Dark Girls,” the documentary which candidly and provocatively explores colorism among African-Americans, is finally making it to the small screen. Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network will air the ‘Dark Girls’ documentary next Sunday.

The film, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, has generated a lot of buzz for its compelling interviews with dark-skinned African-American who reveal their poignant experiences dealing with colorism.

Co-directed by D. Channsin Berry and Bill Duke, the film gives dark-skinned women a platform to discuss prejudices they’ve faced because of their complexion and hopefully, spread awareness and bring healing.

Berry says of the film, in a writeup on their official website: “These ladies broke it down to the degree that dark-skinned ‘sistas’ with ‘good’ hair vs. dark-skinned women with ‘kinky’ hair were given edges when it came time for coveted promotions.” Additional interviewees for “Dark Girls” include White men in loving intimate relationships with Black women that were passed over by “their own men,” as well as dark-skinned women of Latin and Panamanian background to bring a world perspective to the issue of dark vs. light.”

I can’t wait to tune in to the world television premiere of Dark Girls on OWN Sunday, June 23, at 10 PM EST. Will you be watching, Clutchettes?

Watch the trailer below:

  • http://gravatar.com/naaj21 Lexi

    I’ve been waiting to see this for a long time, so happy OWN decided to let it be shown on their network:-) and yes I’ll be watching:-)

  • Me27

    I’ll be watching.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Got the tivo set–thanks for reminding us (:

  • The Other Jess

    boo..wont be watching


    Yes, I had some young teenagers and a 10 year old tell me they were ugly. There father prefers a lighter hue and had made several comments to them. I had to tell the parents what they were hearing and saying to me. Mind you, this was last summer. So, it exist and we can’t ignore it. Plus, I just read on another blog from some Latino sisters who were saying they were having issues with lighter skinned latinos making comments to them, and this was this morning. I’m just saying, we can’t ignore it. There is a problem. We need some solutions, which will be a problem, as we don’t control the media but we can control how to respond to it. We are all pretty and lovable. We need to make sure the girls that are dark latin sisters and our young sisters of all hues aren’t teased because it’s going strong with the youth.

  • RenJennM

    I advertised this documentary on my Instagram. I want everyone to watch it, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or skin tone. I don’t know how good the documentary will be because I’ve yet to see it, but I want people to at least check it out so they’ll witness a different perspective on life experiences.

    I myself am a dark-skinned woman, and luckily, I’ve faced very few problems with it personally. But the few comments or whatever I have faced have all come from Black people, never from other races. I usually just shrug it off. I’ll see or hear about colorism in music or the media, or when I see Black boys and men talking about what kind of girls or women they like or don’t like. Even then I pretty much shrug it off. But when little girls think they’re ugly or call each other ugly all because of skin color, that’s when it becomes an issue for me, and I can’t just shrug it off. Little Black girls shouldn’t even KNOW of that kind of hatred; that tells me that we’ve carried colorism through the generations to today’s youth. And that’s a problem.

  • realztalk

    Black women can be beautiful regardless of color. It is how your features come together that make you beautiful physically not your coloring. Rain Pryor is not cute and she is biracial but Lauryn Hill is and she is dark. Also, my issue with this documentary is they picked some very unattractive dark skinned women who are crying about not being attractive. Well, sometimes, some people are just not beautiful. Whoopi Goldberg is not beautiful, not because she is dark, but because she just is not. Whereas Viola Davis is beautiful because she just is. Dark does not automatically make you physically appealing nor does light skin.

  • ETC

    While I agree with your assessment, there is an underlying societal preference for lighter skin. However, this is not with just dark skinned black women. This is about all women regardless of race, being held to the blond hair/pale skin/blue eyes standard that even most white people don’t possess. However, it would be great if everyone could just see attractiveness as just how your features come together. I just don’t think we are there yet.

  • ETC

    That is a great attitude you have there! Although I am not dark skinned, I do notice that some black men and women tend to hold light skin/white skin in high esteem. I have this theory that a some(a good portion, actually) of western black men tend to date only light skinned women/other races of women because they want to subconsciously assimilate in to society. It is not a matter of light skin looking better or being more beautiful, but it’s association with POWER, since that the skin that the dominant population has. This preference can be found in countries with extensive colonial and/or slave histories. The best thing to do is understand where this is coming from, and ignore the comments.

  • Miakoda

    I myself am a very fair-skinned woman, and have experienced the opposite. Whether it is men on the street calling out to me by my skin color, a friend who when we were 14, told me I didn’t know what racism is because I am light, black folks always asking if or telling me that someone in my family is White because of my light skin, being asked, “What chu mixed wit?” and “Why you so light?” etc.

  • MommieDearest

    Just set my DVR.

  • ScriptTease

    People seem not to get that through their heads. The same as hair, long hair doesn’t mean you’re automatically beautiful either, but white women live by this.

  • ScriptTease

    Not quite sure, where you were trying to go with this, but you ran out of gas.

  • I mean

    I will be busy, breathing…..

  • BeanBean

    I really want to see this, but I don’t want this documentary to be a ‘pity party.’ I would like for them to talk about the origins of colorism, that seems to always get overlooked, for some strange reason!! Then I want them to talk about what they’re doing to promote a more diverse standard of beauty. If this documentary is only “i’m dark, I’m ugly, nobody likes me,” then I’m not interested. It’s not okay to make people feel inferior because of skin color, and it’s not okay for someone to feel inferior because of skin color. Skin color and hair texture are two of the biggest, most unproductive, waste of time, problems in the black community. Maybe one day we’ll get over it and focus on problems that actually mean something. We have to stop acting like ‘good’ hair and light skin is some sort of an accomplishment.

  • The Other Jess

    ““i’m dark, I’m ugly, nobody likes me,”” This is exactly what it’ll be, so you might as well not even waste your time.

    Why is everyone so accepting of these attempts to make black women, especially dark skinned black women, hate themselves? It’s pretty obviously that there is an effort underway to continue to push the trope of woe is me, i’m dark and hated. And everyone keeps accepting it. Hell, even Tyler Perry isn’t this stupid! Many of the main women in his programs are dark skinned, who cares what a bunch of racist whites and black men and low self-esteemed black women think?

    It’s just ridiculous that the most successful black women we have are all dark skinned (including the woman airing this travesty on her network) but now everyone is trying to force the younger generations of black women to hate themselves – and it’s working because everybody wants to sit around feeling sorry for themselves and letting others define you.

    If they drag out that old skool, played out, 1950′s-era doll test one more time, ….Ridiculous. I swear black women deserve any and all misery the have because you keep letting others define you – usually in themost negative of pathetic light.

  • chinaza

    A low self-esteem has no color.
    Nothing and no-one can make you love or accept yourself.
    No-one and nothing can make anyone else love or accept you.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    the difference is that white women can just dye their hair blonde and finally be accepted into the “sexy blonde bombshell” club. dark skinned black women can’t do that.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    don’t act like you don’t secretly enjoy being desired…

  • aziza123

    Every culture glorifies fair skin and european features. They embody wealth and succes.

  • leelah

    I completely agree with u but this story is not controlled by little old dark me in rainy seattle so I resent you saying all black women deserve this

  • leelah

    i get what you are saying. all the experiences you listed are part of colrism

  • ETC

    Exactly! Blonde or long hair beauty does not make. Beauty comes down to: healthy hair, weight, skin+ facial features. Ironically, other races hit on dark black women all the time, but westernized black men will pick the obese/unattractive girl of another race over a hot sistah. It makes me smh b/c I know its about blending into society. I just wish they would think about that before spouting those music lyrics for dark black girls to hear!

