So, I was watching a re-run of the Tyra Show last night and it was on the taboo topic of Light Skinned Blacks vs. Dark Skinned blacks. When discussing the subject, she had the audience determine who fell under which skin complexion, what women felt about their skin color versus that of someone who is lighter or darker, and lastly what men felt about skin color when choosing the women they date. As a young black woman, this topic is a situation that we confront daily and often times it creates prejudice within the black community. One woman on the show who was of a lighter skinned complexion looked foolish as she degraded darker skinned women by considering herself superior and by disallowing her 12 year old son to bring home a dark skinned girlfriend. Sounds preposterous huh? Well, it's true and it's happening in our society today. As a dark skinned woman I will say that 'Black is Beautiful' period. Regardless of the shade, we are all one people. Dark skinned women have taken the fall while light skinned women have reaped benefits in other areas such as entertainment, magazine covers, and shows. Many seek the light complexion, long hair, and hazel eyes, without realizing that dark women too can have long hair without the aid of extensions. While Hazel eyes are not so common, a black woman with brown eyes can be just as beautiful. I have friends that vary in skin color and I have noticed a trend where groups of guys notice us due to my lighter skinned friends first. Has this ever occurred in your group of friends?
On the show, Whitney of 'America's Next Top Model' mentioned when guys approach her they will comment ' Your bad for a dark skinned girl'. What's that supposed to mean? I can relate all too well when I've had guys, even male friends, make the same comment. While I may brush it off with a thank you and a smile, it is wrong and meaningless. I, too, play a part by allowing them to sway me to feel as if they just said something positive, when in all actuality they are downplaying ethnic women. As equally interesting, when the men were asked who they approach the darks stuck with the darks and the lights stuck with the lights. Surprising? Yes and No, I'm of two minds. Some choose to stick with what they know because physically it looks better. Others choose to branch off to their opposite because of their taste preference as well as silly reasons such as the predicted color of their offspring's. For personal testimony, my cousin and I are opposites in complexion. I'm of darker skin and she is much lighter than I. However, she tends to date darker guys and I somehow end up with lighter guys. Pure coincidence, no such preference. My friends always joke around when I tell them I've met someone new by responding 'He's light skinned, ain't he?'. Surely enough, he usually is, but not by choice per say. I'm not the bold type, so I rarely approach men, they generally approach me. So the guys that do approach me more often are lighter skinned guys. I can remember a time when I was talking to a guy and I was supposed to head back over to his house. Instead of telling me to head over, he instead responded 'my sister's home'. What that had to do with me coming baffled me, but I let him go on. 'She and her friends are here and they're clowns. They're gonna say 'Oh she's too dark . . .'. Was I hurt? Taken aback? Hell yea. But did I say anything? No.
It's happening Ladies, and it's not so much a new thing, it's an ongoing historical thing amongst African Americans. The women who columned in Essence weren't afraid to confront the issue and Tyra wasn't afraid to bring it out on her show. As her little protege (he he), I wanted to put it in the air as well. So tell me ladies, have you ever faced the light skinned versus dark skinned issue?