“If you don’t want to call me pretty just don’t say anything. Don’t say you’re pretty for a dark skinned girl.” – American female
First it was natural hair versus relaxed hair for black persons. With the change of the century and the ease at which persons can voice their opinions/feelings through their fashion and lifestyle, it’s now dark skin vs. light skin within the black community. There already exists the phenomena of white versus black, but why is it that we have to fight within our own race?
Why are we always fighting against each other?
Nowadays persons want to be light skinned; seemingly another issue the media portrays (one skin tone being glorified over another). As a result, it is seen that dark-skinned is ugly and light skinned persons are pretty; and as such persons would rather date lighter skinned persons portrayed in music videos, etc.
In some retrospect, the media has been showcasing more dark skinned persons, with the black movement etc., however, they are paying more attention to dark-skinned males for example Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Idris Alba, and more leaning towards light skin females. So much so that the darker skinned females are gradually becoming shades lighter in order to meet this society demand; the opportunity to ‘fit in’.
“It’s hard if you are growing up in a country or place that that’s all you see. It’s hard to have high self-esteem or be comfortable in your own skin with the issue of being dark skinned you are seen as unattractive being in your face at every corner. It will take a very strong person to ignore that and still love your skin tone. I was the only dark-skinned girl in my family and I honestly didn’t let what persons in my family and around me were saying get to me.” – Ghanian female.
The light skin versus dark skin phenomena is an issue in the community because people judge a person on whether they are light or dark skinned. Some dark skinned persons somewhat feel like they have to measure up, or overcompensate for the fact that they are of a certain colour and lack in certain areas.
“I think it goes back in time. It was what the white men wanted and we wanted to be as close to white as possible and the light skin was what the black people had that was closest to white. Even then the white men brought the light skinned or mulatos into their houses; you seldom saw a dark-skinned man or woman outside of the plantation fields.” – Black male student.
It also falls back on culture and society and the upbringing of individuals in said society. While you can choose not to be affected, some persons do not have the self-esteem to be individual, unique and stand out in the crowd. Unfortunately some persons are followers and as such it is easier for the media to be more influential on those individuals; not to mention those who crave to belong in society. It is no longer about the house you live in, the car you drive or where you work. Appearance has and will always be an issue that will plague society. Not just your appearance but the appearance of your family, your spouse, your friends and even your children.
“If you have people who are around you and are so negative and willing to bring you down of course after a while you will start feeling self-conscious no matter if your upbringing taught you that you were beautiful…..I am now accepting my skin color. Before I didn’t like it at all and that also speaks to kids growing up now. We as adults can accept the skin were in, we have weave, make-up, etc., but persons are now more drawn to wanting the light-skinned babies and kids than the dark skinned children. It seems that the dark skin children have to be extremely cute to make it in life. There is a standard to which we compare these children to the majority of the pictures on social media, the ones that are portrayed as cute; that is what we compare our children to.” – Ghanaian female
Love yourself. Accept your flaws and differences. Surround yourself with positive people. Love the skin you’re in.
By Alexandra Daley