Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dark Girls.....

I stumbled across a video trailer about a documentary titled "Dark Girls." The title caught my eye because I am a "dark girl" in the eyes of many people as well as my own eyes. I clicked on the video and was glued to my seat. As I watched, I became emotional as I identified with some of the experiences of the ladies in the film. And then I got defensive as I watched the film a second time.

This film is about the negative experiences of several dark skinned black women. It talked about several different experiences that ranged from a dark skinned girl wanting to bleach her skin white to the experiences of our own black sisters and brothers prejudices against the different shades of brown within our culture.

I grew up in a small town for most of my formative years. I went to a majority white school as a young girl where I experienced some racial incidences but not a lot. I remember feeling somewhat self-conscious about my hair because it was frequently the topic of conversation with the little white girls in my class, but never once wished that I was white or lighter in color. I experience more of the black on black prejudices when my family moved to the city my sophomore year of HS.

I did experience some of the brothers preferring white girls or light skinned black girls, but in my mind that was just the preference of a few stupid, ignorant black dudes that I could care less about anyway. There were other black guys that liked dark skinned girls too. I guess for me, I experienced both sides of the issue, but I always gravitated towards the positive side (that there were just as many brothers interested in dark skinned sisters) glass is never half empty, it is always half full. I attribute my positive outlook to my mom, who always told me that I was beautiful....even though I did not feel beautiful through much of my school years. But I never considered I was ugly because of my dark skin. Yes, I did see myself as unattractive....but not because of my skin color. My mom would always tell me that I am so lucky to be dark skinned because when we get old, we don't wrinkle. Lighter skinned people wrinkled as they aged. So. with that said, I was happy to be

So....I asked myself, does this film reflect the current trends of our dark skinned youths growing up today? In my mind, this kind of thing does not happen in the homes of confident black women (like me). No way....we strong black women send off enough confidence to override the negative influences and opinions of the ignorant. Yes, the black on black prejudices are indeed there, but not in my family.

So I did my own experiment and asked a 15 year old dark skinned BEAUTIFUL girl this question.....If you could lighten your skin color would you do it? With an immediate response, this beautiful teen replied yes I would. I followed with another question...Why would you want to change your skin color? And she responded, because it is more attractive And then she asked me what sparked my interest in this subject?

I was stunned......... She was so matter-of-fact about it.....almost like she expected all dark skinned girls to feel that way.

I shared this information with my oldest daughter to see what she thought. I asked her because her fiancé is a handsome dark-skinned dude and she is excited about the upcoming birth of her son. She said, I would love to have a dark skinned son like his dad. Her daughter is lighter in color....but that does not matter in MY family.

She told me about the story of a 7 year old beautiful dark skinned girl whom is part of our family that frequently asks Kathy if she thinks she is pretty because she does not think she is because she is dark skinned.

I am devastated......... is this such a deeply enculturated issue that it occurs in families such as mine?

It is 2am as I write this. I can't sleep........

This cannot be.....not in my family..........

My self talk.....
What do I see in the mirror every day? I see a beautiful confident black woman. How do others view me....and I answer....others see me as a beautiful black woman and the few ignoranious people of the world that don't can go to hell. Why am I so confident? I had many of the same experiences of the women in the film, but those negative experiences did not scar my self esteem into adulthood. Why? Maybe it was the positive affirmations of my mom. Maybe it was the fact that all my siblings were dark like me. Maybe it is because I love myself. Maybe, maybe, maybe.......

Below is the video that caught my attention

There are TONS of beautiful dark skinned women around. Can't these girls see it?
Shades of brown......there's no "prettier" shade!! One of the most exciting times in my life was being pregnant and anticipating the beauty of my baby. Will she be dark like me....I hope so. Will he be light skinned....I hope so, Will she be something in-between...I hope so. IT DID NOT AND DOES NOT MATTER!!!

Once this video came up, a ton of videos just like it came up. I watched.... stunned. Where have I been? I guess in my own self-confident world!!!!!

Look at the beautiful black girls in this video......How can one deny the beauty of these women?? And if you can't see beauty in these women...then you are blind in my opinion!

God help us!!!!!
How can I make a difference....

But this is not just a black on black phenomenon. It happens with all people. Thank you Amy Preble for reminding me of this.... (She is my best friend at work girl).  Prejudice with obesity. Does it exist across color lines? Yes it does!!!! Have a kid choose "the lazy person"  out of a line of people of various sizes and I bet most kids would choose the fat person. As disheartening as it happens. It is in our society. How many obese people do you see anchoring on Fox News? None....How many covers of magazines are graced by beautiful obese women/men. Very few. It is in the culture.

We have the power to stop this and it is simple.....

Treat all people with dignity and respect! ALL PEOPLE!!!!!!! Love your neighbor!!!!!!!!!!! Love yourself!!!!!!!

HOLD YOUR HEAD UP!!!!! LOVE YOURSELF!!!!!! My mom taught me that, and I would like to think I have instilled that in my own children. But, we can only do so much when a society does not support, love all people and love yourself. God help us!

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