Dear Dark Girls,
First of all I want to say that this is part of a two-part blog post and I will be posting Dear Light Girls very soon. My post is not to create more of a divide but to bring all black women together as one. I’m not entirely sure what I want to say in this post, it’s like when you have too much to say and you don’t know where to start.
My first point is always that I am a black, dark skin woman and proud. Growing up I didn’t see colour, I was a happy child and my friends were my friends - all different shades. My family is huge so we are all a variety of shades of black. Never in my life did I think anything of my skin colour other than it is what it is and I am who I am. During primary school for a short while I was the only black person in my class and this didn’t mean anything to me other than there just wasn’t a lot of black people in my school. I love being black, not because I think being black is better than any other race but I love my culture and my history and could not be more proud.
Throughout my secondary school life I didn’t think anything negative about my skin colour, it didn’t define me, it didn’t hold me back, I had friends and a boyfriend/guys who were interested in me. It wasn’t until I got a lot older, mainly in university that I realised that there were a lot of people in my age group and my areas who saw black skin as something to be ashamed of. I know racism exists and I know it is apparent every single day but seeing colourism amongst my peers was a shock to me. Maybe I was naive before, but it is easy to be oblivious to things that aren’t directly in your face when you are young.
After watching the Light Girls and Dark Girls documentaries (please check them out) and seeing endless race jokes and memes on social media, I realised how much skin colour effects the lives of the people around me and it genuinely broke my heart. Both light skin and dark skin women are associated with being a certain way because of the colour of their skin. A few men in the Dark Girls documentary said a lighter skinned women would look better next to them and that dark skin girls usually have an attitude or just wouldn’t look ‘right’ with them. Well that’s the problem isn't it? Being concerned of what you and your partner may ‘look’ like to other people when in fact you should be searching for a love that evolves soley from a soul connection and a love that isn’t affected by the smaller minds of others. Other men mentioned that they (dark skin women) have an attitude because of their skin colour. Perhaps these guys should think for one second that darker skinned women give them an attitude because of their extremely ignorant opinions and small minded way of thinking. Perhaps the dark skin woman is just a woman with an attitude and her attitude has nothing to do with the colour of her skin. I for one would certainly give anyone an attitude for attempting to make me feel like I am less of a person because of the colour of my skin.
I want to point out that I acknowledge that people are allowed to have a sexual preference and may be simply sexually attracted to one skin type more than others. However, degrading one type of woman because of the way she looks is unacceptable, Why are we judging people on the things they cannot and should not change about themselves? Never in my life would I not be with a lighter skinned man who is everything I want in a partner because he isn't my preference and my ideal would be a darker man. Which links to fact that I also would not choose to be with one type of man because I want my children to look a certain way. At which point do you realise you have strayed so far from being true to yourself that you are just living a life that the media has indirectly told us ‘Your life should look like this because this way is better.’
I was in the library a few months ago and heard a group of guys discussing skin colour. ‘You are so dark fam, look how dark you are.’ said one friend. ‘Shut up, I’m not even that dark.’ He replied. Why is being dark used as a way to cuss and embarrass someone. What a man should of replied is ‘Yes, I am dark skinned and how does that effect my character?’ I know they were friends probably just joking around but should we be joking about things like this and making others feel down about the way they look? No.
The biggest tear jerker in all of this is the effect it has on children. It breaks my heart that every child in the world is not being taught to treat everyone equally no matter what colour they are. Children should know their history and know that racism exists in society but this should be used as a way to boost our children in wanting to work harder to break these stereotypes. Children are not born to be racist, colourist, ignorant and prejudice, this is taught in the home. No child or human being should be made to feel less than in 2016 about the way they look. We start with skin colour, then self-hate, then depression and then what if it ends in suicide? A woman in the book recalls a time her mother spoke about her looks.
“She said, ‘My daughter is beautiful. She’s got great eyelashes, she’s got the cheekbones, she’s got great lips, could you imagine if she had any lightness in her skin at all? She’d be gorgeous,’”
Can YOU imagine? the strong minded and confident young lady you could have raised if you raised her to know that she IS gorgeous no matter what her skin colour is and to know that everyone else is equally as beautiful. It is up to all of us to practice equality daily, you may think you are just reposting a meme and maybe it did make you laugh but remember that everything you laugh about online is someone’s life.
To end my post this is for you strong, talented and beautiful dark skin women…
Dear black men, you are allowed to have a preference but I urge you not to degrade your own race or a particular shade of black just because it isn’t your preference. I also urge you to uplift all black women like we do our black men and seek a wife who matches your soul not your Instagram feed.
Dear black mothers, uplift your future black Kings and Queens. Speak positivity into them at all times, speak confidence into them and confidence will follow.
Dear black women, you are every single thing you believe you are. The men who are too small minded to see the beauty that lies before them are simply not worthy of your love. Black is beautiful in all shapes, shades and sizes. You are loved.
and lastly, black lives matter.
Shay RS x
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