  • ETC

    This seems like an interesting documentary. However, they really could have showcased more attractive ladies to get their take on it. There are exceptionlly beautiful dark women like Kelly, Iman, Liya, and my sister! As a child, I grew up in Ethiopia and there was no dark/light and good hair crap. If you were cute, you caught the eye of a young man who wanted to marry you. My mom always told me “black is black, let’s just focus on our culture”. Also, in our family, we range from extremely fair to really dark. My question has always been, how can people hate on shades present in their family?

  • B

    This does nothing but cause more division. When I was in school and growing up I was not liked by most dark skin girls. One time I overheard a dark girl who didn’t like me conversing with one of her friends tell her that “us darskin people have to stick together” followed by an eye roll. It was like we weren’t all Black! I say all this to say that light and dark people have issues when it comes to being treated unfairly, even by family members (experienced that too). I don’t know why folks try to portray that dark skin girls have it so bad. All this publicity of dark girls and “their” issues ignore the fact that lighter people experience these things too. We should just all love each other and stop treating each other like we’re a different species due to skin tone when at the end of the day we’re all Black and come in many beautiful colors. Peace & love <3

  • B

    I so agree with everything you said! The media is really pushing this topic.

  • SayWhat

    If a white person said that class, and not race is the biggest barrier to success, would you agree? The point I’m trying to make is that light and dark skin people have never been treated the same as a whole. Trying to ignore or downplay the problem because we don’t have a solution is not the answer either.

  • SayWhat

    The point of the documentary is that while skin tone and hair texture /length shouldn’t automatically mean that you are beautiful, in the black community, they mean just that.

  • B

    I’m not downplaying it at all. Light and dark go through the same problems and I hate the woe is me attitude of this topic. Confidence and a good attitude will take anyone far in life. If you’re always thinking about race/color and thinking negatively like “oh, I didn’t get that job cause I’m darkskin or black” that’s your mental issue. I just see things differently..so agree to diagree.

  • Kacey

    Whenever we have topics surrounding colorism I always notice how very defensive those who identify as light-skinned become. It’s interesting to me because it is very similar to the reaction of some whites when issues of white privilege are presented. It’s like light-skinned people feel that a discussion of the hurts and discrimination faced by dark-skinned people is a personal condemnation of them. What we then get is proclamations from light-skinned blacks that their treatment in society is no different than that of dark-skinned blacks, but that is simply not true! I wish we could have frank discussions about this, but it will never happen as long as people refuse to be honest.

  • Miakoda

    I don’t secretly enjoy having my boundaries and personal space violated.

    I don’t secretly enjoy desire attention from people I have no interest in.

    I don’t secretly enjoy being questioned and having people push THEIR colorism issues on me.

  • GG

    So true. Let’s stop acting like you don’t automatically get 30 pts. out of 100 for being light skinned alone and add additional 25 for good hair lol. I’ve seen black people who were attractive but they were just too dark for someone to date. And I seen the opposite of a very dark skin person will not date anyone of their complexion or close to it so they actively choose fair skinned not even light to date. It stems from making sure their offspring does not come out really dark.

  • GG


    Yes, they do want to assimilate but it really stems down to they want their children to be lighter. The women’s attractiveness is not the matter but wanting your kids lighter with curly hair. Most of those rappers will not admit it but they don’t see themselves as attractive. They would never say light skin men are more attractive than them no one likes to admit that so they use women to assure that they have pretty babies. From experience most people who state that type of foolishness of they don’t like dark skin and red bones usually who are dark themselves have been made fun of about their complexions. I know a guy like this in my high school his women are always mixed and very fair. He always got called darkie, blaaackkk from whites and blacks so it’s no wonder he wants to make sure his children will not face the same discrimination. The only thing is I just wish they would keep their mouths shout and act like they love themselves but self-hate is a bi$h.

  • Ange B

    I agree with your statement here. As someone who is considered light skinned I would say that those who chose not to listen and share in these type of discussions honestly equates to the lack of acknowledgement of white privilege by some whites when we discuss the issue of race. Having a parent of light and dark complexion I have seen with my own eyes the treatment that can happen to both sides of the issue. I think this documentary will be interesting to watch and may shed some insight to those that chose to ignore the problem.

  • Miakoda

    “It’s like light-skinned people feel that a discussion of the hurts and discrimination faced by dark-skinned people is a personal condemnation of them.”

    It may become that way when dark-skinned people start speaking for or not taking seriously the experiences of light-skinned people. We experience prejudice too. We have people treating us a certain way based on our skin color too.

    In my previous comment I gave an example of how colorism effects both light and dark people and was accused of secretly desiring the attention of colorist men.

    “I wish we could have frank discussions about this, but it will never happen as long as people refuse to be honest.”

    Exactly. The conversation can’t be honest if one side has to be ignored.

  • Liz

    “What we then get is proclamations from light-skinned blacks that their treatment in society is no different than that of dark-skinned blacks, but that is simply not true! I wish we could have frank discussions about this, but it will never happen as long as people refuse to be honest.”

    You want a frank discussion? I’m cinnamon skinned, caramel complected. I think I’m medium toned… people tell me I’m light. I’ve been called a nigger. I get followed around in stores. I take great offense to idiots who declare a preference for lighter skinned women. And I still get the big eyes when I go into a job interview because they were expecting someone a little different. This isn’t me being defensive, this is me being frank. I don’t feel condemned by this discussion, but please don’t tell me I don’t face the same things you may because I’m a few hues lighter than you. I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be dark skinned, so don’t pretend to know how much “easier” things are for me. On another, yet related note…. I don’t like being told that I can’t have a voice in this discussion because I’m not dark. This crap affects all of us. This documentary, unfortunately, looks like one big pity party. No one is offering a solution, no one is suggesting ways to promote a more diverse standard of beauty (quoting BeanBean). Where do we go from here?

  • BeanBean

    That doll test is ridiculous! There will always be bad parents who don’t teach their children, that won’t change. I did that test on my daughter last night to see what she said. She’s biracial, paula patton color with light brown hair and hazel eyes. I asked her which one was the good one (light or dark), and she said she couldn’t tell because she didn’t know them! At least I know I’m teaching her that skin color has nothing to do with whether you’re a good/bad person.

  • B

    Thank you! Well said.

  • BeanBean

    That’s because whites have the most money. So whiteness has equated wealth. Nobody wants to be associated with being broke! Like in this country wealfare= black! It’s not true, but that’s how society sees things. Luckily the world is changing, whites are going broke, and the wealth is shifting to Asians. I prefer them over white any day.

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    Why does it have to be a pity party? Because it’s a topic that makes people uncomfortable? Because it is true? There will never be a solution because people lie. It is a dirty, dirty not so secret secret in the Black community and people are not going to look inside and admit the truth. It’s just not going to happen. People are not going to admit that they harbor hatred against the very people they come from. They would rather tear a community down than ever admit the truth. That is the very reason the AA community is spiraling out of control. We will crash and burn, but never admit the truth.

  • Miakoda

    Another thing – You’re only allowed to make that comment and have people agree with you because you all have been socialized to think that ALL women enjoy attention from men. Ask yourself why you would believe such a thing about someone who you know nothing about.

  • Chrissy

    Asians also have anti-black prejudice. They practice colorism in their countries too.


    Are you saying white features automatically mean wealth and success? So whiter people embody wealth and success??


