Dark Girls Matters

by Nia Broussard

o-DARK-GIRLS-MOVIE-facebookAfter over a year of teasers and online chatter, Bill Duke’s Dark Girls will be making it’s debut on OWN on this Sunday. While some folks are eagerly awaiting the documentary, a good number of folks in my personal networks have let it be known that they are oh-so-tired of talking skin color.

Theoretically, it’s hard to blame them. While one would be foolish to suggest that the color complex doesn’t exist anymore, the conversations about it often hit the same notes over and over again. You’ve got the references to the NOT ACTUALLY REAL Willie Lynch letter. The person who equates preferences for light skin to preference around height or body type.  The summarily dismissed evidence that complexion bias is real and does have a negative impact on people’s lives. The people who swear they don’t think in terms of skin color and have never experienced the color problem and, thus, it must not exist/exist anymore. Those folks who, as some do when it comes to racism, suggest that talking about light and dark skin is what’s keeping us divided—the conversation is the real culprit.

But more often than not, you also have the voices of those who say “This has hurt me.” The anecdotes about women being told “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl,” or feeling invisible/overlooked in the presence of “fairer” skin. You’ve got those people who can attest to the pain they have experienced because so much of our world (not just our community and our country) favors light skin, particularly in women. And until that is no more, until one can pick up a magazine or watch a movie or block of music videos without seeing an obvious over-indexing of light-skinned/mixed-race women…suck it up. We must continue talking about color until we are over color.

I am a paler-colored Black girl (insert the oft-repeated “Why are light-skinned people so militant” retort here) and I can attest to being treated favorably for no other reason but being tall, tan and not-so-terrific so much as I’m just, well, light. I don’t need any pity, but I don’t deserve any privilege.  I’m not going to Tim Wise the game (that is, assert myself as a person of privilege as the ultimate authority to speak on bias), but I feel that I must call it out when I see it and encourage others to get past the fatigue of talking about color and continue confronting our issues with it.

Growing up, I was a wild child. Marginal grades, bad temper, messy hair and clothes. My younger sister was a model student and model child—poised, accomplished and a delight to be around. Yet my grandmother paid her dust and fussed over me at every turn. It wasn’t hard to understand why, as her subtle jabs about our complexions were rarely subtle. My sister’s hair was her “saving grace,” but she was wise to avoid the sun. Thank God she was smart, because who was going to marry her? Meanwhile, I was a bum by the age of 12 and couldn’t be bothered to comb my curls or do much of anything on the other side of mischief. Guess who was told she’d be a prized wife someday?  I was born in the North in the late 1980s, mind you.

As a kindergarten teacher, I’ve witnessed these same issues play out over and over again. Don’t believe the famed “doll test”? I’ve seen it with my own eyes many times before. Brown eyes brimming with tears over the availability of a blonde haired Barbie that some other student has claimed—“I want the pretty one!”  Children who repeat the things their moms and aunts say about color verbatim: “She think she cute ‘cause she yellow!” The obsession with people who don’t look like them.

All that to say…suck it up. We discuss far more insignificant things regularly. And from what I’ve heard about Dark Girls, it’s a smart, well-done film (not the sad “WOE IS ME, FOR BEING DARK IS A TRAGEDY” cry fest some had feared). If color is not the issue that has caused you pain or frustration, great! But until others can say the same, it isn’t for you to write it off.

  • Ange B

    Agreed! Just cause you have not experienced it does not mean it doesn’t happen and isn’t someone else’s reality. I wish I had OWN network to watch it. I hope it shows up again somewhere possibly you tube.

  • Ask_ME

    What I find interesting about this topic is the masses of confident beautiful great dark-skinned black women who are ignored so that all others can come forward and try to speak for them.

    I have several dark-skinned girlfriends and their lives are NOT the tragedy that is often portrayed in the comments on this site. These women are married, have families, healthy dating lives, careers and just a healthy existence.

    Obviously, there are many dark-skinned black women who are capable of rising above color bias and living good healthy lives. Why aren’t they ever interviewed for things like this?

    People, including the individual that made this film, keep portraying dark-skinned black women as ignored pariahs when that simply is not the case for a lot of dark-skinned black women. They may face more pitfalls due to their skin tone, but these women (the ones that I know) keep it moving and don’t look back. Their attitude is more like, “You don’t like me because I’m dark-skinned…well F you!”

    “it’s a smart, well-done film (not the sad “WOE IS ME, FOR BEING DARK IS A TRAGEDY” cry fest some had feared).”

    I haven’t seen the film yet, but the previews DO portray it this^^^ way.

    “If color is not the issue that has caused you pain or frustration, great! But until others can say the same, it isn’t for you to write it off.”

    I think people are pointing out the one-side representation of this topic. They always seem to pick the most unattractive dark-skinned women to talk about their pain and frustration. And these women are then portrayed as a representation of ALL dark-skinned black women and how they ALL feel. That is a huge part of the problem.

  • Santi

    Great article I will say this. Colorism is an issue all over the world. However, when I went to the Carribean I witnessed dark skinned black women who were never paid attention to in the US, literally get chased by men on the islands. Just because they don’t love dark skinned women in the US, does not mean we are not loved in other places. In Jamaica the MEN literally make songs about how they don’t want their women to bleach their skin. Dark skinned black women in the US are suffering for no reason. Go where you are wanted! Also, I know many will say why am I making this post about what men find attractive. However, I am not a feminist, and I’m not a lesbian, and it is okay to say that you want to get married one day. And colorism, as much as nobody wants to talk about it, affects the dating options for dark skinned women.

  • Santi

    What is unattractive?

  • BeanBean

    Colorism has divided the black community for so long. I’ve heard people say, “Oh that girl is cute for a dark girl.” I’ve also heard, “She thinks she cute cause she’s light.” It’s horrible that these assumptions are deeply ingrained. Light skin doesn’t equal stuck up, dark skin doesn’t equal unattractiveness.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    I get what you are saying…I want people to show both sides of the coin..there are confident dark skin women that are beautiful…

  • kkait

    So I am supposed to uproot my life in the US to go live on an island just to find men who will not look down upon me for being dark?!

    No ma’am. We need to face & own up to our colorism issues right here at home, how is running away going to solve anything?

  • Yb

    Did this documentary talk about colorism in the workplace, colorism affecting ones ability to gain employment, colorism in educational institutions, colorism in jails sentencing, societies built on colorism or did it trivialize and downplay the full effects of colorism?

    I would just like to know before I proceed to watch.

  • http://gravatar.com/naaj21 Lexi

    Actually majority of the women in this film interviewed are attractive women, but then again “attractiveness” is a matter of opinion. I’ll be watching!

