club metaphor

    ShiraJ speaks really honestly about the ugliness of colorism from a light skinned black woman’s perspective (honest and real). And she really breaks it down. Watch and tell me what you think.

  • Jasmine T.


    I absolutely hate all of your comments with a passion, on every article that you post. You are either white, or a self hating blk woman because you always seem to want blk issues to go away. I’m not dark skinned but I am blk and deeply sympathize with my blk dark skinned sisters because they are my sisters. Although I think it is sad that this is a discussion in the blk community, it doesn’t take away that fact that it is still reality. If Dark skinned Blk Woman want to express their pain, they have every right to do that. I ‘m sick of seeing my sisters hurting. Dark skin is the most beautiful. @ Charlita I agree.

  • Jasmine T.

    @ Bubbamae, what you say is true.

  • C

    Who cares what Black men desire and think? Enough! we have been having this argument forever and they still dont get it or want to get it so…. Black women – your lives and happiness is in your hands. There is a whole big world out there with many people. It does not have to include Black men.

    P.S I heard Utah, Alaska and Oregon are great places to meet men and raise a family. Maybe some of you need to take a trip.

  • C

    My Darling..kisses to you; Dont hate yourself, hate the fools. Get your degree and pick up yourself and go- dont stay aroung these fools.

    I hear Spain and China are quite nice.

  • C

    You might need therapy. Please seek it.

  • C

    Thanks Trav. I agree….You have to shake your head at the whole thing and keep it moving.

  • C


  • C

    That was for Race:Human; Life Diffucult

  • C

    See down below

  • chinaza

    A lighter skin is favored – by whom?
    It’s a remnant of slavery that has been perpetrated by black people who have developed all kinds of nonsensical “shade” terms to describe themselves rather that embracing that good,strong word “black”.
    It’s black persons-outside my family- who taught me that my light skin made me more “special” and desirable. And I will not apologize for their perceptions because God made me as I am.
    I grew up in a family of all complexions. But we didn’t have this nonsense because the adults were too busy raising us to be decent, strong, much-loved human beings.
    And that’s what persons need to focus on instead of a skin tone because black is black to everybody else except black people.

  • Greg

    This “Good hair” Bad Hair” “Light Skin” “Dark Skin” mental self hate rut is very debilitating for our race. A holdover from the destructive effects of slavery. Love the skin you are in, no matter what shade. Do you think that a God who created such beautiful variety of colors in fish, birds, flowers, animals and nature is concerned about skin color? It is only a small and stupid mind that dwells on such a thing as that. Liberate your mind and unburden your soul from such idiocy. Don’t live life as a color! You were made to be much bigger than the confines of that tight little box.

  • http://livefromthematrix.wordpress.com TAE

    I can’t wait until I’m able to live abroad. For a few years.

  • Val Gethers

    This topic brings back feelings from long ago some sad some just plain anger or self doubt. I’ve been called names by family members and so called friends. I’ve heared comments good and bad made by African-American and Europeans. I’d have to agree that it starts with we adults teaching our young to value themselves early on in life. Prepare them for the ignorance of others, but teach them never to own it. I’ve been called tarbaby by light skinned black women and excoticaly lovely by white men. I realized as I grew older that I’ve got to love myself because Christ first loved me then I could deal with these comments better. Oh how I wished I could have said to those haters of yesterday what I now know. It’s the human race that counts not just the “hue”man. We all have our differences positive and negative. We must just take them as they come and deal with them.

  • PeeWee

    Oprah & Michelle are definitely NOT dark skinned…..and yeah, all people of color, not only blacks, go through this.

  • H

    I definitely agree with regards to the dirty laundry. This documentary will not heal wounds. It will just broadcast another one of our problems for the whole world to see.

    It is just like Good Hair did not help, but non-blacks could see the extreme lengths we go to to straighten our hair and then call us crazy. Just like going on Oprah and talking about not being able to find a good black man doesn’t help black women find men, and it demonizes black men. We already know about these things. Making a documentary to show how we have colorism issues will not keep the Kevin Harts from saying ignorant things. It will not make rappers put dark skinned girls as their lead girl.

    But that is another thing to talk about – black people supporting ignorance and then being offended when these people turn their ignorance on you. For some reason, we decided that it would be nice if the black celebrities representing us to the rest of the world were low class, ignorant thugs rather than classy people.

  • apple

    being light skin is preferred and chased in every minority,…but in comparison to what they are doing in india and in east asian countries..shoooot,black people aint got nothing on that! bathing in corrosive bleach, skin coming off,getting cancers from creams..
    just last week india came out with a VAGINAL WASH WITH BLEACHING AGENT..
    if that aint bad…chile
    heres the commerical

  • Mimi

    IMHO, I don’t think the “light skin-dark skin, brown paper bag test, color struck” concept will ever stop being discuss, as well as, stop forming in people’s minds, just like the concept of racism. I think it is here to stay.
    I do agree with a few of the other posters who stated that the mentality formed at childhood.

  • http://www.diamondpublicationz.wordpress.com talia

    There is a difference between having a preference and discriminating against your own race. Yes I preferred dark skin men over light skinned however I am feeling a man that’s not even black. Thing is if you’re going to date outside your race or a certain shade in your own race don’t do it out of hate for dark skinned females or yourself. That’s where I have the problem. And if we keep talking ‘at’ each other instead of ‘to’ each other, we black people will not grow mentally. Stop blaming one or the other and lets figure out a way that we are not so conflicted.

  • AJ

    SugarFree is pretty funny, I like her delivery. If I were going to throw my commentary into the debate, I would just simply say that people have to learn how to hear other people’s pain and leave it at that. When we hear people talk from their perspective about the hatred that they’re a victim of, we always respond with subtle forms of denial but the only way to affirm sistas who come out and openly talk abou this kind of pain is to hear it and welcome it.

  • AJ

    Because you’re in the middle. People who are in the middle never feel that much of the pressure! Just like middle class folks will always remain silent on an issue until they’re implicated and then they’ll say to their poorer counterparts, “it’s not that bad! If you would just go out and look for work…” or something of the sort. I myself am brown and I grew up with a mother who’s light w/ freckles and red hair (no seriously) and would always denounce light skinned people as thinking they were better. You can imagine how confused I ended up being (and really I never thought about the fact that she herself was light until adulthood!). I don’t feel the same pressure that darker skinned women feel, I fully acknowledge that, but I see their pain. It’s undeniable.

  • jw

    @C.Black men aren’t the only ones who don’t think dark skin women are attractive.Hollywood and other entertainment doesn’t represent dark skin women as being pretty.If they do have dark skin women that are veiwed as being pretty.There isn’t a lot of them.It seems to me they are now excluding women who have Halle Berry complexion as well.And replacing them with hispanic and white women.

  • cabugs

    London Gal darling, how do you know they are white? Seriously, what is this nonsense? I usually don’t reply to comments but I had to call you out on this b.s. Meanness and ignorance is not particular to a certain race or people. Unless they stated so, there is absolutely no way you knew that these commentators were white; and really we all know that nobody posts on a Beyonce video: “that dark skinned woman looks like a man. Oh btw, I’m white.” No, just no. Don’t say things like this Miss London Gal.

  • C

    That was for omfg

  • C

    Okay but I read white fashion mags in the library and Target and I see Dark Skin women all the time….more than Black men music videos Im sure.

    Yes there arent alot of Black women in Hollywood. We have always been marginalized and our images in Black popular music, culture and hip hop today (YOU have been marked Black women) do not help…Thats why I do not own a television and I cannot remember the last time I went to the movies….Its the right decision for me but maybe not for other Black women.