  • MimiLuvs

    Whenever there is an article on Clutch about colorism, I tend to not leave any comments for a reason.
    I’ve never left a comment (until now) because I am Black American and I have never experienced the act of colorism. Maybe I have but I’ve never noticed. And I’ve never really had issues with my hair either.
    Now with that being said…
    When it comes to the articles about colorism (here on Clutch), I read the readers’ comments. With a few of them, I find myself feeling irritated and thinking that the conflict will never end. I tend to think that the comment section is suppose to serve as some sort of “colorism against dark-skinned people” dumping ground and people with a lighter-skin tone need to keep their mouths shut.
    And we all know that conflicts are not resolve by hearing just one testimony.
    And Heaven forbid if a person writes an article about their acts of colorism (the Demetria Lucas’s article)and she/he is a person with a light skin tone.

  • Chrissy

    Discrimination based on color is a REAL thing. It has been studied.
    I hate when this topic comes up light skinned women dismiss it because they think everyone is treated the same. This is not true. Our society praises whiteness and white features. We all know this. Stop trying to pretend its not real.

    And it has been studied that they do prefer lighter skinned people of color in jobs. Please do your research. Even light skinned prison inmates get less time.


  • Liz


    I looked at the trailer, and it looked like a pity party to me. Colorism in our community is not a dirty secret, it’s not a secret at all. My question is what now? Are we going to ignite the black is beautiful movement? Are we going to teach our kids that this earthly covering is far less important than what lies beneath? It exists, we know this, what now?!

  • Liz


    “People are not going to admit that they harbor hatred against the very people they come from.”

    Pray tell…

  • MimiLuvs


    “… My question is what now? Are we going to ignite the black is beautiful movement? Are we going to teach our kids that this earthly covering is far less important than what lies beneath? It exists, we know this, what now?!”

    I am wondering the same thing too.
    I’ve noticed that a few commentators wants light-skinned individuals (as a whole or just that individual? I don’t know) to admit that they are benefitting from the ‘light-skinned priviledge’.
    My question is ‘If they do admit to it, then what? What do they want for these individuals to do next? Should they spend the rest of their lives ‘second-guessing’ every good thing that happens to them because of their light-skin? Should they give their light-bright benefits to the next dark-skinned person that they see? What should happen?’

  • Liz

    Yep… apparently we aren’t being honest. When I start reaping all these magical benefits of coincidentally being born in this skin, I’ll let you know. Don’t hold your breath while you wait for me to cite my skin color and not my hard work for my successes.

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog JN

    All of the black celebrities you named have the stereotypically desired Caucasian features (narrow noses, thinner than average lips etc). That you view these women as attractive (and those featured in this doc as less so) is kind of part of this issue, no?

  • Common Sense

    Dark skin, light skin, it’s ALL GOOD!!!!!!! Black is beautiful in all its colors and textures!!!!! Teach your children that and they won’t be so devastated by someone else’s ignorance!!!!!!!!!

  • Nikki

    One of the lesser facts discussed with the Clark Doll Study is that by age 7 the White/European favortism had worn off. At the time they didn’t press that finding that much due to the Brown v. Board of Ed case. Following that you had the growth in the Negro Self-Hatred Hypothesis that was later debunked by numerous studies from the 1960s to today that show that Blacks don’t have a self-esteem problem with regards to skin color. The finding with the doll studies is overemphasized even though there was plenty of evidence in the Clark study itself demonstrating that this Eurocentric preference wasn’t permanent or even long lasting. One of those historical factoids that is often overlooked.

  • Guest1234


    I see where you’re coming from. But what I think you’re missing is that that is a different discussion. Why do you have to squeeze it into something that, frankly, ain’t about you? The issue here is intra-race color discrimination against dark-skinned blacks. That doesn’t have anything to do with white people, and, if you’re not doing the discrimination or the dark-skinned black person being discriminated against, it doesn’t have anything to do with you either – not directly, anyway. Sometimes you just gotta sit, listen and learn about what you can do to help.

    That’s why we can’t ever get past this silliness. Because people are so damned selfish that they can’t look at their neighbor and say “what’s going on with YOU?” Instead, they look and say “here’s why your issue is all about MEEEEE!!!”

    Just my 2 cents. If my neighbor has a broken arm, I’m going to try to find out what’s going on with HIM help HIM get medical care to fix it. I’m not going to go over and start complaining about my sore knees and how his broken arm is really manifest of some bs about my knees. It’s really kind of petty when you think about it. Why people can’t let an issue about a subset of people be about them for a minute? Then we can talk about your issue when it’s time for that. At that time, I’m sitting by, listening to what’s going on with YOU, and trying to help. That’s being a part of a compassionate, civilized community. What’s so hard about that?

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog JN

    I think the conversation needs to be taken past the acknowledgement of light-skinned privilege on a personal level to a place where where we acknowledge that sometimes views influences people’s behavior-which influences media, cosmetic purchases, etc. (bleaching is one simple example, casting in TV is another).

  • Treece

    I’ve seen a lot of people make coments asking questions like, “why is the media pushing/encouraging Black women to hate themselves by airing this special?” or “we’ve talked about it, what are we going to do about it?” The accomplishment in bringing any sort of discrimination, bigotry, colorism, racism, sexism, or classism to light is to raise awareness. Why raise awareness? You might say, “Aren’t we already aware of the colorism issue?” Yes, but it hasn’t gone anywhere. The doll study has been replicated over and over again, and there is still a significant population of Black girls that will say the prettier doll is the light doll. The nice doll is the light doll, etc. Yes there are LESS girls that feel this way as the years go on. But that’s still not good enough.

    For goodness sakes, the fact that most tv commericals that feature depictions of families with medium to dark parents will have light or biracial looking children (which does happen, but it’s rare) is a problem for me. I think that we can’t brush it under the rug just b/c we’ve talked about it before and no universal solution came out of it. And I certainly don’t think the media is keeping this topic alive so that Black dark-skinned girls can hate themselves, as I read from one commenter. It’s like that old saying: when you forget your history, you’re doomed to repeat it. There is still considerable colorism against dark women in the media. Yes, we have Mrs. Obama and Oprah. But when the media portrays a “beautiful Black woman” it’s usually one with fine features and light skin. I see it all the time. When the topic comes up its not about encouraging Black girls to “hate themselves”. That’s ridiculous. It’s to say “Hey, wait a minute. We still have a problem with this and we can’t forget about it or it’ll get worse!”

    Also, on the topic of what we can do: Speak up for starters. When you see dolor discrimination or racism, say something. You encourage it when you keep your mouth shut because “you don’t think its an issue”. Damn that. That sounds similar to what White ppl say b/c they don’t think racism exists any more. Also, teach our kids better. Build up thier self esteem. Movies like Dark Girls are meant to encourage that. Buy your dark daughters (nieces, cousins, granddaughters, neighbors, friends) dark Black dolls that are attractive. Tell them they are beautiful. I know I know. Most of you will say “But I already do that!” But there are many of us that don’t. You can lie to yourself about that fact if you want…… We can also try to support companies/clothing lines that use dark Black models. Hell, do whatever you think someone would do to let children see both dark and light (and everything in between) people in a positive light. Yes, things are not as bad as 1967. But they aren’t good either. We need to stop allowing issues to be forgotten just b/c it makes us uncomfortable or b/c we can’t personally figure out a solution in our narrow POV.

  • march pisces

    well said in under 50 words and probably under 140 characters, but i didn’t count.

  • Kacey

    My statement was simply my observation. I don’t profess to speak for any side.

    It just seems that as soon as any topic on color discrimination comes up those who consider themselves light-skinned seem particularly offended, even when no-one is directly attacking them…they perceive that they are being attacked.

    I’m not trying to minimize the experiences of racism that light-skinned people face, yet I think that denying that darker-skinned people may have different (worse?) experiences is a form of denial and a way to silence others on a topic that you find uncomfortable to confront.

