The “color complex” phenomenon has existed in our communities for years with heated opinions on both sides of the spectrum. Recently, the talk has veered into pop culture territory with the reigning perception that brown and dark-skinned women have a hard time excelling in the music business. Dawn Richards recently added her two cents to the conversation in an interview with Carlton Jordan. She added a new layer to the discussion, saying it’s especially hard to be brown-skinned with short hair and an edgy sense of style:

“It was a difficult road being this color and having the edge that I have: the short hair, the vibe. […] I would like to represent for those girls who people say nah, you can’t be edgy and brown and have a new sound and make it big.”

See the video below:

Do you agree with Dawn’s comments? Is the public more accepting of brown-skinned women with conventional beauty rather than unique and edgy looks?

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  • Ms. Information

    Name one famous, young dark skinned woman performer..go…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….exactly, she made her point…….In the 80’s and 90’s there was a mixture…Stephanie Mills, Karyn White, Pebbles, Janet, SWV..there was light, medium and dark…now it is all about Beyonce, Alecia Keys et cetera

    • There are a few dar skinned artist, Kelly Rowland, Estelle, Ledisi, Jazmine Sullivan, Missy Elliot. All these artist are relevant.

    • So did we go from the 80’s and 90’s to today? Why have we fallen back?

  • Kaydee-P

    With the exception of Missy, none of these artists are particularly edgy, which is what Dawn was saying was the issue.

  • Slim

    I don’t really think she is edgy. Short hair and a common sound does not make you edgy. I do commend her for still being around this long in this tough industry. So many have rose and fallen flat on there faces, but between interviews and trying to create a new sound she still manages to hang on. Someone named Nicole stated “I dont agree. I think she’s using this as an excuse as for why her career never really took off.
    You either have it or you don’t!” Best comment I have read thus far!!! I think there are so many artist that have come before her and are out today who truly are the definition of edgy and most have been mentioned in the comments. They have set trends, standards and made the world fall in love with them for there physically and lyrical uniqueness! It has to come a point where people stop concentrating on the wrong things! We could all write stories and do interviews for days about the race card and how it has held us back among all races, because blacks are not the only ones who discriminate against their own kind. She needs to put more focus into her music and whatever other business ventures she has. Maybe they will take off and she can then do an article about her talent, not her edgy look, color and sound or lack there of! I think she has a nice common look and ok sound, but to me she looks and sounds like any common person you could see or find anywhere from NYC to LA. She doesn’t have that spark yet that keeps her relevant. I wish her the best in all her endeavors and if she has edge I truly wonder what people perceive my model frame, 5’10 stature and blonde mohawk.