  • Michelle

    You need to visit/move to Africa… there are millions of beautiful darker skinned women of all shapes and sizes with all different types of hair textures, who are ADORED here. This is such a non-issue here. It really a shame that we have become so overcome by this in the states. ~ a 20 something African American female living in southern Africa

  • Ellasimone

    Sara Bivigou’s piece is candid and offers the authority of lived experience. As one who shares these exposures, speaking this truth, understanding the origins and wrestling with the impact are necessary and urgent if we intend to transition and recover. Sadly, this is true throughout the entire African Diaspora. Born in Canada, to African-Caribbean immigrant parents; studied at the best schools – last stop Howard University, and came of age, and remain, in the Black churched tradition and I too rise to say the harm continues.

    Remedy, for me, has come through zero tolerance. I live with knowledge that God never makes mistake. He built this beauty and He desires truth in the inner part, so I refuse to deny what is, what happened and what continues to be reality. I stay investment in interrogating the social, cultural and spiritual dimensions of caste in all its manifestations and know when to turn and walk in the opposite direction. I am vigilant and refuse people, places or spaces that deepen/deny this trauma and actively practice self regard and prize good mental health. Self-hatred is a psychosis, one I will not add to my lot. The injured spirit dark girls and women will find refuge. That said, refuge and sanctuary are found in loving, affirming spaces, so to readers with like history, find community.

    I want to add my voice to many who feel like going on. Today I am grateful for the brilliant ally readers found in Sara Bivigou. Keep writing Ms. Sara, keep writing.

  • Keep it Real

    Some of these comments. Whew… lol reality check. Go to any social function and you will see that attractive black women are the most pursued women in this country. Newsflash, all of those women are not light skin. There are very few 40 year old never married black women who could not have been married if they would have made better decisions and dating choices while younger.

    This reminds me of Jill Scott complaining about black men dating white and non black women. How can you complain when you weight 230+ pounds and you’re a baby mamma? You’ve just eliminated over 50% of responsible black men who would have considered seriously dating you. This applies to women of all races. How many men are chasing after 230+ pound white, Asian and Hispanic baby mammas? Not many.

  • Keep it Real

    These comments are not POSTING IN ORDER

  • asha

    BOOM BANG GIRL. say it loud.

    dem on shiiiit.

    if i cah find somebody to love me as i deserve to be loved then deuces i go stay easy with the love from myself and my family

    these ignorant black men need to start comin correct or start zippin they mouth holes

    where d man an dem? real man? speak up

  • Robbie

    The more I read these comments, the more I feel the pain of my dark skinned sisters. I have never realized how painful this issue was for them. I have never experienced this because I am in the middle of the color spectrum.

    To all the women in this situation, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about yourself even if that means to get away from family members.

  • That’s That

    @ Chic Noir

    As a beautiful self loving dark skinned sister, I just had to let you know that you have not offended me in the least. I too, am EXHAUSTED by all the perpetuated images of dark skin black woman being so tortured, depressed, and self hating. Granted there are far too many sisters who feel this way and this is an issue that not only needs to be addressed, but solved in some fashion, but this is not how all dark skin black women feel.

    I understand your frustration with the one-sidedness of the self esteem of dark skin black women. I am just as fashion conscious as you and am constantly reading fashion blogs, magazines, websites, etc so I see a variety of gorgeous black women of all shades, but, of course, I always notice the array of dark skin models in the mix. Yes, compared to our white counterparts, we’re not the majority, but we should not look for outside forces to determine how we feel about ourselves.

    To sum up my thoughts, I understand that not all black women, more so my sisters on the darker side of the spectrum, have had the luxury of having a support system in the household that always made them feel beautiful no matter what the media chooses to represent as such. And if the mass media is too whitewashed and color blind for your taste, be inspired by the beautiful dark skin women strutting their stuff in the streets like the world is their’s, heads (black, white, brown and yellow) turning in their direction, just so you know that we ALL can be and are beautiful.

    P.S.- There is no need to remind anybody of men who “fetishize” women. All men from all backgrounds, all races do this with ALL different types of women. It will be up to the individual woman to use her common sense and weed out the men who are just acting out a jungle fever fantasy from those looking for a relationship.(In regards to attention from non-black men)

  • That’s That


    Thank You Girl! Will all the beautiful self-loving dark skin girls please express yourselves cuz a lot of these sisters need to hear it!!

  • golden_girl

    I hate this inner skin color war we have going.

    I’m light skin and want all the dark skin sistahs to know……

    1. I’m fighting the same fight you are.
    2. You are beautiful.
    3. I go out of my way to let you know I admire your style.

  • Cecily

    My best friend, who is white and male, loves black girls. He doesn’t fetishize them, but he finds women with dark skin attractive in the same way he greatly prefers brunettes to blondes.

    He thinks the height of feminine beauty is a woman with glossy, almost blue-black skin, full lips, cheekbones, almond eyes.

    I find it interesting that men of other races can find such women so beautiful, but a lot of black men in the U.S and Great Britain cannot. It seems when you are not conditioned to self-hate, on an objective level, dark-skinned black women are ESPECIALLY beautiful, even when compared to women of other races. And I say this as a woman who isn’t black.

    However, interestingly enough, whenever he expresses his interest in such women, black men SUDDENLY get very territorial and jealous.

  • http://blackonpurpose.blogspot.com/ gryph

    hey sara. you might have saved a couple hundred words by just writing: WAH WAH WAAAAAAH!!!

    why not focus on the positive

  • Plumpdn

    It is worse “abroad”

  • overseas_honeybee

    Sad this is still an issue. As a lovely deep Mahogany brown sista, never had a problem with my skin color and to hell with anyone else who does.This is straight madness. Love my skin … look just like my mahogany momma and I would not trade it for the world.

  • me

    It’s NOT worse abroad!

  • Krysie

    It depends on where you go.

  • simplyme

    I loved the honesty of this. If only people took the time to really listen to and understand where everyone is coming from life would be so much easier. As I see once again, from these comments, its rare for a woman to just share how she feels about this issue without being attacked or instructed by others who are not in her shoes about how she is supposed to feel.

  • gmarie

    damage has been done..all we really can do at this point is try to change our attitudes for the next generation. Is everyone gonna be on board at the same time? of course not, but as long as you are doing your part-as long as I am doing my part, and on and on..to instill values of self worth into our children significant change will be made in due time.

  • Ernesto

    I live in a place with virtually no black population so I can’t speak about every day’s life, but I think movies and TV are an example of the disregard of dark black women when it comes to beauty and sex. I hope that’ll change, as I see an incipient trend in some places where more and more black women are starting to wear their natural hair, dark skin and african traits with proud. (Note: I’m a white male and I like women of every color, but I tend to like black women more).

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    I absolutely hate all of your comments with a passion, on every article that you post.

    Good, skip my comments.

    No I’m blk and the difference between people like you and myself is I don’t believe in crying over spilled milk. I also don’t believe every dark-skinned blk woman cries herself to sleep at night because she is dark skinned. I wish a dark-skinned sister would post an article about how warm and happy her life is in addition to having deep chocolate skin Sure she has had some idiots make negative comments about her skin but she has never gone without a date because she has dark-skin nor did she let her dark-skin stop her from applying to medical school.

    If/when blk buys didn’t want her, she dated men who did see Whoopi Goldberg.

    I’m not dark skinned but I am blk and deeply sympathize with my blk dark skinned sisters because they are my sisters

    As do I but I refuse to think all dark-skinned blk women live horrible lives. I suspect you like this sort of thing because it makes you feel better.

    You are either white, or a self hating blk woman because you always seem to want blk issues to go away.