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    @ASK_ME, I cannot thank you enough for your comments. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I was just coming in here to type something very similar. I think that this issue is very real, so I won’t belittle those who have suffered for being dark. On the other hand, like you, I get annoyed when they keep showing this issue from one side, like all darkskinned women are sitting around having a pity party, when many as you said are living their lives and doing the damn thing. In fact, what would make this documentary excellent, would be to show both sides, although something tells me we’re only going to get the “woe is me” side of the story. If this film talks about the history of colorism, the negative issues darkskinned women have faced and the pain it has caused (some) of them, but then shows the confident, beautiful, happy and successful darkskinned women who have either overcome color issues or never had them in the first place, it just might be a great film. Otherwise, if it’s just the same, tired, rehashed negative story that focuses on the problem, but never provides a solution or a way for these women to actually learn to love the skin they’re in. I think the ones that are suffering and damaged need to see the women living well, so that they know they don’t have to live under the burden of their skin. People will always tell you something is wrong with you, whether it’s your skin, your hair, your teeth, your height, your build, your job/career, your intelligence or something else, we will always cut one another down. And the women who suffer for being dark will have to overcome the pain by realizing that the people who cut them down (even if it’s family or friends) are the crazy ones. And like you said, real confidence is being able to say “too bad you don’t like me, keep it moving.”

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    If you’re not interested in the topic, then don’t watch. seems simple enough.

  • MommieDearest

    Great article. I appreciate her candor and insight.

  • Objection

    The person who equates preferences for light skin to preference around height or body type.

    There is no difference.

    But more often than not, you also have the voices of those who say “This has hurt me.”

    Only because they have allowed other people’s words to hurt them. Stop giving power to what other people think.

    We must continue talking about color until we are over color.

    You have the freedom of speech, so you can continue to talk about color. However, some people will never think some skin complexions are attractive. I will never find white women attractive, end of story.

  • KDJW

    I wonder what effect this documentary will have on the topic of colorism. It’s sad this continues to plague our community. You are beautiful because you are beautiful, the color of your skin has nothing to do with it.

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    @Santi. I haven’t seen the film, but some people (not saying ASK_ME specifically) believe that the darkskinned women who complain about suffering are often the unattractive ones, and that it is actually the fact that they are unattractive, not their dark skin that causes them to be teased, bullied, or overlooked by men. But I actually disagree with this, because as the article mentioned, there are highly more “universally” attractive darkskinned women who still have things said to them, like “you’re pretty to be dark,” etc. And by universally attractive, I’ll use celebrity examples like Lauryn Hill, Kenya Moore, Janelle Monae, Tika Sumpter, Rutina Wesley, Angela Bassett and Gabrielle Union (among many others). Although I suspect most people of all races would find these women attractive, it doesn’t mean that some ignorant person wouldn’t belittle them for being dark. Likewise, there are unattractive lightskinned women who don’t hear that they are unattractive, because their light skin might shield them. So, my opinion is that even if a woman is “unattractive,” she is probably being belittled for her skin, not just for being unattractive. I hope this helps.

  • Miakoda

    None. These documentaries only ever focus on how colorism affects dark complexioned women and never how colorsim affects dark and light complexioned women and men.

  • Parker

    I believe there is a different when it comes to weight,body type, and hair vs I don’t like this person because they are light/dark. I really think the word perfernces shouldn’t be use and it just sugar coats what’s really going on when skin color is a factor for liking/disliking someone.

  • Kacey

    As a born West Indian, I can tell you that colorism is very real in the Caribbean.

    To someone on the outside, it may appear to be less prolific and psychologically damaging than in the U.S. This is mainly because (compared to the U.S.) the majority of the populations in these countries are black, black people are in positions of power and there is wider representation of people with dark skin in the media there. However, just like in the U.S. you have light skinned women being lauded and considered the ultimate trophy women; light skinned children are shown both subtle and not-so-subtle preference by their families; very dark children are often teased and sometimes given nicknames like “blackie” that they carry into adulthood; and light skin can also play a role in landing lucrative jobs and government positions, especially in highly visible positions.

    In some countries this situation is worse than in others. We already know what the deal is among our spanish-speaking brethren (ahem, Dominican Republic) but it’s funny that you mention mentioned Jamaica. Jamaica is known to have one of the worse cultures of colorism in the islands. Skin bleach is big business in Jamaica and despite what you hear in the reggae songs, light-skinned women are prized (hence the bourgeoning skin bleach industry). In Jamaican patois, when they refer to someone being “brown skin”, they’re not talking Gabriel Union, they’re talking Beyonce/RiHanna.

    Dark skinned women in the Caribbean may not suffer the same level of social stigma as in the U.S., and they will have their fair share of romantic prospects, but make no mistake – colorism and preference for light skin exists everywhere.

  • Miakoda

    “Only because they have allowed other people’s words to hurt them. Stop giving power to what other people think.”

    I hate this kind of comment. It ignores the fact that people have different personalities and are affected by things differently. People aren’t robots. It’s also a form of invalidation.

  • Stephanie

    Throughout my life, I can probably count on my fingers how many times the color of my skin was an issue. I can also count on my fingers how many times someone told me I was beautiful or ugly. I’ve lived my life in a purgatory, neither preferred nor disliked. No cared enough to taunt and no one cared enough to praise. I used to want dark skin like my mother. She never told me I was pretty. I was the spitting caramel image of my father. He never told me I was pretty. He just said I couldn’t be ugly because I looked just like him :/ So some may say I had it easy. I cringe when I see girls lighter than me and not as cute as me acting like they’re all that when they’re near me. I cringe when I see dark girls being mean to me because they think, that I think I’m all that…(yeah I said it) It sometimes seems like everyone’s deep emotional issues are being forced upon me. I’ve got my own ish to deal with. This issue needs to be handled. Start by loving yourself. I had to do that at an early age and I’m still trying.

    I hope this premier is a help more than a hindrance…

  • victoria

    Im a dark skinned girl who has always been told how beautiful, pretty I am WITHOUT the added ”for a dark skin girl.”

    In my younger years, many light skinned men wanted to date me because I was darj^ker. Their words not mine.

    My h.s. best friend was extremely fair skinned. To the point where black people assumed she was mixed and whites assumed she was white. She is neither. However, I saw many girls give her a hard time because she was pretty and light skinned, ”She thinks she’s cute because she is mixed.” She only dated dark skinned men. Eventually marrying one. She had a complex about her skin color; she wanted to be darker. She use to do things to make her hair coarser because people assumed she thought she was ”all that” because she had ‘pretty hair.”

    I never thought I was less attractive because I am dark. Butt I do agree with another commentor that people can have a dating preference just like they do with weight, height, kids, education, etc.

  • Santi

    Maybe its because I have foreign parents, the thought of leaving the USA is not such a big deal. I hold citizenship in two different countries. Uproot, no. Consider, yes. Have fun trying to convince black people that dark skinned is attractive. The battle looks promising.

  • MimiLuvs


    This is not really aimed at you. But, your comment inspired me to write this comment.
    Why do people focus so much on the men/women who don’t want them instead of the focusing their energy on the men/women who do want them?
    I don’t know if it is because we’re in the ‘Me Generation’ but I’ve noticed people (sadly, mostly women)are dedicating blog posts, vlog entries, etc. to individual(s) who spurned their advances/ or stated a prefernce for someone different.
    IMO, it reeks of a sense of entitlement.