    No one wants to believe that they may have an unfair advantage over others, and I think therein lies the issue for those who don’t want to discuss the various privileges that exist in our society.

  • Kacey

    Do you know that in many asian cultures people with dark skinned (particularly blacks) are called “devils”? Dark skinned is literally seen as a curse and you are therefore evil. White is associated with purity. These associations actually pre-date European contact with Asia. The largest market for skin lightening products is Asia. After the earthquake in Haiti, Thailand offered to donate thousands of bottles of bleach creams as part of their effort to “help” the Haitian people – they actually saw the skin color of the people as the reason for their misfortune and stated that in the press release. (Don’t believe me? Look it up)

  • Chrissy

    I agree with you Guest1234

    People should just LISTEN. If your neighbor is talking about their issues do not be so quick to say ‘Oh me too! I have issues too! Lets talk about meeeeeeee!’

    Sigh. It is so tiring.

    Also people need to keep their personal feelings out of these conversations sometimes. Some light skinned women sound like racist white people.

    Look at the issue on a systematic level. Not about your personal feelings. Like I said in a previous comment, do your research!

    Colorism is not just about beauty. It is also about being denied job opportunities and sometimes even being excluded socially. Colorism is also a GLOBAL issue. Look at the bigger picture. I really believe people bring in their personal feelings all the time to dismiss the topic at hand.

  • Chelley5483

    This topic always interests me due to my upbringing. My experience tells me that this dark/kinky hair “disadvantage” in the black community amongst women is real beyond words and it breaks my heart. My older sister an I have different fathers, three years apart. There’s minimal difference when it comes to our complexion, my sister I’d say is Kelly R.’s complexion and I might be I’d say Ashanti’s? In any case our hair is what has always divided us and we experienced totally different childhoods in the same house because of it. My sister has curlier short hair and I’ve always had a large mass of hair, all through life people would never remember my name but remember me as ‘the girl with all that hair.’ My mother doted on me and my father told me I was beautiful just about everyday. My sister met her father once in her teens and my mother never made a peep as far as I know in complimenting my sister’s appearance. She was always known as the catty, mouthy one. Me as the carefree, “You can be anything you want to be,” one. I’d be a fool not to base some of this on colorism. I’d also be insensitive to act like I’m not aware of my advantage. I’m grown, I have eyes and common sense and I know better.

    My sister treated me horribly coming up and I was very apathetic to her issues. She had the cuter, more petite figure of the two of us so, coming up, I always thought we were even. Now that I have two girls of my own I understand my sister so much more now. My older daughter, lighter than me, my same hair texture. My younger one, darker, kinkier hair texture. Their father will tell my older one how beautiful she is all the time and I’ve never heard him say anything much more than keep my younger one out of the sun. I’ve also overheard his immature friends joke about how even with having children with me, it didn’t keep him from having nappy-haired kids. It’s devastating. I’ve heard my older daughter, she’s pre-teen and hormonal I’ll add, call my younger one “nappy head” or point out the difference in complexion from time to time. It’s not how I raised my older daughter but I do understand the conditioning society, and certainly her father have on the comments she’s made. My mother and other people have also made my younger daughter out to be the little terror as opposed to my older daughter who they call sweet and precious. Honestly both of them have had their moments of being little terrors and of being sweet and precious, it’s called being a kid.

    I just make sure I tell my little one how beautiful she is every chance I get and I hope she grows up to believe me, she really is beautiful. She’s too young to get it right now, she’s three but I’m dreading the day she considers feeling less than someone who looks different from her.

    I don’t care what anyone thinks. There is an advantage to having a certain kind of hair and a certain complexion. It’s insulting and insensitive to act like the advantage does not exist.

  • SayWhat

    From your comment, should I take it that we should stop talking about racism as well? or sexism?

    The point of talking about prejudice of any kind is to force people to recognize that thought is a pre-cursor to action and action is the pre-cursor to change. I don’t expect Mariah Carey to start hating herself or apologize because she benefits from light skin privilege, but I do expect her to ask her husband to expand the diversity in his shows, kid shows at that! He had some bs show on disney a while back with a whole bunch of light skin girls and dark skin boys. Maybe next time he’ll expand the casting pool a bit.

    THAT is what I expect light skin women to do, go hey, ‘where the chocolate/dark skin sisters at? Because when we say something we’re cast as bitter/haters or my favorite, women with low self esteem. The same way we need whites to help combat racism, is the same way light skin women are needed to fight colorism. Hope that clears it up.

  • J

    True, beautiful comes in many hues. I’ve seen black men with the most unsightly white/mexican women and their kids were also, well, not cute at all like I’m sure they (men) thought they’d come out. Like one commenter said, it’s how your features come together. Really, we need to look at the heart not skin color, but most of us have yet to get to that level.

  • Miss Higgi

    HATS off to OWN for airing this documentary. I saw it last April (2012) and wrote and asked Oprah to help Bill Duke get funding to show this film in varied venues. I am guessing that lots of other women made the same request OR Oprah saw it and had the same reaction. As she is preceding the program with an airing of a conversation between her, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Gabrielle Union and Alfre Woodward is so fitting. This is a POWERFUL, engaging, uplifting and truthful film. Bill Duke tastefully gets us through the pain of some of the undeniable truths but this is so WORTH watching! I have started an organization, When Black Women Gather. I so encourage that Black women of all ages and all hues get together on Sunday night watch this program and engage in much needed conversation thereafter… It will be powerful!!! I Promise…. THANK YOU MR. DUKE!!! THANK YOU OPRAH!!!

  • NOitAll

    Well said Treece. Are you a sociologist or a counselor of some sort?

  • Liz

    How can light skinned women help combat coloriism when their opinion is invalidated simply because they are light skinned? I can listen to my dark skin sisters and advocate as much as I can, but when that same woman turns around and says thanks but no thanks… or you don’t understand, you’re light skin… what am I supposed to do?

    And this is an honest question, because it’s been going down all up and down this comment section.

  • KM

    @ Chelley5483 – I didn’t deal with this type of crap growing up because my parents were mature when they had us. However, I can’t believe how ignorantly you grew up and how ignorant you still are now. You haven’t said much about how you’re combating this skin color issue with your kids or their retarded father who obviously doesn’t like himself. You let his friends make a comment like that about your daughter…AMAZING!

  • Liz

    “people with a lighter-skin tone need to keep their mouths shut.”

    They don’t hear you Mimi… our opinion is an unpopular one. You’re comparing your oppression in comparison to mine (because my life is undoubtedly simpler because of my complexion), but somehow this is still not “my” issue. Shuttup and listen. This doesn’t affect you.

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog JN

    @Liz, I think that there are dark skinned women who are mature enough to have this conversation. I think that it depends on where a person is in their identity development.

  • Fossilizedrelic


    this won’t be a pity party, more like a kvetching party, where resentment, envy and covetousness are the main fare.

    They won’t be offering any substantive critique of the white supremacists race and class order, this’ll just an hour long tirade about not being white men’s beauty standard, dotted with examples of petty slights experienced in childhood that should have long been for-gotten over and moved on from.

    A show featuring dark skinned black women not giving a fuck about white people and light skinned negros, and being happy in their natural dark skinned skin, would be much more enjoyable to watch.

  • Anon

    What the…? Can BLACK FOLKS stop putting foolishness on display?

    I SWEAR most of ya’ll only heard the word “colorism” after 2009.

  • Anon

    Thank GOODNESS someone else has common sense. Who puts this mess out there?