    Point to one of my comments where I wrote this or even hinted as much???? I want dark-skinned women to turn off the TV when the BS gets too heavy. Go look for positive images of themselves because they are out there.

    Not go crying on Tyra’s show about being dark-skinned… international television mind you to tell the world how much they hate themselves. At most you get is pity. Who the hell wants pity + you embarrasses other dark-skinned blk women who don’t feel this way about themselves.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir


    At no point did I say colorism doesn’t exist. I’ve heard people make comments but I’m the type to “pull a person’s card” on the spot about it. I stand up to bullies unless I’m outnumbered.

    At the same time I don’t think every dark-skinned blk woman hates herself because she is dark. Why is this angering so many of you??? Why do you want to think every single dark-skin Blk woman has deep issues of self-hatred???

    Have you seen videos of Roshumba??? Does she strike you as self hating??? She wore a short afro during a time when wearing an afro wasn’t the tea.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @ that’s that- Queen… I love you.

    Thanks for saying what I was trying to say. You are far more articulate than I.

    So happy you got the fetish point. ALL men ”fetishize” all women at some point. What do they think the rapper’s obsession with women like Buffy the Body is about??? Blk men’s magazines like Smooth are nothing but fetish mags.

    @90 until- I get your points and thanks for enjoying the images. If you know a sister who can use them, pass them on.
    In actuality, by dismissing this issue as minimal and refusing to believe how bad it is you only aggravate and not help it.

    I don’t think it’s a minimal issue but it certainly isn’t so bad that every dark-skinned blk women should be on 24hr suicide watch. Cause that’s certainly how some people want to make it seem. Dark-skinned blk women are not women to be pitied.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    M.S. Information,

    I’ve noticed that there are more and more light-skinned blk models in high fashion who manage to do well. In Tyra and Naomi’s day, that was not the case. There have always been a couple but now I’m noticing more and more. I have a theory of why that is so but I think it’s best if I keep it to myself.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    I have decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to feel bad or apologize for not being born into what society thought was aesthetically pleasing.

    This! and you’re not the only sister who feels this way. I would love a post from a dark-skinned woman who doesn’t lose sleep at night over her dark-skin.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    A Black Washington Post reporter (possibly Donna Britt)

    And what was the point of putting that in the Washington Post??? This is the sort of story that shouldn’t go past Ebony or Jet. Now she made those YBW seem like easy targets for any light skinned guy looking for some “trim”.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir


    chic noir grabs faith bowman and that’s that rushes to the dance floor.

    I talk to people of all races and ages, and they look me in the eye and talk right back. Because I’m cute and fun. Because I’m inteligent. And also…because I’m dark. lol!

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Is all this self pity because you’re dark skin or because you feel under appreciated as a dark skinned woman?

    Not much you can HEALTHILY do about being dark skin and you can’t control how others feel or don’t feel about you.

    So what you gonna do . . . . ?

  • HopeChest

    I guess darker-skinned black women can’t have their say on the color issue without the usual detractors trying to shut them up.

    And so it continues.

    Ask yourself that same question. What do YOU plan on doing when you see a dark-skinned woman?

    Are you gonna overlook her because her skin color and assume the worst?

    Start with yourself.

  • http://livefromthematrix.wordpress.com TAE

    I’ll take my chances and I’d prefer to see for myself. People who I admire and respect have come back from trips overseas with stories about how the racial climate is markedly different than here also, I believe that over time the U.S. shrinks your brain. I also am slowly beginning to realize just how damaging certain aspects of American culture are to the black psyche, hence conversations like these. At one time I felt that dialogue like this was needed in the black community but when I read some folks comments I see some Black are just lost and will probably stay that way.
    I believe travel is essential for being well-rounded spiritually, mentally, and intellectually. It’s just like somebody who has lived in one state the entirety of their lives. The world, as well as the U.S., is too big for that. Explore. Take in different cultures. Learn a language.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Travel is the best thing you can do for yourself. I’ve been to Paris, the Netherlands, Sweden and Ethiopia. The world is your oyster. Enjoy yourself and how different things can be but still function well. If you are small(short), you will have the men folk running after you in the Netherlands. Honestly everyone is tall in the Netherlands. It was the first place I’ve ever been where everyone “looks” like me. Where I can go into a store and find jeans with the right insteam on the rack.


    Check out this link from stories from sisters who’ve traveled abroad. One of the best BW travel threads ever.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Seems to me the woman’s had her say by writing this piece.

    Ask yourself that same question. What do YOU plan on doing when you see a dark-skinned woman?

    Well if she’s friendly and approachable, I’ll probably smile and say hello.
    If she double takes on me – (as women usually do :-) I might put a lil more swing in my shoulders and lil more puff in my chess.



    want some?

    I got enough man for everybody who can handle some.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @hopechest- I don’t think people are trying to shut her up but this “dark-skinned blk grl” posts are becoming a one sided story. There is danger in the one-sided story.


  • HopeChest

    Chic Noir,

    You’re another detractor, so miss me with all that.

    You also like to minimize the darker skinned woman’s experience as well, because you can’t relate to it.

    I’d suggest you STFU and let black women discuss what needs to be discussed.


    Spoken like a true idiot. Please STFU as well.

  • BeeYex174

    Darker the berry the sweeter the juice. That’s what I always heard

  • kelly


  • That’s That

    @ Chic Noir

    I love you too, girl!

    I wish we, as sisters, would stop finding reasons to divide ourselves and stop looking so petty and pitiful most of the time, it’s just sad.

    *Rodney King Voice* Can’t we all just get along!!

  • http://tonyajuanise.com Tonya

    Cry me a river!!! I am so tired of hearing about this issue, it’s like beating a dead horse. Whatchu gonna get out of it? Nothing!

    We can keep talking about how dark skin woman are viewed as less desirable, how they aren’t as pretty as their lighter skin sistas, how they are less likely to get a job because of their skin color, blahzayblahzayblah, but what are we doing about it? What are we doing to heal the wounds from ignorance and complete brain washing?

    As a dark skin woman, I KNOW that I am beautiful and I don’t need a rapper or anyone else in Hollywood (or the average joe for that matter) to validate my beauty for me. Most Black men think light is better because of the brain washing that our people have endured for YEARS! I don’t even get mad anymore because I know that what they perceive is simply not true. Society has plastered images of white women and women of color with the “European look” all over the media implying that this look is better than dark skin with kinky hair. So if that’s what is shoved down your throats all of your life, then you’ll being to think that is the only form of beauty or that this beauty is better than anything that looks different.

    I used to have self esteem issues because of my dark skin but after giving my life to Jesus Christ, spending time with Him, and in His word, I’ve realized that my skin doesnt make me who I am. Yes, I am beautiful the way that He created me, but if I am acceptable to my Creator, then I am good enough. Dark skin, kinky hair, and all! :)

    Dark skin ladies, hold your head up high and find the beauty in your chocolate skin because it is beautiful! Stop focusing on the negative and focus on the positive because trust there are tons of men that do like dark women!

  • Creoleyaya

    I’m a getting tired, yes, as a light-skinned black woman, hearing the stories of the sad dark skinned black woman. As black people, we all have our sad stories. I have mine as being a light skinned black woman and the many assumptions that were made about me and still are. We have our issues. But it starts with SELF because at some point no one is ever good enough for whatever reason.

    I married a Nigerian man, who is dark skinned and we have a child who is caramel colored. She doesn’t have “good hair” like me and she doesn’t have light skin like me but I told her from day one that she is beautiful, I love her hair and her skin. I penned my own songs and sang them to her – and you know what it’s so true what I told her and today at 16 she is a confident young, black woman, who is proud of who she is.