  • Santi

    Please re-read my comment. I recognized that colorism exists everywhere. However, some places are better than others.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com KnottyNatural

    The solution is to train up your children at home! Train them that black is black, no matter the shade and that each shade is beautiful!

  • MimiLuvs

    I’m sorry that you had to go through that bullsh*t.

  • Objection

    People with weak personalities should seek professional counseling. I will not lose any sleep because certain women don’t find my skin tone attractive. No matter how hard you try, you cannot make people find you attractive.

  • Marketing Gimmicks

    Tread lightly with “weak” personalities and look in the mirror. Last time I checked no human being is perfect or walks on water so we all have insecurities and flaws…just sayin.

  • Treece

    “And until that is no more, until one can pick up a magazine or watch a movie or block of music videos without seeing an obvious over-indexing of light-skinned/mixed-race women…suck it up. We must continue talking about color until we are over color……If color is not the issue that has caused you pain or frustration, great! But until others can say the same, it isn’t for you to write it off.”

    This is it in a nutshell. Amen, amen, and amen. If you don’t feel that connected to it as an issue then don’t watch. But don’t write it off as something that “we” shouldn’t be discussing anymore b/c you don’t witness it or feel the same way, or b/c you personally don’t feel there is a solution. Guess what, until we come up with one or until Black girls stop feeling inferior to other races b/c of America’s warped standards of beauty, then we’ve got to keep on discussing.

  • JN

    Note: this comment is meant to encourage discussion, not debate. Feel free to disagree, but know that no malice was ever intended.

    This article said what I had a hard time putting into words yesterday. On the other article, I was seeing a lot of very valid experiences from light-skinned people on the issue of racism and color, but I felt like their personal experience made it difficult for them to see it from other people’s perspectives, and from a more global perspective. I felt like many people are not past the point of talking only about our personal experiences (which are all valid, by the way) to a place where we can talk about what happens outside of our own individual worlds.

    I found a light-skinned privileged checklist ( http://www.crunkfeministcollective.com/2010/08/23/huey-newton-complexes/). I thought that this list is/was inadequate. I found another one, this time, from (http://fandomsandfeminism.tumblr.com/post/33665926634/we-are-all-black-but-you-as-a-light-skin-person-are)

    -Having the ability to deny or not acknowledge that colorism exists.
    -Be recognized as a symbol of post racism.
    -It is assumed that you are race neutral when issues of race are raised.
    -Being standard of beauty in the Black and Latino community.
    -Being called Black based on the antebellum era one drop rule.
    -Being racially ambiguous.
    -People automatically assuming you are mixed and it is seen as a positive attribute.
    -It is automatically assumed that you are more intelligent than the darker members of your racial group.
    -Not being seen as angry unlike the darker members of your racial group.
    -Being considered less threatening by the Eurocentric mainstream based on the color of your skin.
    -People not making the assumption that you grew up poor unlike your dark skin counterparts.
    -Being allowed to recognize the variety of your racial/ethnic heritage without ridicule.
    -Within African American culture being called a “redbone” is regarded as a compliment while being called “darkskin” is considered derogatory.
    -Having someone tell you that your light skin is better than dark skin.
    -Can color, dye, relax, or weave your hair without it being seen as an act of self-hate.
    -The assumption that your relaxed hair and chemically processed curls are your natural texture.
    -Not being told that, “You are pretty for a dark skin girl.”
    -Your skin color being valued by some who purposely wants to erase their ethnicity and hates their own skin color.
    -Taking advantage of skin color privilege depending upon the situation. For example, applying for scholarships for African Americans and Latinos and later passing for other than a minority.
    -You have a better chance of landing a job than a darker person with the same credentials.
    -You have better opportunities for education and jobs prospects.
    -Because of your light skin your relatives may of have had access to Black sororities, fraternities, and other organizations that promoted intraracism.
    -Your images are reflected in all forms of the Black and Latino owned media.
    -People who look like you rarely portray the stereotypical maid, downtrodden, Sapphire, and dysfunctional Black women roles on television.
    -You always play the Black and Latino wife on television.
    -Being able to be biracial, multiracial, or light skin and still play a Black, Asian, Latino and White person on television when people of a darker hue cannot.
    -Not having people in entertainment making songs or comments disrespecting your skin color.
    -If you are light skin Latino you don’t have to prove it.
    -If you are a light skin Latino it is automatically assumed that you speak Spanish.
    -You or your family have much more likely have immigrated to America leaving your darker skin counterparts behind.

    Agree/disagree? (and even if this was not your personal experience, can you see how it can be someone else’s?)

  • http://verityreign.com Verity Reign

    I really appreciate this comment, @ASK_Me (ON PAGE 1)–minus the “…the most unattractive dark-skinned women…” part, simply because I don’t believe in calling women unattractive. But I feel the same way. The “sad story” isn’t every dark girl’s story and only sharing that side seems to generate more pity and not actual change. It kind of reminds me of how when we talk about this same complex from the light skin aspect, we tend to focus only on the light privilege but often dismiss that so many lighter girls are just as bruised because of the bullying, abuse, etc they endured at the hands of bitter dark sisters. Both sides, light and dark, have two experiences each, privilege and pain, and we need to start having intellectual discussions on both. You can’t solve problems without all the pieces. And also, when those who are bruised do share their stories, it needs to be from a strong, confident place–not a bitter or sorrowful place–sharing their experiences in a way that educates.

  • Parker

    I don’t think it’s about entitlement but more about understanding why the person has certain prejudices. For me personally I think the preference excuse goes out the window when it starts involving skin color.I usually find when people based things off of skin tones there are deeper issues than oh I just like light/dark skinned females/males.

  • Nic

    I would love to see this dicussion not framed around women and how many men want to sleep with them, b/c colorism is about way more than that.

    To me the difference that people think it’s okay if being light and ugly is okay, but being dark and ugly means you are out of the game. Or the idea that some people think that anything that is light or white is pretty even when it’s pretty hideous. And I really hate how much power is given to who wants to sleep with you. “Every man in my ‘hood wants to get with me” does not prove that colorism isn’t a thing.

    No matter how you look, someone will want you. Ugly women get married. Fat women get married.

    This isn’t about who wants to marry or screw you, it’s about how some people are raised to view the world based on skin color, both their own and other people’s.
    I think it is totally missing the point when someone says “well, these women are ugly, so no one would want them, b/c if they were dark and pretty/fit, they’d have a man.”

    I can’t be the only one who finds the statement to be problematic, facile, and pretty ignorant.

  • Miakoda

    Sometimes a good psychology book is in order of being read.