    Oh, and I see it is a dark skinned dude who felt the need to “air this”. This is going to be like “Good Hair”, where a WHOOOOOLLLLE lotta folks are going to have their insecurities aired out to the world for gawking.

  • 1000miles

    I’ve always thought really dark skin was lovely. I remember during my childhood after swimming all day. I would come home and my mother would always tell me how pretty I looked because I was burnt by the sun. I got really dark. So I associate beauty with dark skin. I would purposely lay out in the sun (and still do) because I love how my skin looks when it’s all glistening and dark. It’s a sight to behold in my opinion.

    I don’t care about anyone’s standard of beauty. Hell yes I’m a darkie and I’ve been a man magnet since I grew tits. I cannot relate to some of this real or imagined rejection because of a dark skin complexion.

    Some of you attractive and fit dark ladies know what I’m talking about. Have you seriously EVER felt rejected?

    Probably not.

  • Anon

    Ding Ding Ding! You said it kid!

    I’m one of the darkest women in my family, but would be considered medium or on the lighter side in winter. I prefer my shade because I’m not light enough to have to deal with the issues that THAT causes, and while I’ll hear darker women complain, my cousins had no picnic in trying to sort through men that WEREN’T solely interested in their skin tone and hair type.

  • lio

    It sounds like you have a lot of ignorant family members! Your youngest is 3 and you let people say comments like that to and about your baby your baby? psssh.. step up and call those peole out!

  • LMO85

    Listen I don’t have a dog in this fight so to speak, and I have tried not to comment because I support dark skin women talking about their pain and I think it is totally relevant. But the whole light skinned Blacks comparison to white folks views on racism really irks me. I think the difference that a lot of dark skin women (and men) don’t understand is, racism and sexism only cut in one direction. But with light skinned Black Americans (can’t speak for other cultures)-we get it both ways. While there is a privilege in general to having lighter skin in this society no doubt, on a ground and individual level-a lot of light skin women (and men) catch hell both ways. We get it from White folks ( who truly don’t see or acknowledge the difference) and Blacks ( who ALWAYS acknowledge the differences). I think that is why some light skin women speak up when this issue is posted. Unlike white folks or men who sometimes make it all about them and don’t understand racism and sexism outside of themselves, light skinned people tend to understand the pain dark skin people experience, as plenty have stated, often they experience first hand in their own families. The thing is, 9/10 light skinned women (and men) still get shi__ed on because of how we look too–the only difference is we get it from dark skinned Blacks. I can ascribe to this notion 100% because to this day I have to hear a negative remark from someone dark skinned about my skin tone/looks. And I used to have major self esteem issues because of it. Believe me it ain’t all privilege when people that you love and accept come for you all the time or make assumptions based on how you look. The same way dark skin women get judged, we do too and it is not always in a good way–most often not, even though if you believe the media (mostly Black rappers), you might think differently… That is not to say that I am interested in playing oppression olympics with darker skinned women, I love my sisters so I support you moving past the issues, so that all of us can work together to create positive outcomes and we can all heal.

  • Amina

    It’s so odd people are so put off by this documentary on here. All the more reason it needs to be shown. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pity party or not, these women’s voices need to be heard. I wish a documentary such as this was made when I was younger, then I would have known others when through the sames things I did.

    Imagine this documentary was simply about racism, none of you would be so gleeful if white commentators were throwing out all this talk of “pity parties” and this will only be about why black people are always feeling sorry for themselves.

  • LMO85

    My original comment was in response to JN—and this one is more of a general follow up. It is almost as if all the women are white, all the Blacks are men and THEN all the Black women are darker skinned and controlling the discussion regarding issues that Black women face. Not in regards to this documentary as much as to the dialogue around it, as if light skinned women aren’t allowed to discuss their pain at all. Ever.

  • LMO85

    Sorry original comment was to Saywhat not JN.

  • Amina

    I wish you would see how dismissive your comment is. We can’t show both? We can’t show how white standards of beauty hurt women that don’t fit it and women who learn to reject these limiting ideals?

    If colorism isn’t a problem where are the dark-skinned women on TV, film? I see black men of all shades on tv, but women aren’t afforded that same luxury. If you really feel that it will add nothing of value, then don’t watch it.

  • B

    No research needed..we just have different opinions/views.

  • SayWhat

    @ Liz, I’m going to be honest, some of your responses remind me of whites and racism, or white women and sexism.

    No one wants to silence light skin women, to be honest, you are the face of the black community. I’m kind of surprised that you don’t see that. Look at the next couple of commercials and you will see that the boys are always dark and the girls are light/bi-racial. What do you think that says to little black girls? Do you know that they pull the same ish with…..CARTOONS….that means we get it from when we are young…..Or how about when ‘My wife and kids’ one of the most popular black shows replaced a dark skin girl with a light skin one and that show went on to become a hit show! We would have hear about it if that happened with a dark skin male.

    I think where the problem comes in is WHEN light skin women chose to talk about their issues. Remember the Obama heckler? she had a real life issue that she felt passionate about, but chose the wrong time to bring it up and hurt herself/the cause/the community in the end. A documentary about dark skin girls is not the time to talk about how light skin women don’t have it that easy.

    The other thing that I see is that like white women and sexism, we don’t really see you speak up when you are benefiting from colorism. Remember little wayne and kicking dark skin girls of his set, making songs about light skin women being the ish? how about if there was an outrage the same way there was an outrage about his emmet till song? Instead, people just said that it is his preference, as well as the preference of black men like himself. That for me is an issue. The black community accepts colorism, it’s our dirty little secret with everyone complicit, and then when the secret is aired, everyone wants to talk about how they hurt too.

    I personally would think you were more sincere if women like you spoke up when you benefit from these things, write an op-ed the next time a’ light skin is best’ song comes out. This way, the next time you speak about not having it that easy, i’ll be more willing to listen….but not in the middle of a conversation about ‘dark girls’….timing….is…..key.

  • ETC

    JN, that is really good point. I didn’t even notice that! However, it seems that there are not many dark skinned, broad featured YOUNG women on TV. For example, I think Alek Wek is beautiful because she has the things beauty require: nice skin and a fit body. That was what I was alluding to when I said more attractive. Perhaps they can show more youthful and fit women in the documentary? Also, lighter-skinned, broad featured women are seen as beautiful(Rihanna and Zoe Saldana). Does this mean when broad features are put together with dark skin, that is when society views the woman as less attractive?

  • ETC

    @ GG, thanks for that different perspective. However, if darker men are trying to avoid discrimination for their future children, why do they start dating light skinned girls in their teens. Wouldn’t they date whoever, and then settle down with a light skinned gal? Also, there was a guy at my high school who got made fun of for that and he avoids dating ANY black woman, no matter the color. The black men that have been interested in me have been lighter skinned(I am about Jada’s complexion) as well. However, I am curious, do darker men and women just naturally attract other races? My extremely dark and beautiful friend ALWAYS has a white dude(or gal) coming after her. Hmm..

  • Guest1234

    Interesting comment. I, too, am a dark skinned woman, and I, too, have been a man magnet for as long as I can remember. But I also remember having a particularly difficult time with the black men. They wouldn’t be able to take their eyes off me, but I was constantly being tossed aside for a far less attractive woman with lighter skin (or someone who wasn’t black at all.) Especially in my early 20s. The better about myself I felt, the more black men treated me like I shouldn’t – even though I have always been damned beautiful, and bright, and fun, and generally awesome. I mean, it was like they were blind – everyone else could see my beauty, but they just didn’t “get it.” I always thought it had something to do with my being a dark-skinned kinky-haired woman – mostly b/c nobody else treated me that way, and the black men always seemed to prefer lighter women.