    It all starts at home and in our hearts. You have to believe in yourself and pass it on.

  • HopeChest

    Yeah, yeah, only light skinned women have all the issues in the black community. Got it.

    Why are you in here b!tching about the woes of most dark skinned women?

    I take it that you can’t relate, but why are you and so many other women who absolutely have NO RELATION to the topic trying to silence the dark skinned woman and her experiences with colorism?

    Are you just as guilty?

    Stop trying silence black women, especially those who feel the need to talk about this.

    I’m doubly sick of light to brown skinned acting like this doesn’t exist.

    That’s insulting and you wonder why we can never get this dialogue to end.

    Leave the thread if you cannot deal.

  • Creoleyaya

    HopeChest, did you really read MY POST? I do understand! I have a daughter, cousins, oh yeah, and a mother! You know, light-skinned black women don’t live in a vacuum. Everything isn’t always greener on the other side…

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    I can’t speak for creoleyaya but speaking for myself and even a few dark-skinned ladies who agree with me. This story about how every dark-skinned blk woman has it hard & has low self-esteem is not good. It will also lead to other people esp non blk people making the assumption that every dark-skinned blk woman has low self esteem.

    Do you really want to be in a position where men see you as easy trim since you’re dark-skinned and of course you seek validation from a man with light-skinned man?

    Futhermore, not every dark-skin woman has issues with her skin. Sure she may have had negative comments directed at her a few times but it was mostly a non-issue. Her parents raised her to be self-assured and she has always dated me who wanted to be with her.

  • Yeahright2011

    @Hatchet and Sasha.

    The US has 5 regions, all with their own cultures based on the immigrant and migrant populations that settled there, industry, and even with their own foods and accent. You have no problem generalizing a country where there is more diversity in the black “community” than you’ll experience in your lifetime. But some how you’re comfortable putting colorism as the doorstep of blacks in the America while trying to preserve your individual experience. Is hypocrisy a cultural element in your group or are you going solo?

  • HopeChest

    Chic Noir and Creolala:

    Where did I say that ALL darkskinned had color issues? Hm? I thought that his was a thread where darker-skinned can at least discuss the colorism that plagues us a people.

    And here you are, along with others, trying to minimize their experience because you don’t know any dark skinned women with issues? Or you cannot relate?

    Why is it that we have to hear all the pains of light skinned women but not the dark sister? Is it that much of a burden?

    I can’t relate to the issues of lighter skinned women, but I won’t dare shush her up, not minimize her experience.

    Maybe some black women need this to get it off their chest, ‘cuz trust, there’s a whole lot to unload.

    I don’t care if you can or cannot relate.

    For ONCE, let a dark-skinned woman talk about this without shutting her up.

    That Is My Point.

  • Ms. Information

    At the end of the day…dark skinned sisters that have low self esteem…cut off the television….cut off the music…look at movies that lift you, listen to music that lifts you, deal with people that lift you…I know that it is hard to avoid the stereotypes and negativity, but it can be done….READ,Listen to music that uplifts, don’t support things that degrade you…that is all that can be done right now….I am a brown woman and it can get a little tough watching tv and only seeing stereotypes, listening to idiots like Lil Wanye and Kevin Hart make ignorant statements ..I step away from it and read, look at foreign films, listen to classic music that Black people created when we loved ourselves..I even look at old school Soul Train to see how beautiful we ALL are from the lightest to the blue black darkest…….divide and conquer is a muh fuh

  • Tarjia

    Thank you for this much-needed view of a truth that so many cannot bear to shine a light upon. Thanks for your courage.

    My hope for you and all of us of color is that we put ourselves into the highest esteem, and learn to love and accept ourselves as we are, regardless of the social pressure to do otherwise.

    My hope for the world is to finally wake up and let go of needless separation.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Bingo! Miss Information.

  • TW1990

    Wow!!! Is the first thing that came to my mine when I read the comments that people have left regarding this topic. Because she recognizes the color of her skins means she has low self-esteem or has no-confidence? That is not what I got out of it she states is the truth. That light-skinned black women are idolized in American civilization over dark-skinned black for only one reason because they appear to be more (white)? Because Americans find this more appealing oh I can’t be racist because she’s light-skinned but light skinned to the point where you might assumes she’s biracial? Beyonce and Rihanna extremely high yellow women yes they are talented not taking anything away from them. But they skin tones seem to be very much lighter than when they first came out?

  • C

    Jesus!!!!!! Beyonce was from hot ass and sunny Texas….so she was tanner when she came on the seen. Rihanna was from hot ass and sunny Barbados…..so she was tanner when she first came on the seen; Period,End of story. They are not bleaching. Is that so hard to grasp or figure out.

  • Muzi

    Lets leave Beyonce and Rihanna out of this. They are not the problem, but rather the culture that perpetuates the notion that “Lighter is prettier/better.” See, as a lighter skinned black man, I sometimes get irratated when my darker skinned counterparts argue that some people are only pretty because they are lighter skinned, or the popular adage “the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.” How is a light skinned child supposed to process that mess? And if someone’s best feature on their face is their skin tone, whether they are yellow-bone or not, what is honestly wrong with that? On the flip side, I also get upset at notions of a ‘black beauty’ or ‘she’s a very beautiful dark skinned woman.’ Why the pre-fix? Can’t she just be a beauty or just a very beautiful woman? Whether the individual is light or dark skinned, lets not take away their beauty.

  • belinda

    You tell yourself that “You are fine as you are”- and that is the problem. You are telling your self you are adequate- okay- but not embracing yourself fully. Tell yourself that you are beautiful, amazing, a goddess of mirth and joy. You are not fine- fine is their word for keeping the status quo. Give yourself a more rich language, because you are more than just adequate, we all are, all of us here on earth.

  • DolloneLove

    @HopeChest love ya’ lady I can’t believe Creolala is still using the term “good hair”(lol)that in itself tells you what her mindset is saying I told my baby because she doesn’t have good hair like me & is caramel color I had to say it again.For her to have that talk let’s you know she has color issues.Chic Noir if you don’t get your illiterate a_ _off this feed seeing you as trim & seeking light-skinned men for validation Bhahahahaha child please that also tells me you are racist against your own people.You are the ones w/issues on color not the sister who’s writing this article or Hope Chest.Some people should educate themselves before they open their mouth.It’s better to be quiet & let people think you’re ignorant than to open your mouth & remove all doubt.Muzi their you go w/that yellow-bone read last sentence.I finally told my BFF of 30yrs.everytime I’ve heard her say “RED-BONE”I’ve cringed like it’s a medal of honor when in truth it’s derogatory.My mother is light my father was dark their 4 children are 4 different shades me being the darkest never had a problem w/my color actually I’m quite Beautiful I look in my mirror & it proves it’s true daily sometimes more:-)I “LOVE” the me that I am & wouldn’t trade anything for it,but in these tough economic times maybe for some millions then I could by me back!!Creoleyaya I know a lot of light_skinned women who date or marry extremely dark men because they are so,insecure they think it makes them look better(ouch)girl that why u married that Nigerian???Chic Noir this is Sara’s thing if you don’t like it or agree psst be gone.Everyone can have an opinion this is mine.Deuces!!! @Ernesto I noticed the hair trend too & I love it always have.

  • DolloneLove

    I forgot to speak to @ Socially Maladjusted your comments just go prove to you really are socially maladjusted or is it the size of your manhood??IJS Just like I said you are proof it’s better to be quiet & let people think you’re ignorant than to open your mouth & remove all doubt.