  • Nic

    It shouldn’t even be about that. It’s about colorism pure and simple, and I dislike the argument that “they are ugly/fat so of course no one wants them. If they want a man they’d go to the gym”. Totally missing the point about the unearned and unwarranted beauty privilege that is given to people on the basis of skin color in this society, and in particular within pretty much all communities of color.
    The answer to colorism is not for dark girls to work harder to prove they are worthy of a man’s love. You need to love yourself b/c you are worth loving and you should think you are wonderful. If you love yourself, nothing else really matters.

  • Objection

    I looked in the mirror, and I saw a person with self-esteem. I never said I was perfect. Harriet Tubman was born a slave and dark skin; however, she was not a weak person. There is nothing that women, black or white people can say to make me not feel good about myself. I will NOT tread lightly, I will “speak softly and care a BIG STICK”.

  • Nic

    I’d like to know why women are encouraged to and promote the idea that their self-worth is wrapped up in who wants to date them regardless of their skin color.
    You need to love yourself and not base it on what other people tell you.

  • Pat

    I’m NOT tired of discussing skin color. As matter of fact, we need to have as many of these discussion as possible. However before I continue, I think it’s great that this documentary is being aired on OWN. Perhaps it will reach a different audience verses the Soledad O’Brien’s CNN specials on colorism.

    Hopefully this documentary will reach more black families. I think one of the problems is the issue of skin color is [still] not reaching the right set of people. Not that it is being discussed too much. In my opinion, to help eradicate some of this issue, we need to reach back in order to go forward. Meaning reach and re-teach the older generation. The dislike of our skin color is still stemming from older family members: “Yet my grandmother paid her dust and fussed over me at every turn”. Families for sure, instill the self-love of skin color regardless if it is a positive or a negative.

    I understand the favoritism of light skin by our community and society. And the “forever” chosen preference for light skin or mixed women in videos or on a man’s arm. While we cannot change a person’s preference, the only thing we do have “power” over is to teach inner and outer self-love.

    But how will self-love be taught if the grandparents or parents never learned?!

    Possibly we can re-teach them thru documentaries. If we see enough of these documentaries, then maybe the concern will reach into local churches and communities. When you have little dark girls thinking they are ugly, but the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen – it is an ongoing problem (learned behavior).

    We are discussing the problem, but the root is still producing seeds.

    In other words, it should be engraved in the mind of a dark girl– that she is simply pretty. By the time she meets the boy who is more into “fairer” skin complexions – it won’t matter. Or every time she looks at a cover of a magazine/video – she doesn’t see her image – she still loves what she sees in the mirror. We have to erase this ole paradox that “you’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl”.

    See, the “fairer” skin girl already knows she is pretty b/c of her skin color. She’s been told so many times. Her skin color is her stamp of approval. But this doesn’t mean that she deserves to be incorrectly judged b/c of her skin tone. She may struggle with her skin tone as well b/c of mistreatment by darker people. This is another reason why the issue of skin color cannot be discussed enough. Really, that is another problem within a problem.

    The skin issue will never stop completely. Nevertheless, I do believe the BC can be re-taught how to deal with its damages. We can incorporate the message beauty is beauty in spite of. It has to start with the older generation b/c from there – it is the area in which it trickles down.

    [almost done]

    I say this b/c if it had not been for my “fairer” skin grandmother. I believe I would have had problems within the last 3 years. I say the last 3 years because this is when I noticed exactly how bad colorism is. Now I did grow up hearing “you’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl”. However, by the time those comments came around, I had already been told so many times that I was pretty – that this statement let me know the person had a problem – NOT me. My complexion is one of the many things I honestly love about myself regardless of how many “fairer” skinned women are in the spotlight. It ALL began with family members making the difference. I believe they still do.

    So what bothers me [the most] is what is being taught in these homes? It’s the same scenario in that we shouldn’t allow our race to stop us from excelling. It follows that we shouldn’t allow colorism to deteriorate our self-esteem. If these documentaries can help, please keep airing them. Maybe it will reach the right family member who can make that difference.

  • LMO85

    Thank you.

  • Marketing Gimmicks

    I’m a dark girl and I was blessed to have a mother that never tried to ingrain me with color struck insecurities. She did not damage my worth in this way. In my house if you are pretty you’re pretty and color had nothing to do with it.

    That doesn’t mean that I have the right to invalidate the painful experiences of others because all was well in my house when it came to skin color.

    You would have to be living under a rock to not understand that black women have always lived in a prism of being pitted against one another and it’s been happening way before the days of the brown paper bag test. Let’s talk octoroons, quadroons, and being bi-racial…there are REAL and not IMAGINED privileges inherent here.

    Rihanna, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Soledad O’Brian,Tracee Elliss Ross….let’s not deny that these women are viewed as more desirable and are more validated for their beauty by the culture of power. No. They are not to blame or to be scapegoated…but light skin privilege is EVERYWHERE. From Ballers to bankers…they are the preferential choice of many black men.

    The rejection by dark skin women is real but I do understand that we cannot victimize ourselves with other people’s projections of what our beauty is worth…but for many dark skin women it’s a journey of self-acceptance that we unfairly never asked for.

  • LMO85

    Yes to this! Thank you.

  • Cali

    As long as people keep making bogus judgements/decisions based on skin color, this will ALWAYS be an important topic. It’s already Tivo’d, looking forward to watching!

  • LMO85

    Excellent comment.

  • bob

    Light skin , dark skin , blue , green , orange attractive is not based by colors. People have their preferences, like women prefer taller men , men prefer lighter women , some prefer darker women. Get over it and play the hand you were dealt, we all aint win the genetic lottery. Work with what you have and go where you are wanted.

  • Kaori

    People don’t come in the colors of blue, green, or orange.

  • Nic

    You could ask some of the dark-skinned women who are celebrities and public figures and some of them have still been called ugly by someone soley b/c they were dark-skinned.

    We’ve heard this from Kelly Rowland, who is positively gorgeous.

    Beauty if totally subjective, and it’s true that some black folks give a person +1000 if they are light. I’ve had male friends totally list out women who weren’t that special as being most beautiful and not being able to acknowledge the beauty of beautiful dark-skinned women. So that part is true, but again, shouldn’t be how we approach discussions on colorism.

    But this whole “well they got mocked cuz they are ugly/fat/don’t take care of themselves” sounds like something I’d expect from a 9 year old and is totally missing the point.

    Sorry, you don’t have to be a supermodel to get married or date if that is a goal, and anyone who wants to claim that they’ve never seen a woman who is ugly or fat who is in a good relationship with a man who cherishes her(and is treating her better than your man treats you even if you think you are prettier) is a liar. (There is a whole side discussion that could be held about how black boys are raised correlating to how they treat the women in their lives, and that doesn’t have to do with how “cute” you are).

    But we need to have honest discussions about a lot of topics/problems that exist within the black community but not always from the perspective that it is (dark in this case) black women who are the only ones who are broken, damaged, self-hating AND who also must do all of the work to prove that someone might “settle” for them. That is the part of this that makes my dark skin crawl.