    Anyway, all the drama and confusion with men stopped when I just said “to hell with it” and stopped paying attention to black men altogether. Then, the behavior of the men I dated matched what I was worth, and I eventually married a wonderful man who could see everything that was wonderful about me and value it. (yes, he’s white).

    So, this is a long winded way of saying that I really don’t know what to make of all this. I don’t think it was all in my head. But, once I got rid of the toxic folks, skin hue has never been an issue for me, so I can’t really agree that dark girls have never felt rejected, but I CAN agree that they shouldn’t BOTHER feeling rejected. You can’t fix stupid. Just move along. Anywhoo. Just adding my 2cents.

  • ETC

    @ Kacey, did Thailand really just do that??! I am super shocked that they had the gull to do that without shame. How did the Haitian government respond? I wonder how relations are between South East Asia and East Asia? There are a LOT of dark skinned Indians out there…….

  • ETC

    It is great that Oprah will be having a conversation with these wonderful women who were my role models when I was growing up. On a completely unrelated note, I have always had a serious GIRL crush on Phylicia Rashad. She is just too beautiful!

  • Fossilizedrelic

    and predictably my point went above your empty head.
    We live in a society that stratifies people into hierarchies.

    Hierarchies of race, class, gender, intelligence, athleticism, age, beauty etc.

    You only want to challenge the dominance of white women in the upper echelons of the so called beauty hierarchy.

    You don’t even reject the notion of a beauty hierarchy, which is designed to exclude almost all women from its top spots. The purpose of a hierarchy is to DISCRIMINATE AND EXCLUDE NOT INCLUDE.

    What don’t you people get?

    If the “standard of beauty” was a 18y/o, 6ft 2, size 0, nappy haired, dark skinned black woman, THAT would also exclude almost all women, including most black women.

    Also, you seem content to live with all the other hierarchical structures i’ve mentioned above . . race, class . . .

    You’re only envious of white women’s high status in white supremacy’s beauty hierarchy.

    So yeah I don’t care or sympathize with this foolishness, because you’ll keep all the other white supremacist standards in place.

    That’s why I said

    “they won’t be offering any substantive critique of white supremacy’s race and class order.”

    “We can’t show how white standards of beauty hurt women”

    Any woman who is hurt by a something as abstract , arbitrary and fluid as a beauty standard should probably be locked up for her own good.


  • Miakoda

    “Not in regards to this documentary as much as to the dialogue around it, as if light skinned women aren’t allowed to discuss their pain at all. Ever.”

    What is up with that?

  • Ms. Vee


    Amen to that! I think the deeper issue is much more than just having a high level of pigment. Many black women have insecurities, but have failed to correctly identify the cause of our perceived lack of desirability. Dark skin and “bad” hair is typically the scapegoat. I’m not saying that white media isn’t a factor, however, a darkie (I am also a darkie) that has it going on and takes care of herself does not give two sh*ts about white media’s beauty standards.

    1. Now I can’t speak for (black) men, but i don’t think the sight of dark skin is so ugly that they reject a woman like this:



    For a woman like this…because lighter skin is just automatically better.



    2. Is it the fault of the dark skin for looking like a mess? You be the judge


  • http://gravatar.com/ninamarrissa QuestionsBeforeActions

    I was so with you until the last two sentences. Maybe it’s different growing up in the south. Being dark doesn’t keep you from feeling attractive if you are, but I don’t think I or any of the pretty dark skinned girls I grew up with could ever say they never felt rejected. Rejection was everywhere.

  • HHCassius

    You can’t fix stupid. CHUCH!

  • HHCassius

    And why oh why are we still using the word “fair” to describe lighter skin? It shows an INGRAINED BIAS that only evinces your cultural brainwashing.

  • Chelley5483

    Shame on you for thinking I didn’t raise HELL on family members and my kids’ father! My reaction to what’s been said wasn’t the issue I was tackling in my original comment. So.. For the record yes I raised hell and secondly I haven’t been with my daughters’ father for quite some time now.

    Please though chile, do not call me ignorant. I was speaking of my experiences on the receiving end. You don’t have a clue what happened on the offense.

  • Chelley5483

    I’ve done more than call people out when talking about my children lio.

  • Ms. Vee

    “For a woman like this…because lighter skin is just automatically better” (SARCASM)

  • SJM

    I don’t care who people choose to date, but I have noticed that MOST of the black men that prefer light skinned black women/non-black women are DARK themselves. Don’t they know that since they are DARK there is a great chance that their kids will come out dark too? Case in point, I have a friend who had three kids by a mexican woman and ALL three of his kids are dark with kinky hair, so his plan didn’t work. Men(women) with this backward mindset are repulsed by their own skin color. Really, this black on black racism makes other races laugh at us. I am so glad I do not associate with such toxic folks.

  • Fossilizedrelic

    Can someone organize a boycott of this CROCKcumentary and a boycott of all media who keep this stupid conversation going?

  • Nashton

    Honestly, i dont think this documentary should have been made. I am a dark girl myself. Why does the media always have to show us feeling sorry for ourselves? Yes I’ve been made fun of because of my color before but its all just life! Why isn’t there a documentary produced called “Light Girls”? because they don’t feel sorry for theirselves why should we? Who cares about the males who prefer light skinned girls? Who cares?! Seriously…there are men out their who love our skin color! so stop complaining about being dark and get a life and love yourself! Because at the end of the day, white,hispanic, and asian people see us all as BLACK!! We are the only ones doing this light skin vs dark skin bull sh**!! And by making this documentry, it keeps the whole thing going!!

  • Nashton

    Sorry, I have to disagree with you. I am a dark girl and I’ve never had a problem attracting men. the women in this documentary need counseling instead of giving another stereotype towards dark skinned women. Hell, if they want their voices to be heard they should write a book about how much they don’t like themselves. Do you see light-skin women feeling bad for themselves? Why should we? Color-ism will always be here so just man up and deal with it.

  • Nashton

    I completely agree with you

  • Cocochanel31

    If you are not dark skinned you really cannot state what a dark skinned woman feels/goes through. As a product of a very dark father and light mother ( I’m caramel) it is not my place to displace someone else’s experience because I do not understand.

    I have darker hued family members and friends who have really gone through it growing up ( i did too for other reasons) however I never try to discredit their experiences or mention my own issues because it has nothing to do with theirs. We all have a different cross to bear- not my place to tell someone what theirs is.

    One of my brown sistas is hosting a viewing of this show at her place and I am very interested in seeing this docu. The prettiest brown girl was in the previews and my heart whent out to her because she was gorgeous and couldn’t even see it.

  • tt


    Exactly. The answer is not for dark skin Black women to cry or mutilate themselves…The solution is to associate with people, male and female, who sees and appreciate your beauty and IGNORE the dummies!…from a not dark skin Black woman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    Exactly. You can’t fix stupid. There are plenty of men out there who love darker complexioned black women. And many of those men are not black. Love who loves you. If black men ain’t checking for dark skinned women, forget them. Who wants to be with a self-hating man like that anyway. I have seen dark skinned men disrespect dark skinned women right to my face as a way to “compliment” me. I can’t stand ignorant ass, weak minded black men like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    Light skinned sister here and I agree with you 100 percent. We may all face racism, but light skinned black women do indeed have privilege within the black community.

  • tt


    To add…I came across a blog…I think the name was/is *uglyblack john*…This was a black male whose premise is/was that the only attractive women were of a *medium complexion???? or lighter* with long hair and he ridiculed Black women without these attributes and tried to get others to agree.But interestingly people did not agree(the few who responded) and one gentleman(from his name I assume white) talked about all the Black beauties(from darkest etc) who just takes your breathe away.