  • CreoleYaya

    @DollOneLove Duh, when I put “good hair” in quotes and said my daughter was “caramel,” I meant it for emphasis – it’s called painting a picture. Since you are so schooled on black issues you have realized that. This is the problem – we are supposed to be of the same race, but we continue to tear each other down.

    You and hope chest, obviously didn’t read my whole post, because you both MISSED MY POINT about my daughter, which is, and I’ll say it again – since the day she was born I wanted her to know that she – ALL OF HER IS BEAUTIFUL – her COMPLEXION AND HAIR. I further added that because she is now 16 that she is a proud and confident young black woman who does not have hair and color issues. In other words, my daughter will NOT be writing an opinion piece on what we are all responding to because she is comfortable in her OWN SKIN AND HAIR.

    I also pointed out that we as BLACK PEOPLE all have issues no matter what the complexion.

    People are pointing out that Beyonce and Rihanna have gotten lighter since they became famous alluding to the fact that they are possibly using enhancements to make their light skin even lighter – SO, if this is the case then that would prove that light skinned black women also have issues and we don’t have it easier either if we are trying to get even lighter then what we are purported to be. Hmmmm, food for thought!!!

  • HopeChest

    Much love to you too, Doll :)

    And thank you so much for hearing me out. I do realize that this is indeed a tiring and emotionally-wrought subject, but it cannot die now.

    We can never let this conversation die until we all take responsibility for what we say and do around folks when the subject of our skin tone arises.

    I hope we can do better for those children who will one day get their innocence stolen from them after they realize the power their skin tone.

  • DolloneLove

    Dr.Drew was on Monday w/guest Kim Coles the subject was “GOOD HAIR”vs”NATURAL HAIR”& weaves,perms & every hair stereotype the debate was on.It was just as many ignorant comments &devisivenesson there as it is on here.They nearly took over his show he lost control several times & had to jump up.Then they threw some men in the mix & more hell broke loose.Black men are completely caught up in this goodhair,lightskin crap like it’s better.I personally believe if you’re nothing on the inside it doesn”t matter about the outside you’re ugly.There were some brothers who got it thank God.It’s a shame these issues haven’t been put to bed still they fester & keep us divided.If this much energy was put into keeping our kids alive instead they’re being gunned down in cold-blood,substandard housing,can’t afford to send our kids to college,Black men being sent to prison unjustly,we let drug dealers live next door to us & don’t raise as much hell as we do about good damn hair& dark vs light skin.Put your energy into some of that sh*t then call me about the BS.If Sara wants to deal w/her issues in a public forum it’s her right I applaud her honesty,openness<just being frank,Some of relate differently & things affect us differently.She's doing what she needs to do exocise her demons don't like it don't read it.Most people can't deal w/openness & honesty it scares the bejesus out of them scared they may have to deal w/self.Done for now but,you people yes I said you people(lol) have given me a "tic",so I know I'll be back.

  • Joan

    I can’t believe that people are in here arguing about whether women should discuss this issue. If women want to talk about their experiences, what is the harm in letting them? If we (other black women and women of color) won’t even listen, then who will? I am considered “light-skinned” and I acknowledge that I have had certain privileges as well as certain disadvantages. However, it helps me to know not only that, but also how other women are affected so that I can possibly have a hand in helping to make things better.

    We need to be more supportive of one another. If you are tired of hearing about an issue, fine. However, we all need to understand that whether we choose to ignore the issue or not, it’s still an issue. It still affects ALL of us. Darker-skinned women have it harder and not just in the black community. If women want to talk about their experiences, we should listen. If you feel that the issue is being presented as one sided, don’t dismiss the experience of another woman in order to push your point. We are all intelligent enough to discuss our experiences and listen to others without cutting them down because of something we have experienced.

  • Ernesto

    Sheesh, I thought I was crazy. I see every black actress I find attractive becoming yellowish over time. I thought it was lights or cameras, which was already bad. Didn’t know they did that to themselves.

  • Paige

    Well, I’m “dark” for a Choctaw Indian – well not really, since I’ve seen the ones down in Mississippi and Louisiana on the “rez” and they’re my shade and darker, so it’s actually racist bullshit when people tell me I’m “too dark” to be a Choctaw and must be “black.” All I can say from my life experience is that the darker your skin is, the worse you get treated by society in terms of expectations. The darker your skin the more stupid, illiterate, uneducated and slutty people assume you are. I grew up suburban middle-class college prep, went to Yale, went to law school, have a math teaching credential, am now studying Biotechnology and trying to get a Pharmacy Tech license so I don’t wind up forever shlepped into ghetto areas where I get abused physically and emotionally by what I just call ghetto trash criminals. (A.K.A. where all my relatives live; no matter what city they live in they always live in the ghetto part of it). All my upbringing and education and I get called “stupid” and “slut” as I walk down the street dressed practically in a TENT dress so that nothing is clingy or revealing. It’s soul-crushingly depressing, that everything I am and do and can do in my life and all people see is a skin color. This is why when I go long distances over math teaching jobs I always get turned down after they see me even if they’d liked me “on paper.” For all of this I get lumped in with the uneducated illiterate unwed mother types everywhere I go. Even when I go places where there are few or no blacks to lump me in WITH I still can’t get treated the way someone like me deserves…..and I mean as a college graduate with a math teaching credential, not a skin color.

  • HopeChest

    Paige, I wish you the best in your search for the right job.

    It’s hard out there for everybody, if you really think about it.

    And can I tell you that I admire the fact that you majored in math? Many women do not get math degrees, and I thought that at least with that, you’d have your foot in the door somewhere. I’m sorry that it’s the opposite.

    Have you thought about going overseas?

    Keep your head up, Paige. You are more than your skin tone, and I’ve no doubt that you are a beautiful person, on and off paper :)

  • HopeChest

    Sorry, Paige, I got your degree all wrong. I still admire what you’re doing. Keep up the good work.

  • MS1908

    I had a conversation with a few male friends about the light skin vs dark skin debate. What we found was that most men prefer light skin women because it is rare. Look at these statistics 80% of Black women are caramel-dark complexion whereas the other 20% are lightskin. People like things they dont see often or dont experience often.

    I am a lightskinned woman and I HATE the light vs dark debate simply because it seems to me that the dark complexioned African Americans are the ones constantly bringing it up. I have been called, light bright, mulatto, creole and zebra so many times but Im sure if I called a darker complexioned person a darkie, jiggaboo or gorilla I would be wrong. I think as a people we need to realize that we are all different shades, some of us have more of the slave masters blood running through us and some of us just have family and life/love decisions blood running through us. Regardless, we are people of color and often times have a double consciousness that we have to deal with.

    This double consciousness is what has had the African American struggle become so real for us and separate us.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Dr.Drew was on Monday w/guest Kim Coles the subject was “GOOD HAIR”vs”NATURAL HAIR”& weaves,perms & every hair stereotype the debate was on.

    le sigh

    What the hell was the purpose of going on his show to have this debate??? What did Chris Rock’s Good Hair do but put blk folks bussiness out on front street.

    My God, it’s so embarrassing I swear. Look I don’t have much against weaves but when I go into those hood beauty supply places and see groups of sisters spending hundreds of dollars to wear other people’s hair it just irks me. Esp when the people selling the hair to them are nonblk. I’m like what the hell must we look like spending “lil man’s” child support on some funeral yard hair

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    There were some brothers who got it thank God.It’s a shame these issues haven’t been put to bed still they fester & keep us divided.If this much energy was put into keeping our kids alive instead they’re being gunned down in cold-blood,substandard housing,can’t afford to send our kids to college,Black men being sent to prison unjustly,we let drug dealers live next door to us & don’t raise as much hell as we do about good damn hair& dark vs light skin.Put your energy into some of that sh*t then call me about the BS


  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    What we found was that most men prefer light skin women because it is rare. Look at these statistics 80% of Black women are caramel-dark complexion whereas the other 20% are lightskin. People like things they dont see often or dont experience often.

