#Colorism, #DarkGirls, #LightGirls, #Race, #Talk

#LightGirls: The Shade is Real…Musings on the Issues of Colorism

There’s a documentary being released titled #LightGirls. As I was posting a picture to social media earlier I thought of it and the following:

Random but..I often filter my photos so that I can look like I have browner skin. I can sometimes appear too pale n my opinion & the “browner” the “prettier” #LightGirls. In fact it was one of my favorite male rappers Tupac who, in his popular song “Keep Yo Head Up” rapped, “They say the blacker the berry then the sweeter the juice. I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots.” That statement is black pride and that’s awesome but to me it also speaks to colorism. The line is telling women to be proud of their dark skinned tones…And to #LightGirls?? In the same breath I acknowledge if you turn on any music video you are more than likely to see a #LightGirl as the leading lady. That has been changing now in recent years, thankfully. Still, my main point is…we can acknowledge Light girls societal cobstructed privilege AND acknowledge our pain. #BlackLivesMatter, right? Or is it only browner skinned blacks? No, of course not. With the state of the world the last thing any of us need is to be told our stories/lives don’t matter, are insignificant etc.

Here’s a bit of my story: I was often singled out for my skin tone among some family and even bullied in school (I’ve been a “Mean Girl” too) because I was perceived to automatically be a “b!*ch”, stuck up etc .   I’ve seen comments like this online regarding the documentary: “reverse racism” and “white privilege” and worse. First of all, (within our own race?? Really??)..major side eye and do tell??….The fact of the matter is colorism exists (not only within blacks) but across these socially constructed races. It’s not just a black thing or U.S. thing. It’s an issue in Brazil, France, Africa etc and it is common knowledge that browner skinned people can get the shorter end of the stick.

However, that in NO fashion, takes away from very real issues those on the other end of the spectrum and in between face. #LightGirls #DarkGirls #Colorism Before anyone is attempted to say “po lil tink”, I encourage us all to watch both documentaries with open minds and hearts. #ItsDeeperthanyou & #BiggerthanUs. #DarkGirls can be viewed on Netflix or Youtube and #LightGirls airs this Monday evening on OWN. Check your local listings for showtimes.

P.S. I’m aware this doesn’t even BEGIN to address the underlying issues of systematic and institutionalized colorism that spans across: races; countries; the world. Only scratching the surface. Anywhoo, #BlackisBeautiful. #LovetheSkinYoureIn. I mean it.

picture from Google images
picture from Google images

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