    Like I said in the other thread, this movie was made by a very dark-skinned black man who is definitely not fitting many people’s definition of attractive and given his age, I have trouble believing he didn’t get mocked growing up yet even he is only telling the story of the weeping dark-skinned black women. Why isn’t he telling his story as a dark-skinned black man? I mean, esp. if you are old enough (as he is) to have lived in a more segregated world, which is really when issues of colorism are amplified(I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, as the only black girl in my class, a pattern that has continued for most of my life, my black just feels like black, which I’m not sure would have been the case if I’d been raised in an environment with a lot of other black people). B/c I don’t believe there is no story there.

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    No offense to you, because I know you meant well, but who says men in the US don’t love darkskinned women? There are plenty of men in the US of all shades and races that find darskinned women very attractive. Yes, there are Black men (and men in all races) who don’t find darkskinned women attractive, but there are also people who love various shades of dark skin. I know plenty of Black men and men of all races that love dark women, and the fact that many people don’t know this is the problem right there. There is so much ignorance all around and that’s why I really hope that this documentary shows both sides, the darkskinned women who are suffering but also the darkskinned women who are succeeding and killing it and “doing the damn thing!” Too many people of all shades of Black think that every darkskinned woman is sitting around throwing a pity party, when in fact many are living great lives. This is the same poisoned mentality that causes a lot of people in the media to perpetuate the single Black woman mess that created ridiculous blogs, youtubes, books, and movies where people are literally capitalizing off of Black woman’s “pain.” I hope that Black women of all shades come to see the truth. You are loved everywhere, even by your “haters.” And the evidence of this is in the fact that we are copied by every other group. Notice how when we do something, everyone wants to do it too? Collagen lips, tanned skin, booty injections, cornrows, and “swagger.” We are the originators of that and as much time and energy as the media spends tearing us down, we better recognize that they do this only because they see we have something great!

  • Nic

    I love your last paragraph. B/c for people who want to dismiss skin color as just another preference, it’s important to unpack the way that preference came to be. It wasn’t pre-ordained since the origins of time. But I think it should include men b/c when people get mocked over skin color, esp. during childhood, boys aren’t left out. Women unfortunately give up/lose a lot of power once they entire the dating game, but up until that point, I think it’s equal mocking for both genders.

  • V

    I will watch but I have to say I’m a bit tired of the sensationalization of black women and colorism. This issue has been shown through the perspective of women many times. Men are RARELY discussed when it comes to issues of skin tone, as if black women are the only people who experience this phenomenon. It would have been nice to include men, and not just African-Americans, but maybe also African immgrants, and black latinos, to get wider perspective on the issue. Its always the black girl crying on screen when it comes to colorism, lets switch it up!

  • bob

    I know that I think you missed my main point that color does not matter. Attractive is attractive.

  • Job


    I usually disagree with everything you say. But I agree with you 100% here. There will always be a reason for people to discriminate against others. People always show favoritism to attractive people, especially beautiful women and tall men. But it’s completely self defeating to sit around and demand that people change their flawed views. Some may change but there’s no guarantee they will. It’s better to just live your life and not constantly worry about it. Why be unduly affected by others prejudiced views? I know plenty of short men and dark women who are married and have great lives. Everyone can’t be an object of desire for the masses. And even if you were “blessed” to be such, would that automatically make your life happier. How many beautiful celebrities are truly happy?

  • Ty

    I never understood how a person’s complexion is used as a basis of attractiveness and preference. Isn’t it a person’s facial structure and the like what determines attractiveness? If you find someone attractive wouldn’t it be beyond skin their skin color? For example, Beyonce is considered attractive by the masses, if she was dark would she still not be considered attractive and garner the same amount of fame as she does now? If no, then that is the problem. Also, what if a person is a gorgeous dark skin individual and are diagnoised with Vitiligo and lose their pigmentation, would they not still be attractive? I don’t know. I may be wrong but I just can’t understand how preference and skin color coincide.

  • No_chaser

    The argument that this topic is overstated is null and VOID.
    As long as there are children being brought into this world that face discrimination based upon their skin color, discussion and possibly, resolution needs to happen.

    I recall back in the 90′s as a teen, I worked a summer job at a daycare center in NYC for a class of 4-5 year olds.
    There were 2 children a boy and a girl, who’d ALWAYS be chosen to stand in the front of the line, partnered up, holding hands. The boy was very light with curly hair. The girl was also light, had green eyes and long wavy hair. Every field trip, park visit they’d lead in line.
    Now, in the back of the line–the very LAST 2 students were a boy and girl who were dark skinned. They were ALWAYS in the back, always chosen to partner up. They hardly got any extra attention in class with arts and crafts or during playtime.
    The Asian head teacher and her 2 Black assistants would constantly relish lots of attention and favoritism on the 2 light skin children–they’d be the first to get fed at snack-time, they’d be placed to sit in front during storytime, and the girl who had behavior issues, would never get punished.
    I often wonder what became of that little dark skin boy, and especially the girl, who had to know that she was being treated differently–by grown folks, nonetheless.
    So yes, dark girls do matter. I will be watching.

  • Tony

    Where is this black community where YOUNG dark skin, average to attractive, physically fit, friendly girls can’t find a man? lol The dark skin girls who can’t find a man are over 30 and have other issues ie attitude, overweight ect.

    They should have picked a decent man when they were young and had more options. Who’s fault is that?

  • Nashton

    Correction, this is an “Woe is me” pity party documentary. This documentary is embarrassing considering only black people do this. Im dark skin and I know Indians and Latinos who are darker than me! Why aren’t they on this documentary? Oh yes! I know why because they dont sit around feeling sorry for their selves like we do. This is exactly why we as black people cant move on because we always feel sorry for ourselves!

  • http://twitter.com/cherubicnerd L.Hoskins (@cherubicnerd)

    well said! I enjoyed every word.

  • http://twitter.com/cherubicnerd L.Hoskins (@cherubicnerd)

    “but for many dark skin women it’s a journey of self-acceptance that we unfairly never asked for.” amen!

  • http:tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    That is so awful, to do that to kids you have to be a special kind of devil.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Wow, are you serious that is horrible. I’m surprise no one reported it.

  • Sandee

    The issue does come down to attractiveness to a great extent. Yes, it is about race and power but really in terms of women, it is about who will be sought after and not. I AGREE: make the debate really difficult by showing dark skinned women who are beautiful and still don’t get acknowledged. If you pick all unattractive women then you lose the argument because people are confused why you are saying Whoopi Goldberg is unattractive. She is by the way. Whereas, like someone said before Viola Davis is gorgeous. I am more interested in Viola;s story than Whoopi’s because it really brings up the debate of what is attractive for me. In an attempt to honor our blackness, we are going around telling a lot of unattractive women that they are beautiful. This is misleading. Tell women that you can be more than beauty. Some people are not going to be beauty queens but they can be other things. Nothing to do with the color of their skin. Naomi Campbell is attractive and Kathy Griffin will never be. See the difference. There is a difference. I agree though why must women always just be beautiful? We can be more but let’s not lie to ourselves that dark skin will automatically make you a beautiful woman or light skin will automatically make you beautiful. I am attractive but I know I will never ever be a Lauryn Hill. That’s ok. I am other things besides I feel happier than her anyway.