    If this were true, blk men would be fighting in the streets over size 00 and 0 blk women because they’re rare. That’s not it honey, they prefer largely because they have issues of self-hatred. Sure some of it is just what people like but more most, it’s what they were taught to like and following the tastes of “the alpha”.

  • Chrissy

    I have not commented on this topic at all…but men prefer light skin because it is rare??? lmao. You have got to be kidding me. That has got to be one of the most pathetic excuses I have heard yet.

    I mean……..lol.

    I’m just speechless.

    Why dont the men just say they think light skin women look better. Why can they just say that the ‘red’ or ‘yellow’ complexion looks better instead of resulting to it being ‘rare.’

    And of course dark-skinned African Americans bring it up because it effects them. duh. It also says having a darker skin color applies to job discrimination.

    I dont understand why this topic cannot be spoken about without people who do not experience this chiming in pretending that they know what its like. Unless you experience it yo will never know.

    Also for the women who say they have dark skinned friends who dont have any problems…That may be true. Or they may be telling you that because they see how dismissive you are.

  • Socially Maladjusted





    People can talk about the so called “woes of being dark skinned” as much as they want but it doesn’t mean others have to take it seriously.

    You see, being very dark skinned is not a disease or an affliction, it’s just having a darker shade of skin than most people, and perhaps aesthestic feautures that are unmistakeably African.

    What, Is there something with that?

    Nothing in the least bit wrong with being dark skinned and looking African. So if you’re beefin coz that’s how you look then there “is” something wrong wid -


    And if that’s how you feel then I find YOU offensive.


    This piece is merely about somebody not feeling cute because their image is not the kind most often picked to be photoshop-ed and stuck on the label of some tacky perfume bottle.


    magic words time -

    get over it.

    You live in a time and place in which european aesthetics and its non-white proximations are – en vogue. If you can’t make peace with it and find your own spot, then that’s you’re LAME business. Most people got better things to worry than some whiny jealous idiot who spends all her time lovin the people she hates and hating herself for loving em.

    Stop projecting your light skin love on to others. If you see people who love light skin everywhere, it’s because you carry your love of light skin everywhere.

    These crazy females remind of “nice guy” b itch asses, always whining bout women love thugs and hatin on bad boys. No – women don’t love bad boys they just don’t love your weak ass. Same dynamic with these misery queens. LMAO!

    And for the storm of hate this post will attract, it’s

    you lose/I win again – coz you just outed yourself as a -



  • But…

    People don’t want to discuss it because it makes them uncomfortable with their privilege. But just like we’re not going to stop discussing racism because white people are uncomfortable, we are not going to stop discussing colorism because light-skinned people are uncomfortable.

  • Creoleyaya

    Why is this argument so one-sided? Why are some of you so hostile to us light-skinned folks? It’s one thing for society to act one way but it’s another to make personal attacks. Are hordes of light skin people doing all this hatin’ or do people THINK we are? It’s not my fault that I’m light skinned! It’s not my fault that massa played/plays more of a part in the way I look than my African side!

    Since moving to Los Angeles from New Orleans, I have been verbally attacked by dark-skinned people who assume that I don’t like them. I have been attacked verbally in front of my child. But I do not argue I keep it moving because if one attacks a virtual stranger on assumptions than that’s a deeper issue.

    If I hear a conversation about light vs. dark, I don’t participate or I speak up. I was in a smoothie place a month ago when two-brown skinned women were talking about how cute a dark skinned guy is and how surprising that is. I jumped in immediately and called them on it. I said, good lawd, we are in 2012 and you are talking like this. They looked at me like I was an alien and like I should have agreed with them becuz I’m light skinned. Hell no!

    Don’t believe in skin privilege and for god’s sake stop perpetuating it!!!

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Socially Maladjusted Most people got better things to worry than some whiny jealous idiot who spends all her time lovin the people she hates and hating herself for loving em.

    come on man jealous??? Don’t you think that’s a bit much.

    I think Dark-skinned women want things to be “fair” in other words not have family members(the most painful) put them down for having dark skin as well as random idiots on the street. Dark-skinned women would like to not be discounted for being dark-skinned or told they are cute “for a dark-skinned girl” as if all or even most dark-skinned women are ugly.

    You’ve got to admit, colorism is a problem with some blk men and you know it’s fuelled by the same self hatred that causes many YBMs to kill each other over the most banal things.

    For anyone who says I’m being contradictory…. My issue is with this topic coming up over and over and over again and we’re always getting this sad pathetic view of what it means to be a dark-skinned blk woman when not all dark-skinned blk women feel this way. + this does dark-skinned blk women no good when it aired to outsiders.

    Do you really think a 350 pound light-skinned blk woman with acne & cankles has a better life than Gabrielle Union or Naomi Campbell??? I mean be for real.

    Didn’t dark brown Dianna Ross marry a billionaire?
    What about the sort of men Whoopi Goldberg and Grace Jones have had over the years?

    Geez yall

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir


    You did the right thing jumping in on those two young ladies. Even if you can’t stop them from thinking that way, they may think before they speak in public which may help shield some young child from that ignorance.

  • DollieLove

    @iQgraphics @Perverted Alchemists you brew up something 1st& graphics can design it 4u. Now the article isn’t about her being concerned about someones personal preference it’s about all people judging darker skin people as less then.It goes all the way back to slavery when the lighter skinned slaves worked in the big house & the darker worked in the fields.It continues on even into this day that somehow if you’re lighter you are prettier or better.It’s obvious neither one of you understood Sara’s dilemma or feel her pain nor did you appreciate her honesty.I don’t know why people get scared when they are made to see the “TRUTH” head on they dance around it & try to make it about something else.How dare you tell someone to get out of their head you need to be getting in their w/them because neither one of you seem to have anything in yours.DEUCES,PEACE & LOVE!! @Chic Noir how many faces do you wear?One minute you’re dissing the article then the next you’re trying to jump on the bandwagon like you understand.You are the kind we fear the most there’s no truth in you.Throw a rock & hide your hand kind of chick.I bet you’re really young you sound,so immature.

  • http://blackonpurpose.blogspot.com/ gryph

    @socially maladjusted

    this is the BEST thing i’ve read in weeks…every keystroke was PURE GOLD.

  • http://blackonpurpose.blogspot.com/ gryph

    i personally think they should’ve closed the thread after s.m.’s last comment. there’s nothing else to be said about this, really.

  • DolloneLove

    @HopeChest did @Creoleyaya really think she said something that actually made sense ?She simply repeated herself trying to convince us she meant something different w/that”good hair”.I’m not trying to tear anyone down I’m just trying to show what the article is actually about.It’s about stereotypes again I say why would she say because she doesn’t have my good hair?I still want her to know she’s beautiful I bet if she did read this she would be disappointed in mommy whether she said it out loud or not.Until it becomes a non-issue we can’t stop discussing it.

  • CreoleYaya

    @DollOneLove I know exactly what the article is about but you still refuse to see my point. Yes, you ARE TRYING to tear me down. You are just as bad as white people, who refuse acknowledge when they are racists. I know you get what I’m saying but you just want to chastise me for the dreaded GOOD HAIR remark – and you are misquoting me. BTW, do you know how many black people of all complexions have made remarks that my daughter doesn’t have GOOD HAIR like me? Too many to count. Again, you don’t need to school me – you need school yourself because you apparently hate light-skinned people. It’s not my fault that I’m light skinned with wavy hair. You know what they say about people who tear down others – so, honey, take a look in the mirror!