    Process this as you wish!

  • Tish Jefferson

    I live in Brooklyn (in a largely West Indian community). West Indians and southern Blacks have lots of things in common, and one of them is colorism (the next person that tells me I’m “pretty for a dark-skinned girl” is gonna get CUT). Once, I was in an elevator with an elder neighbor (island woman) who was riding with two 12yo nieces, one fair, one dark. My 3yo son was making eyes at them from behind my skirt. My neighbor asked him which was the prettiest, and he pointed to the fair-skinned one, to which I immediately answered, “Tough choice, huh, sweetie?” and winked at the beautiful dark sista, only to have my neighbor say “But he chose the right one-you’re raising him right!” I was glad she got off the elevator, but I swear I wanted to take that lovely dark princess with me, and rescue her from the tyranny of her Auntie’s ignorance. I really don’t think my neighbor was out to damage her niece on purpose, but I cringe 17 years later, wondering what encounters like this must have done to her self-esteem…I was so hurt for what the girl must go through on a daily basis (at home, where your family should love and admire you) that I forgot to be insulted for myself.

  • Ashley

    I feel as though the mere fact that this comment has so many thumbs down says a lot. It’s almost as if people assume that there’s some kind of underhanded bragging about being light skinned.
    I, as a light skinned black woman, have experienced similar things. Not so much grabbing attention from other men, but comments about me being too pale, “light bright”, etc. that have made me wish that I were darker.

    Anyway, Bill Duke is supposed to be following up “Dark Girls” with the documentary “Yellow Brick Road”, and I’m interested to seeing what’s portrayed in it.

  • Nic

    I agree…if people can identify you as black, I don’t think being lighter matters. If your parents are grandparents remember the Jim Crow South, they can tell you that being light, green-eyed, wavy haired, freckled, didn’t matter a flip. Someone could be your white cousin and it didn’t matter as long as you were “colored.” My mom said there was a rich white family in her town where the maid looked like the twin of one of the daughters. Yeah, that lady never was more than a maid even though she looked practically white and was related to rich white people. If white people know you aren’t white, it’s only recently that being light might make them want to claim you.

    We’re the ones who have internalized the racism that for some people means giving light skinned people +100 on the beauty scale.

    It’s weird though b/c I feel that for a couple of decades perhaps, dark-skinned black men have totally been viewed as the epitome of black male attractiveness, yet those men don’t pick women who are as dark as them. We’ve had a few light-skinned pretty boys thrown into the mix but I feel as if the dark and handsome thing has been working for black men while dark and pretty is still commented on as if it is an oxymoron.

    And I’d like to see the data on light-skinned dudes/dark-skinned women b/c as a dark-skinned woman, most of the black men who have ever so much as flirted have been lighter than me. I have other dark-skinned friends who had the same experience (and being accused of not liking dark-skinned men when in reality, they were just dating the men who approached them). Too bad, b/c I have always felt my skin color was the bees knees.

  • Chrissy

    My opinions are based on research. Your opinion is based on “personal feelings.” You can stick your head in the ground because it makes you uncomfortable. That will not change the truth or the FACTS. Not a “personal opinion.” I could give you links to books, videos, and more research that has been done.

    I hope you are young.

  • Chrissy

    I agree Cocochanel31

    I consider myself to be inbetween but I have a father who is dark-skinned and I have had dark skinned friends growing. It really hurt my heart to hear about some of their experiences and the pain they went through.

    I would never try to dismiss it or deny research to prove something to myself.

  • Nic

    I feel really bad for kids who have dark-skinned parents who hate their dark-skin. If you are dark too, you’ll be taught to hate yourself, and if you aren’t, you’ll be taught that dark skin is ugly.

    I mean, what chance do you have if your self-hating daddy(or mom) tries to breed the black out of the family tree and you come out looking like him (esp. as a girl). B/c I think those men cannot even pretend to like dark-skinned women even when the women in question are their own daughters.

    I have definitely met some beautiful black people who were clearly raised in these kinds of toxic environments.

  • ETC

    @Nic, you are so right about the lighter-skin black guys hitting on darker women. I am a “medium” color and their approach is totally different. Lighter black guys don’t ask you all this “are you mixed with something”? type questions. They just tell you that they would like to date you. SOME darker black men have to ALWAYS ask me if I am “half-Indian” or “Panamian”, etc. Like, what does that matter? You already came and talked to me right?! Other races also have this fascination with the “exotic” black girl too. When I tell them that I am AFRICAN, they get disappointed. Well, their loss. People shouldn’t date others because of what they are, but more so for what kind of chemistry is between them. That could prevent a lot of divorces…….

  • Nic

    The issue of colorism goes beyond how many men want to sleep with you. Why do black woman always use that as the badge of how desirable they are? Clearly not all black men like light skin, or ignore pretty women just b/c they are darker skinned, but the issue of colorism within the black community and how it makes SOME but not all dark skinned people feel goes beyond who wants to put their dick inside of you. It means that some people who are very attractive are told that they are not b/c they are dark-skinned. And some people who are NOT very attractive are told that they are b/c they are light (and we see what kinds of non-black women some black men will settle for).

    At any rate, I dislike the fact that dark-skinned women will be assumed to be a monolith in terms of how much self-esteem they have, and I think that while lately dark-skinned men have gotten a lot of “shine” as being very desirable, they should have showed that really dark skinned kids regardless of gender sometimes get crap from their families and other black people. Like you have parents who show obvious favortism or disgust based on a child’s skin color. It might not be your experience or my experience, but it has happened and the scars run deep.

    I dislike this being solely focused on women since colorism affects men and women, and I dislike the idea that the “proof” that colorism doesn’t exist is that a lot of men want to sleep with you. All of the discussions about how hard it is to be black want to support the idea that ALL black women are ugly, undesirable, and have no self-esteem. And it’s black men who seem to gleefully tell these stories while leaving themselves out of it (please tell me Bill Duke didn’t get mocked while growing up on the basis of both his color AND his looks…why isn’t he telling his OWN story?)

    Maybe someone should make a documentary about how we seem to value men’s opinion more than women of other races, b/c sometimes it definitely seems like that.

  • B

    This topic doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all, just irritated. And no I am not young.

  • SMDH!

    @ Chelley5483, your story does sound callous and that’s why you are getting these reactions. It sounds like your family/other people have been allowed to be repeat offenders. How can you make a 3-year-old out to be a little “terror?” It’s toddlerhood, not terrorhood. Anyway, it’s a shame your daughter has gone through all that you mentioned in just three short years of her life. The family environment should be the LAST place a child should be dealing with prejudices, but rather they should be showered with nothing but unconditional love. Of all the stories I’ve read on this blog, this one was most disturbing.

    Moving on…

    I’m curious to know what real societal “advantages” there are to having a certain type of complexion/hair texture? Let’s take the black community for example. Is the advantage having people tell you that you look good? Rappers showcase you in their video? A pro ball player wife you and then cheat on you? Men at the strip club throw all their money at you? Or worse, the man with no education, no job, unlimited baby mama’s_______, _______, prefer you over a darker woman? Usually men with such shallow standards of beauty are the ones that NO woman (dark/light-skinned) with a shred of dignity should give the time of day to. These men are at the bottom of the totem pole anyway and once they come off the dopamine they are on, unless you have something more to offer than your skin color/hair texture, then they will throw you away, leaving you to raise your kids alone while they’ve move on to the next woman to bestow their gifts upon her. Some advantage, huh?