  • Tony

    Looks are a factor get over it. You can be dark and also ugly. Black women are a trip. They have no problem with calling JayZ or Flava Flav ugly but think it’s an insult to call a black woman with a wig or weave on her head who looks just like JayZ, Little Wayne or Flava Flav ugy?

  • Sandee

    Colorism is HUGE in the Caribbean and Africa. Yes, the women get chased but who does an upwardly mobile man marry? You got it.

  • ETC

    Sir, it is not as if women “expire” at the age of 30. If a woman takes care of herself in her 20′s and then in her 30′s…I doubt anyone would be able to tell much of a difference, let alone turn her down. Age ain’t nothing but a number if you keep yourself up. Please rethink your statement…..

  • Deja

    The media..ie…films, tv and music videos do promote light skin. Beyonce anyone? Rihanna anyone? Alicia Keyes anyone? Any coincidence. I also believe sometimes you are just unattractive because you are. Most of us are never going to be Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks. Deal with it. I think we need to tell girls they are awesome but stop convincing them they are just pretty. Some people are not. Do you think Sarah Jessica Parker is attractive? no. Do you think Gabby Sidibe is attractive? no. Gabby Sidibe is unattractive because she is grotesquely overweight. Beauty is about the inside but it is also not equal. I wish I was born like Naomi but so what, I am a smart business woman.

  • P

    Thank you. I really appreciate your comment.

  • http://toussuite.tumblr.com TousSuite

    There are countless documentaries about color complexes in the latin communities. Henry Louis Gates Jr. has covered it in his ‘Black in Latin America’ series, as well as the episode of ‘Finding Your Roots’ that featured 3 prominent Hispanic figures. The issue of skin color was a major focal point for at least one of these people. There was also the documentary, called ‘Black and Latino’ where a lot of stars that are Hispanic deal with a similar issue becuase they don’t look “Latino” enough, read: they look too Black. I’m sure their complexion has a little to do with that. You should check them out.

    As for the Eastern Indians, I’ve been told from friends that this is also an issue in some of their communites, however, that is their story to tell, and if they don’t feel the need, that’s fine. Just becuase Blacks and Latinos want to share does not mean they are feeling sorry for themselves. It just means it is what it is, and they are speaking their truth.

  • P

    Tired of seeing little dark girls cry b/c they think they are ugly. And tired of seeing light skin girls being bullied. This mess needs to stop – not now…YESTERDAY!

  • Yb

    Oh my God. I am so damn sick and tired of black people trivializing colorism to just attractiveness and “finding a man.”

    Colorism affects how you are treated in life.

    Colorism permeates through educational institutions.

    Colorism affects ones ability to find a job and the quality of the job they recieve.

    Colorism affects the gravity of your sentencing.

    There are links between colorism and abuse.


    Colorism is bigger then beauty. Like racism colorism affect your position and treatment in society. Black people need to start treating colorism like racism and stop with the stupid one liners “everyone’s skintone is pretty” “light AND dark people are ugly” “your confidence makes you attractive” “it’s your weight” and get to the root of the WHOLE problem.

  • Chika


    You continue to speak the truth. I always enjoy reading your comments.

  • A


    I know I’m acting silly (been a stressful week) – but I’m crackin’ up. Your statement puts me in the mind of Alex Haley’s Queen. When Danny Glover told Halle Berry he didn’t care if she was sky-blue pink.

    “…blue, green, or orange”. That was funny – thanks for the laugh!!!!!

  • Tony

    Your example is the exception not the rule. Most black women in their 30′s are not in the gym everyday, getting weekly manicure/pedicures and their hair done weekly. They’re working a job (many low skill labor intensive), taking care of kids, home ect.Were talking real world not fantasy land. The older a woman gets there are going to be fewer men interested, fewer men available to date and fewer men you’re going to come in contact with. Also, by the time most black women are in their 30′s they either have had kids, their sagging and have put on about 20 to 50+ pounds in the wrong places face, next, chin, back, stomach ect… looking more like someone’s auntie (frumpy) than a model for one of these glamorous magazines.

  • Cass Trate

    You sound like a parrot. Really.
    Full of dumb expressions on constant repetition. Your ilk is one of the reasons many Black women choose to DATE OUT and avoid you like the plague that you are.

  • bubbleyumgirl

    THANK YOU! Finally someone gets it!

  • Kacey

    @YB: Agreed!

    There is so much shallowness throughout this thread. You have people arguing about whether or not the participants in the video are attractive enough to properly represent the issue (WTF!!!); then you have a bunch of women proclaiming themselves to be members of #teamdarkn’lovely who have “never had a problem attracting a man”; and you have a bunch of disruptive black men chiming-in on the physical attributes they desire in order to overlook the skin tone issue.
    It’s a damn mess and reason Numero Uno why black people stay in a certain place in society – we just can’t seem to get the majority of us past the superficial and into the depth of what really matters!!!

  • Pam

    “Colorism is bigger then beauty. Like racism colorism affect your position and treatment in society. ” — I love this statement! Great job!!!

  • Nashton

    Ok, you made a good point there. But within the black community, am I the only one who thinks this whole light skin vs. dark skin thing is a little played out? Why don’t they make a documentary with dark skinned american women loving their skin color and being proud of who they are?

  • Nakia

    “In Jamaica the MEN literally make songs about how they don’t want their women to bleach their skin”.

    You know why? Because women (and some men) in Jamaica bleach their skin! That is why the songs and chants are necessary. Do not idealize. Jamaicans and other islanders engage in colorism as well and you can’t tell me that being “brown” in Jamaica is not considered a boost to a woman’s beauty. My personal experience in Jamaica has been mixed in this way.

    I was once told by a brotha in Barbados not to fret because men would be giving their attention to my light skinned cousin “because she’s brown” but that I was just as beautiful, and I am not generally considered dark skinned, just darker than she. It’s all over.

  • Kaori

    This has to be ‘Keeping It Real’, because he talks like this.

  • Kacey

    @ Tony – You know, this is why men like you get blocked from these sites.

    You come in here to do nothing other than disrupt and derail the topic at hand and try to force your own issues and agenda onto the rest of us. You provide unwanted and unwarranted “advice” when no-one has asked you for it. You are so invested with everything that is “wrong” with black women, that you ignore your own issues. You are ignorant, narrow-minded, narcissistic, petty, insecure and lecherous!

    Let me give you some advice – Before you try to “help” someone else, look introspectively and try to figure out what kind of help you need in order to grow up and overcome whatever compulsions drive you to behave the way that you do on women’s blogs.

  • Common Sense

    There would not be “colorism” at all if black people would stop being silly and making it an issue. AND it would not affect anyone’s ability to get a job if you would all support each other and get jobs from one another. When will the nonsense ever stop!!