  • DolloneLove

    @Sara Bivigou “Choose YOU even if nobody else is choosing you.”~~Agapi Stassinopoulos~~I do & I really appreciated this article & cherish your honesty & openness it took a strong woman to bare her self like you did.It’s like being Buttnaked in the middle of NEW YORK!!You’re tougher than you think when that little doubt seeps in.I’m dark skinned,& I’m beautiful even used the word pretty.There is always something you don’t like I always wished my calves were a little larger.I’m going to bed now,but I know I’ll be back this has been the most interesting thing I’ve found online in awhile.

  • Miss September

    This was very touching. I see this go on in day to day life. I work in customer service and see how browner skin women are treated as opposed to lighter hued women. It is a shame, that some people still have that slave mentality to this day. I also hate when people say so and so is pretty for a dark skin girl that irritates the hell out of me. As if, it’s a shocker that she can be dark and attractive.
    I also hate when men, bring up the color issue. I wasn’t raised in a house that emphasized skin color
    Or showed favoritism to one skin color or another. So a lot of these issues I wasn’t aware of until I became an adult.
    I sometimes, seek out brown skin women to encourage them and tell them they are beautiful because they are. I don’t pity them, but more so tell them because I know we live in a society that doesn’t celebrate it enough. Some of the most beautiful women on the planet are dark skin. I know Naomi
    Campbell has her problems, but there is no denying she is drop dead gorgeous. I think if the community embraced brown skin as something beautiful instead of something to be ashamed of. We could eradicate all this stupid skin color babble. I know that is wishful thinking.

  • iQgraphics

    @Chic Noir
    sry… haven’t been back since this thing exploded

    But, it does not matter. I have self pride and managed to instill it in him. I helped him to understand people have their opinions, which they are entitled to and some times, most of the time, those opinions are meaningless and stupid.

    He’s different and
    He’s fine with that ;)

  • Nope

    @ChicNoir, after reading your ten thousand responses and rebuttals, I can’t help but wonder why one dark-skinned black women’s testimonial about her daily confrontations with colorism i.e. intra-racism bothers you so? I likewise wonder if all of this poo-pooing is a guilty response to your own uncomfortable recognition that, as a light-brown woman, you sometimes benefit from this American AND global color caste system in ways that you’re ignorant of? We get nowhere in our struggles to connect as Black women when we shut each other down because we can’t relate, It helps absolutely no one.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir


    You seem very angry. I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings as that was not my intention. May the Most High bless you.

    Have a good weekend :)

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    you sometimes benefit from this American AND global color caste system in ways that you’re ignorant of?

    I’m not light enough to benefit from any cast color system. I kept explaining because it seems people didn’t get my point. Usually I don’t repeat myself but I feel that this topic is so important that maybe I should try to make myself understand.

    Well I don’t know if I’m light-brown, I’m Jourdan Dunn’s color so I’m more medium brown.

    Either way, have a good weekend :)

  • SweetTee

    There are a lot of factors that are involved with this…”problem”

    1. Being a brown/dark skin woman in a society that caters towards a beauty type that is much different

    2. Being in a society where beauty = opportunity

    3. Being in a society where being a woman = must be beautiful to have opportunities– not otherwise be forever shunned as somehow, not good enough.

    4. Black women NEVER feeling as though they ever got a full shot at being what our society defines as a “woman”(the beauty, the pampering, the glamour, the good mother, soft, pretty, etc.–we by DEFINITION are excluded from these comparisons) , because are culture and race as a WHOLE is in the process of re-defining ourselves. Think about. Most black people you know are the first of, know the first to do something. Our history of greatness is relatively short. (sidenote:100 years from now, I think we’ll all be amazed where black people stand in this country. Call me whimsical. Whatev.)

    5. What do to about it NOW?…Now, where being dark/brown affects us, DAILY. What to do about it? I’m really not sure. Encourage each other to have “our mansions now”. Raise our black men to love and respect women of all hues. Be HONEST with ourselves–and how we feel about ourselves. Allow ourselves to change, and give ourselves permission to go against the tide–and call ourselves beautiful, WITHOUT making a direct criticism from those that are light(that would make us hypocrites).

    I mean it’s hard, it really is. But God doesn’t make any mistakes, and we must remind ourselves of that. Our lives are not doomed, but like many greats in the past, they sure make for some good, unique stories lol i guess theres something to be said for that(at the least)

    I hope this post made sense :/

  • http://www.anekalee.com/housewivesalchemy Aneka Lee

    You know I started counting recently! Crazy right? I totally relate to this piece, although I no longer feel inadequate. Reading what the stars said made my heart pound faster, but I am hurt by the ignorance more than anything. There is a way over this and it is through an understanding and acceptance of self beyond the media, stupid comments, and the marginalization that seems to represent the experience of many darker skinned women. Like in any abusive relationship, it is time to see it for what it is but to stop it from allowing us to not be – despite our socialisation, it is possible to love yourself, know yourself to be powerful, and find yourself accepted by many, even while the wider world doesn’t seem to get it. The day I really KNEW myself to be an aspect of Divinity, was the day my low self-esteem began to change. Many people are discriminated against – disabled people, albinos, white people with red/ginger hair – and what the wider world accepts comes in and out of fashion – but who and what we are is Infinite and everlasting. Find a way to get that deep into your core, work on it everyday, find yourself in the “company of your sisters”, buy Essence magazine – the world may never change, but your experience of yourself definitely can!

  • http://bijoubluerose.blogspot.com Gigi Richardson

    My granddaughter is a very beautiful dark skin beauty. As the adult, I make a conscious effort to feature women like her on my blog bijoubluerose.blogspot.com Making sure she knows who Nina Simone, India.Arie,Esther Phillips, and many others are. I conscientiously look for models, ballet dancers,sports figures she can identify with.

  • Amberlynn

    Sometimes I wonder, when darker women lighten their skin in hopes of being more accepted, do they search for lighter men as well? Or are they looked to be accepted by their darker counterparts? What does that mean for their children? They are certainly not going to be as light as you, the way you are now – although I’m certainly not a geneticist. Would you then tell that slightly darker child that they have to lighten their skin to be seen as beautiful? How would you explain it to them, when they see older pictures of you as you originally were; Darker. I’m sure most people don’t think this far ahead when they do engage in skin-lightening practices, but it is certainly something that is going to follow you through the rest of your life and impact those around you.

  • Milagros Ramos-Elkins

    I understand what the original article authors intent was and I think most of us, if not over our skin tone, for any other reason have experienced a sadness over not fitting into what seems to be accepted, perhaps even admired. I am mixed and have never been black enough, light enough, Hispanic enough (that’s the other part of me), etc. my hair usually has not had the coveted, and expected, loose curls that many girls of mixed ethnicity are proud to display. I live in an area that no matter how light I were to be, I would be put into a cultural stereotype even among those that like me because of my features and differences from white normality that I didn’t even grow up in (I am from the northeast and now live in the bluegrass where many blacks identify with what pop culture dictates as “black culture.” I live daily with constantly being misunderstood because I look very different outside from who I am inside. This has been a negative AND positive experience for me, which at times, even the negative aspects I have used to my immediate and/or eventual advantage. If you must be around those playing the game, and you cannot change the rules, make the rules work for you. Honestly, though, if someone views any sort of skin tone as beautiful, why can’t that be simply viewed as a point of attraction for them, and not always seen as race? I mean this only when it’s clear that it’s an aesthetic comment, not a value judgement one. If someone likes a certain hair color, height, eye color, body type, or age group for potential romantic interests, let them. We don’t all have to like everything, nor is everyone in this world physically beautiful. Some dark skin glows radiantly because of genetics or health or cosmetics or setting while sometimes it can be dull. Light skin is prone to the same things. Medium as well. Beauty is only one indicator of health, something that helps all beings pick a suitable mate to continue life with. Just like food is appealing when it is at its peak. So be healthy in and out and not only will you be beautiful but you won’t care about things like this as much either.