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    “I really want to see this, but I don’t want this documentary to be a ‘pity party.’ If this documentary is only “i’m dark, I’m ugly, nobody likes me,” then I’m not interested.” @BeanBean, I couldn’t agree more. I also hope that Mr. Duke shows darkskinned women who like themselves and are living well, if for no other reason than to be inspiration to the women on the film who are struggling with this issue. I also think that it would be ideal if he used this film to help those struggling find practical ways to deal with colorism when it hits them head on. For example, how should one respond to ignorant comments from Black men who tell them “you are pretty to be dark,” or from relatives who say “you shouldn’t play in the sun,” or “you are so dark, no one will marry you.” Sadly, I believe this is actually half the battle. A lot of the women who struggle with this issue in my opinion, don’t know how to make a comeback from blatant attack, and by not speaking up for oneself, a person makes themselves subject to further attack.

  • Ellen

    Why did you bring up the Island issue? That woman was a black woman not a black woman from the islands. A black woman from America could have said the same thing. Don’t further divide.

  • Ellen

    @KM: How dare you attack Chelley for her honest and revealing life story. How rude of you. You are the ignorant one apparently.

  • DasaniFRESH


    Many men suffer from colorism. I remember my boyfriend, at the time, opening up to me about how he was teased for being so dark. His darkness was associated with ugliness, and this resulted in him having low self-esteem.

    It took a lot of late night discussions for him to realize he’s beautiful, physically and mentally. He grew up to be a really sensitive man who acted tough, but on the inside, was craving some sort of acceptance.

    This documentary is surely, one-sided, and the all-female perspective doesn’t help. This topic has been discussed many times before so the documentary appears melodramatic at times rather than insightful and/or educational.

  • DasaniFRESH

    Wow! Who hurt you two?

  • DasaniFRESH

    “I have this theory that a some(a good portion, actually) of western black men tend to date only light skinned women/other races of women because they want to subconsciously assimilate in to society. It is not a matter of light skin looking better or being more beautiful, but it’s association with POWER, since that the skin that the dominant population has.”

    Do you think that’s what Kanye is doing? For the association of power? But how is Kim benefiting from being with a black man, albeit, his bank account is pretty large…

  • My sentiments exactly…

    @ Liz “I take great offense to idiots who declare a preference for lighter skinned women.”

    Exactly, this skin color preference has nothing to do with any REAL qualities and those women who think it does are the ones who have nothing more to offer. Just empty. I know I have much more to offer than my skin color. Like me for me and nothing else!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/marfmellow Tatiana Mercedes

    lightskinned tears get out of here!

  • http://www.facebook.com/marfmellow Tatiana Mercedes

    As a light skinned black person I’m here to collect the other light skinned people in here crying and showing the fuck out –

    If you have light skin then you have light skin privilege – please stop crying in the comment sections and actually read then check the fuck out of yourself for derailing. It’s bad enough we don’t get to hear the voices of actual darker skinned women but the fact that y’all are going to sit up in here and cry about your lil bullshit predjudices? That’s White Supremacy at work people – but don’t come in here with your privilege and derail.

  • Lauren

    I watched Phyllis Stickney address this issue. She was tremendous. She is a chocolate Actress not seen. We talk about the same thing over and over and over. The question is this. What can we do to change these perceptions. We must start with each other first. The question is are light skinned sisters really treated differently today. Is it factually true or is it a myth?. Are caramel sisters treated better light skinned sisters. Are brown sisters treated different than chocolate sisters. What way??? Is this more psychological or facts. What are the stats that bare this out. Are more light sisters getting jobs and promotions than chocolate sisters. I must have more stats. Do we do enough to help each other???

  • Jayis

    Are we being honest or are we going to pretend that it’s doesn’t matter if you’re dark or light? To those who wonder whether there’s an advantage or advantages to being lighter, like a caramel or butterscotch brown woman rather than dark chocolate, I can say yes there are. Otherwise, why would so many black women have a problem with being dark? Does anybody think they’re lying?

    Socially speaking, darker women are not chosen nearly as much by black men as are women of my complexion (light caramel). There are a lot of black men like lil wayne but they just don’t put it out there. I know this because I have dark girlfriends who get treated bad, insulted or ignored by black men just because they’re dark. I’ve been out lots of time with dark girlfriends and black men always check me out first. I know I’m going to have first pick a black man when he approaches a group of us because he’s going to check me out first. So, I have many more opportunities with black men because of my lighter hue compared to my darkskinned friends.

    Some of those opportunities can really pay off because they can open doors for you. I’m talking about no-string perks because a lot of black men especially will simply want to be around you or have you in their circle. Most of the time, they’re hoping they can get sex, but in the meantime, they’ll invite you to lunch or to other social affairs. I got my job this way because I met a man at a luncheon who told me about it. I’m talking about men who are in the position to influence other people, not the brotha who’s trying holla at you on the street.

  • http://gravatar.com/amwilborn Iamlaw

    Oh my freaking God…I am a dark skinned woman and I am too tired of this nonesense. Lighter skin women are considered prettier because the benefit from a positive beausty stereot type. In short their own PR. A sizeable amount (not sure if it’s half) of light girls have European features: Pointy, downard nose, a less coarse texture of hair. European features are considered beautiful and the more white in you the lighter your sking and the more likely you are to have these features.

    However a Pretty Dark skinned girl will take get asked out for dates more than a less attractive light skinned girl PERIOD. Men among other things judge women by beauty so work with whatever you have going on in the looks department and stop complaining about how light skin girls are getting all the attention. It would be like a good guy complaining NBA players were getting more attention than them…so what?

    And Dark Skin girls take better care of yourselves. Do your hair, do your makeup. We need better PR as well. If we acted more girly, could cook, smiled and actually looked to the things we could be a more desireable stereotype too!

    Megan Goode is prettier many light skin women

  • Jeanette

    @ Jayis, if that’s what you call “opportunities” then I don’t want it. Having first pick at a bunch of shallow men is not what I would call an advantage. You can gloat all you want to but you sound like a fool. Basically, you’re happy because someone with “power” is choosing you based on nothing more than you complexion and nothing else. That’s an insult if you asked me. Do you have anything more to offer? Can you get a job based on merit alone. By the way, the so-called advantages you mentioned doesn’t happen too often. And MOST if not all the time these men do want sex. Keep it real.

  • KM

    @ Jayis, I know MANY dark-skinned girls who are chosen over light/caramel women. It seems to me that you are delusional and all of what you mention are imaged advantages. You know you are talking about the cat callers, and yes,many of them hang with the club and MAYBE some of them may have some position of power. You sound silly, girl, get your head outta your ass and come back to reality.

  • GG

    Nothing she said was offensive she was just being honest.

  • Gwennette Manning

    My mother was light skinned, and my younger sister is too. I on the other hand is dark skinned. At first I did hate myself, but I had to gain my own place in this world. Any man that doesn’t want me because of my skin color I don’t want him as well. I will get hurt I know bcause men will use me for sex but not for marriage. I deal with rejection well and I am alone alot.

  • Kels

    @ Gwennette Manning, there are PLENTY of light-skinned women who get cheated on and are passed over for marriage. You will not get used unless you allow yourself to. When the time is right, you will find a mature man of subtance who doesn’t care about skin color. It’s so ignorant any to choose someone based on their skin color. And that’s good you wouldn’t want a man who doesn’t want you based on your skin color. I was passed over because I wasn’t dark enough, but I did give a rats ass because those type of men are will end up leaving you becuase they weren’t with you for any real reasons in the first place.

  • Alexis

    As a brown-skinned woman, I do realize this lighter-skinned sister is being very honest. This is really the way it is.

  • Cocoa

    Megan Goode is not even dark, chile please!

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