  • Miakoda

    You must be living on another planet…

  • Histoerek her

    @Cass Trate

    Are you saying other races of men are LESS interested in weight, age and attitude of women? I think it’s the exact opposite

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog JN

    Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.lemon.560 Liz Lemón

    I’m going to ask the same question I did on the last post. At what point does raising awareness turn into taking action? Or is raising awareness that this is still a very real issue, the action? None of this matters if black people are (and will) face disparate treatment based on their skin color. I doubt anything will change on a grand scale, but I sincerely hope this documentary makes us more conscious of the way WE speak to
    and treat one another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.lemon.560 Liz Lemón


    YES to all of this.

    Colorism is so much bigger than beauty.

  • Ooh La La

    As a light-skinned black woman I agree with just about everything listed. I’ve found from experience instead of saying “I understand” yet being apathetic, I stand up for my darker-skinned sisters when I witness this hate and discrimination. I try hard not to sit back and benefit from my privilege, but instead call it out when I see it and shame people who think I’d be flattered by that nonsense (as far as undue praise for light skin).
    I especially have a soft spot for this issue because my younger sister was much darker than me and although she didn’t speak of it often I know things like this really bothered her at times.

  • Ellis

    I think I accidentally thumbed down your comment. I wanted to do the opposite. Lol.

  • GG

    YB and Kacey love you guys comments. Also, Kacey you bring up a great point of how were so shallow in our community. I was just reading today about culture and spending and was so disappointed on us being huge spending on cosmetics/ beauty, cars and clothes. Since we have such a lack of power we worry about appearance so much. Her hair ain’t laid, clothes look cheap etc.

  • Goshdarnit!

    The subject of dark versus light skin has been beaten to death. Sad to see it is still up for discussion on message boards.

  • Fossilizedrelic

    “If color is not the issue that has caused you pain or frustration, great! But until others can say the same, it isn’t for you to write it off.”

    Neither my race or skin tone has ever been a problem for me that I need to weep about, or have a conversation about or beg for other people’s understanding about; and for the record, I am unmistakably of black African ascent.

    My biggest problems have come from having insufficient power to fully protect myself and others of my race from those who want to cause us harm.

    I don’t really see how this merry-go-round discussion addresses that fundamental problem.

  • realtalkforrealz

    Ugly is just ugly and pretty is just pretty. Life is unfair but that is the truth. Just like not all people can be smart or talented. Some are and some aren’t. If you have kids, tell them to be the best they can be but stop telling lil Timmy or Shenene with 6 eyes that she can be a supermodel. She won’t be. Tell her she can be an astronaut though if she is good in math. If she is terrible in math, tell her she can open a hair salon. Let’s keep it real. Tika Sumpter is a fine dark skinned woman and Gabby Sidibe is..well, I don’t know what that is. The two things are not equal. Keepin it real realz.

  • DMZ

    Black people: we are hypocrites. Look at all the famous women we love: Beyonce, Tyra Banks, Nia Long, Vanessa Williams, Paula Patton, Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keyes, Rihanna, Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana, Phylicia Rashad, Selita Banks: ALL LIGHT SKIN OR LIGHT BROWN. Stop being hypocrites. We LOVE light skin. We support it, sell it, consume it and demand it. Until we stop, then stop crying over this issue. Where is the big dark skinned Hollywood beauty or singer? Yeah, I thought so. Thank you.

  • Keren C

    I am Brown. I am not light and I am not dark. I am like Sanaa Lathan or maybe Gabrielle Union (probably more like Sanaa). I have been told I am attractive since childhood although now I could stand to lose 15 pounds for sure. I wonder if this film is talking about me too because I never felt ostracized for my color but I am a black woman so I have been victim of those issues but not within the black race so much.

  • Chrissy

    There actually has been work done on Asians, particularly, Indians, and colorism. Just go to youtube.

  • Chrissy

    Thank You, Yb!

    This is exactly the point I was making in another post. Colorism is systematic like racism. It is much bigger than beauty.

  • ETC

    @Kacey, thank you! I am not sure why some men come on here to project their insecurities. Anyways, this whole “over 30″ thing irks me because it rather foolish. All organisms age and die. No matter how “young” a woman is when a man meets her(the same goes for the man), she will AGE. There is nothing wrong with that, it is actually really a beautiful thing. Self- love and self-care will s us women through. I am looking forward to my 30s. I will be even more fabulous then, trust. Also, all I gotta do is look at the late Eartha Kitt, Tina Turner, Beyonce’s mama, and Phylicia Rashad to know that black women age like fine wine. The most important thing is to surround yourself with positive people, not those who will suck your soul.

  • lol

    probably because these are the only women promoted (ie. given the best songs, and producers, the most exposure, etc)

  • http://www.wegodress.com Cute sweet dress

    Fairly healthy color tone though I am not brown or dark. Good opinion as I agree.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Agreed Liz! Don’t get me wrong I think this discussion is VERY important and still valid today but at some point talk HAS to turn into taking action. What can we do? What should we do? How do we correct this? The line of the discussion needs to be about being proactive. Not saying we can’t talk about personal experiences and pain because that makes up the totality of the discussion along with social effects and psychological ones but I’ am ready for action and results to curve this issue.

  • Perspective

    The only way to turn that around is for black men to be in the proper financial position collectively with a structure that THEY establish. Black women can’t force their way into being desired by men who are either in a subordinate position to them and or aren’t building a community that requires the BLACKNESS of the black woman where blackness is valued just as whiteness is valued in order to maintain WHITE SUPREMACY.

    Its WAY TOO EASY – for black men to fall into lusting the non-black women who are promoted to the enth degree and portrayed as about as feminine as you can get.

    For those women who want to be ORIGINAL WOMAN EARTH MOTHERS – that’s an asexual position – like a Mya Angelo. No one wants to sleep with an earth mother, the draw back of being promoted is that you will be sexually objectified. As much as white women are on their pedestal – they are the MOST sexually objectified women on the planet – I direct you to the nearest pornographic film. Even they can’t have their cake and eat it too.

  • Perspective

    PS. If you don’t believe it’s about promotion then stop and take a look at the same type of videos/documentaries that DON’T exist with black men saying the same thing. That ended in the late 80′s and 90′s when dark skin black men were promoted via hip hop and sports.

  • Rochelle

    Pretty for a dark girl? People if your mama or grandma is concerned about you or your child’s skin color, disown them. They are idiots and you don’t need them in your lives. Blk people and skin color——what a petty topic.

  • Hello

    My only concern with these types of documentaries is that they don’t offer much in the way of solutions. It just puts black people’s pain on display for the world to see, as if white or light people are going to suddenly sympathize and somehow do better. No, more than likely this documentary will just make most of them feel secretly happy and privileged that they don’t have to go through these issues due to their preferred skin tone. Programs and parents that build self esteem and inject young dark skinned girls with as much love as possible from a young age are the solution. But I will say that one possible benefit of this documentary is that a parent sees it and stops allowing their color struck mindset or relatives to negatively affect their dark skinned children.