  • Jennifer

    Try being light skinned and have black men fetishize you for your skin colour, black men often don’t take mixed/light skinned black women or latina women seriously and tend to just go for them because of shallow reasons. However if they meet a dark skinned black women that they are attracted to they fall for them hard because they don’t see them through rose tinted glasses.
    This in part has put me off dating darker skinned black men and I prefer to date mixed latino or white men.

  • AMW

    This is about more than color and popular culture. Read the statistics. Colorism affects education, employment opportunity, income, health care, criminal justice, and a myriad of other real life issues. It needs to be discussed and confronted at every turn.

  • queensta

    At the end of the day we are all the same. Those who are dark skinned and lite skinned protested against the same thing. No matter if they were a house slave or a field slave they still were slaves.

  • lindah

    people are really shallow i mean really, why should people be having arguements on such issues black is black, whether light or dark skinned. am from africa and the complexion is not an issue because you will find that families who are dark skinned give birth to a mixture of children some may be dark and others light in the same family, so really people shouldnt be making an issue out of complexion seriously

  • Rainshadow

    I am a light skinned black woman whose nationality is very hard to tell by both black and white people alike as well as several other ethnicities. I believe if I were dark skinned that I would be married by now because contrary to most views I really think the tides have shifted in that most men all around are extremely attracted to dark skinned women; esp if she is intelligent. Also I would like to add that I have been sorely mistreated by my darker sisters just for being light in the work place time and again and have gotten severely depressed because of the anguish it causes me. Time and time again I have had to prove myself worthy to many of my darker hued sisters, then when they see me for who I am we often times become great friends. Look, I am a child of Jesus and I don’t think myself above another in any light. I was raised by two very dark skinned grandmothers whom I love dearly and I would just like to see the day where more of our darker sisters start to give lighter skinned sisters a chance before judging them and out right going out of their way to offend them.

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/generation-mixed AllPeople [soaptalk AT hotmail DOT com]

    There is actually no such thing as a so-called “Light-Skinned
    Black” person … but rather … such individuals and groups
    are actually people who are of a ‘Multi-Generational
    Multiracially-Mixed’ (MGM-Mixed) Lineage that some may
    have been pressured or encouraged to ignore or downplay.
    People of Mixed-Race lineage should NOT feel pressured to
    ‘identify’ according to any standards other than one’s own.
    The legal -application of the racist-’One-Drop Rule’
    (ODR) was banned in the U.S. way back in 1967.
    Listed below are related Links of ‘the facts’ of the histories
    of various Mixed-Race populations found within the U.S.:
    There is no proof that a ‘color-based slave hierarchy’
    (or that ‘color-based social-networks’) ever existed
    as common entities — within the continental U.S.
    It was the ‘Rule of Matriliny (ROM) — [a.k.a. 'The Rule of Partus'
    (ROP)] — and NOT the racist-’One-Drop Rule’ (ODR) — that was
    used to ‘create more enslaved people’ on the continental U.S.
    This is because the chattel-slavery system that was
    once found on the antebellum-era, continental U.S.
    was NOT “color-based” (i.e. “racial”) — but rather
    – it was actually “mother-based” (i.e. ‘matrilineal’).
    There were many ways (and not solely the sexual assault
    and sexual exploitation of the women-of-color) in which
    ‘white’ lineage entered the familial bloodlines of
    enslaved-people found on the continental U.S.
    An ‘Ethnic’ category is NOT the
    same thing as a “Race” category:

    Other Topics:

  • Me

    White people have “dumb blondes” we have dumb “light brights”. To perceive a light skinned black woman as stupid, or weak, in comparison to our darker sisters is, at present, acceptable in American media and African American culture. This does very little to raise Black people up and IMO colorism only reinforces stereotyping within the dominant culture. Until we as a people stop downgrading ourselves based upon skin color (too light/too dark), then we will never move ourselves, as a group, away from poverty/the prison industrial complex/and any other social ill that plagues us.

  • chike

    i am a fair skinned african, with what maybe foolishly called european features, without a trace of “massa’s blood”. i never thought of the skin colour ish until i came to russia. the funny thing is that the africans around have this feeling that am “accepted” hence am always pushed to the side when race issues are brought up-it hurts cos i spend every quart of my strength trying not to live of up to russian stereotypes of black pips(which is the worst so far). am called uppity on both sides. refusal to attend an african party earns me uppity, refusal to the b embarrassed by russians earns me uppity. am so miserable around here. if i werent a government student i would b home by now.

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/generation-mixed AllPeople (AP) Gifts [soaptalk AT hotmail DOT com]

    @ Chike:
    It’s interesting that you refer to those of us
    who are non-Africans by the term of “massa”.
    Also interesting is that — you apparently have so little
    respect for yourself that you would willingly submit
    to viewing yourself as a ‘slave’ (the proof of which
    is your reference to us by the term of “massa”).
    ALSO — while there are many “fair skinned
    Africans” (ex. actress, Charlize Theron /
    socialite, Therese Heinz / etc.) — THERE
    IS NO SUCH THING AS A so-called
    Thus — unless you are an ‘African’ who is either of
    ‘European’ or of ‘Asian’ Ancestry — the only way
    that you could have a “Fair Skinned” complexion
    is that you are a person who of Mixed-Race (either
    FGM-Mixed or MGM-Mixed) Lineage (i.e. ‘Coloured’).
    Also — it may come as a surprise to you to discover
    that the definition of “light” skin and “fair” skin used
    by MOST ‘Black’ Africans — is NOT seen as such by
    the rest of the world (ex. India, Pakistan, Brazil, etc.)
    – AP Gifts
    [soaptalk AT hotmail DOT com]

  • http://pinterest.com/chrissmith1178/i-love-chocolate-girls/ CHRIS

    This Black man loves Dark /CHOCOLATE GIRLS always have.. always will..!

  • Gansiete

    @AllPeople (AP) Gifts [soaptalk AT hotmail DOT com] – Your comments show that you are VERY ignorant, and they are getting on my nerves. You sound like one of those people who doesn’t know anything about any country in Africa (you even sound like one of those who thinks of Africa as a monolith).

    YES Africa (just like Europe) is made up of different countries, and in those countries are different types of people. Chike is correct.THERE ARE light skinned Black Africans in existence, who DO NOT have any lineage from white people. My parents are from Nigeria, and my mother is light skinned. If you knew about the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, many of them are also fair skinned. Also, human civlization began in Africa, so everything (genetics) originated from there. Don’t be one of those fools who thinks everyone who is a “true African” is dark skinned with kinky hair, wide nose, and full lips. Africans have many different physical characteristics which WERE NOT derived or passed to them from any other kinds of people.

    So, instead of spouting off BS, please do some actual research on the topic. Just because you haven’t met any one from any country in Africa who is light skinned doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  • Dior

    You are correct. If you were born in America and you are black chances are you are not a full blood race of anything. Its time that we address that and stop trying to classify everyone in one group just because our skin tones are darker than whites.

  • http://facebook.com Dior

    What you said may be true but what he stated pertains to AMERICA. Not Africa. There is some truth to what he is saying because in slavery so many mulattos where created and so on and so on. America has its own history and you have to respect it.

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