  • http://www.beautyisdiverse.com Beauty Is Diverse

    Not sure how to explain this but I always find it interesting that when it comes to skin complexion privilege everyone seems to just focus on beauty and if they’ve been called ugly or not growing up.

    What happens to the women who are fair skin and have been abused, sexually, physically, mentally is that an experience that women who are darker are suppose to be envious of if they weren’t abused? or do people assume that because a women who is born with fair skin , that nothing bad will happen to her?.

  • http://www.beautyisdiverse.com Beauty Is Diverse

    Part 2.

    I’m of a darker skin tone and I’ve been blessed not to have be born into a family that is abusive, or poverty etc. But what about the women who are fair skin and have been born into an abusive environment or the lower social economical class.

    What about women who are fairer skin and have been abused when they got older should I or we be envious of Rihanna when she was physically abused by Chris Brown, should we or I be envious of Evelyn Lozada who almost had her forehead split open by Chad Johnson, should I or we be envious of fair skin women who on one hand won a man’s hand in marriage but their husband cheats on them or abuses them or abuses the kids, or leaves them empty handed when a divorce takes place.

  • http://www.beautyisdiverse.com Beauty Is Diverse

    Part 3.
    What about fair skin women who don’t have a great job, just because Beyonce and other lighter tone celebs make money and have wealth doesn’t mean it reflects to the average person with the same complexion.Should I or we be envious of the thousands of girls who have fair skin and are also forced into prostitution or gang raped. I recall watching Chime for Change and when they spoke to women who were raped, or forced into prostitution many of them were fair skin women. When we take the time to really look beyond just beauty, we will learn that being of a lighter tone isn’t always a blessing as bad things happen to people regardless. Colorism is deeper than beauty. Colorism is a very deep issue it goes beyond just being pretty or not and it sure doesn’t protect many women and some claim it to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.lemon.560 Liz Lemón

    Apparently, saying “me too” I’ve suffered as a black woman too… despite my skin tone, is offensive. And fairer skinned black women should shuttup and listen, as this isn’t “their” issue. If you don’t believe me, go on the first article Clutch posted about this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.lemon.560 Liz Lemón

    “is that they don’t offer much in the way of solutions.”


  • Perspective

    “Why are light skin people so militant?”

    Because too often – other groups feel comfortable around them and their less than overt blackness and sometime FORGET that they’re black and say foul things about black people. Its easy to forget when the persons skin color is anything less than brown.

    Many light skin people KNOW that fence jumping ain’t an option and what the OTHER groups REALLY think about black people, e.g. – their pro blackness

    On the point about dark skin

    Black women are dark skin women IN GENERAL – are not valued because BLACK MEN aren’t building or passing anything on. i.e. as would be under a true black patriarchy, which I know women on this site don’t like.

    White women are the facilitators of the white system because they make white babies, therefore they are valued.

    Black men don’t have a community that they are trying to establish and maintain that is BLACK, therefore the value of the black woman’s WOMB and her blackness is not there.

    Combine this with the fact that women in a patriarchy are taken care of, promoted, and afforded the luxury to BE feminine, unfortunately because black men don’t have a structure like that – they believe black women to be inherently unfeminine and unattractive which is a result of their collective social condition (not every black woman) but I think it’s a little unfair to compare BECKY FROM THE VALLEY with there $5000 wardrobe to a sista from the Bronx with no father and no supporting patriarchy where black men control their version of the media to promote the beauty of the women who are necessary for them to maintain their black patriarchy

  • Perspective


    Dark skinned women are not valued because they are not attached to men who are trying to build, maintain, and preserve a BLACK COMMUNITY. That is the ONLY way that black women would be valued for their beauty.

    Beauty does not exist in a vacuum and ultimately BEAUTY – ain’t about BEAUTY – as much as people think.

    The white man would be STUPID not to promote the white woman that makes him and is the facilitator of the community that WE ALL SEE – he is trying to preserve.

    Matriarchy! – DOES NOT CREATE VALUE IN BLACK WOMEN – contrary to popular belief.

    Black women want to be valued like other races of women but want to down play or ignore the position of their men, and then when you present changing THAT as the solution – all they see is the oppression of women.

    Well you can’t have your cake and eat it too – black men can’t be COLLECTIVELY beneath black women, control nothing, and wield no power – yet you all believe that they are MAGICALLY going to be in the position to value you, and counter the promotion of other women, or ignore the promotion of other women and THEIR femininity.

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog JN

    Sigh. You don’t get it. Yes, both light and dark skinned have stories for days on how they’ve experienced racism/discrimination. All that is being expressed that there is a time to validate your experience and a time to validate the experiences of others. In terms of the question “where do we go from here?” that you have brought before, there are many things a person can do. Learning to listen without getting defensive, being willing sympathize (in real life, not just online), pointing out to others concerning their use of language is a start. But for you, I think you just need to deal with your own pain first. No one can begin to hear about other people’s issues until they deal with their own.

  • KimO

    ‘Femininity’. Now there is a starting point for societal conditioning and the transmitting and imparting of a mindset designed to control and divert people from that which is real and organic and irrevocable.

    Womanhood and being a female do not have definitions limited enough to be constrained under ideas of femininity. Womanhood and one’s place there and value therein cannot bother to consider the cost of the wardrobe or the fabric of the outfit.

    Let us consider the impact of patriarchy, yes. Let us make that another talking point. But ‘femininity’?

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  • Santi

    You are spot on with this!!! Unfortunately, many women will not here you because they will see this as sexist, misogynistic talk.

  • Esined

    Watched it last night. Very soul-stirring. When people say things like “we shouldn’t discuss things like this anymore”, I compare it to white people saying we should be “over slavery” and should move on. I disagree with both, for many of us know how it feels (NOW, not 148 years ago) to be made to feel a certain way because of our complexion. BTW, I cringed at some the stories and some of the Brothas’ reasoning for their preference of light-skinned women. Love who you love without attempting to make the rest of us feel as though we are less-than.

  • cabugs

    Anyone know where I can watch the Dark Girls documentary for free online? Please someone, post some links for me please. I do not have the OWN network among my tv channels.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeydose01 honeydose01

    I agree with you. I must admit that I was upset with many of the statements by the black men on light skinned sistah’s versus dark sistah’s (I despise the politically correct light skin versus dark skin reference) as those men were of different black tones. I do not like to call myself light skin, but honey instead. As a child growing up in the 80′s I can remember white kids and spanish kids touching my hair, but not in a bad way. They would tell me that they loved how curly my hair was, but my own people told me that I needed to perm it, or hot comb it. I love being black, but I believe that so many black people will say other wise. Honestly, people will begin to heal once issues on slavery are discussed and not that “roots movie” version, but from Africa to America and the many issues that have caused so much confusion for every man and woman.

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