Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Darker The Berry.....

DISCLAIMER: I agree that the spirit of a person has an effect on their overall beauty, but for the purpose of this post, I am talking strictly about physical attractiveness.

Over the past few days, I've gone back and forth with myself over whether I wanted to blog about (my thoughts regarding) the documentary, 'DARK GIRLS.' I knew it would be covered by many bloggers and media outlets and, really, I didn't want to be 'just another blogger' talking about the latest hot topic. Yet, here I am; not as 'just another blogger' though, rehashing what was said and providing my opinion about the work itself. I'm writing about my feelings, as a dark-skinned black woman who is proud of my chocolate hue. A chocolate woman, who, in spite of being able to relate to many of the negative experiences described in the documentary, loves having this complexion and has no lingering insecurities due to it.

For me, being dark-skinned has been more of a positive thing than not. Sure, I was called 'blackie,' 'tar baby,' "black dog' and such, as a child, by other children; and yes, I did feel slighted by some boys in favor of my lighter-skinned counterparts. A man once told me I am one of the few (yeah, he said few y'all!) pretty dark-skinned women that he knows. Pretty don't usually come in dark skin, he said.....and, he challenged me with, 'If you don't agree, then go ahead, name some pretty dark-skinned women you know?!'.... and he was dead serious. He also remarked how "all his baby mammas' were hot because they are light-skinned with pretty long hair....and he was dead serious. Unfortunately, remarks such as his are nothing new to me. I can't count how many times I've heard backhanded compliments, such as, 'You are so pretty to be dark-skinned' or 'That's a fine dark-skinned man/woman.' To be fair, I don't think most people intend to be insulting. They really think they are being complimentary (ignorant asses) and, most times, they are not 'checked' on it so they continue to do it. Still, I don't feel 'scarred' by those experiences. My mind tends to reflect more on the positive things I've heard regarding my complexion (I love being referred to as 'chocolatey'), and as a result, I LOVE THE DARK BROWN SKIN I'M IN. I don't feel inferior to the light-skinned woman standing next to me nor do I believe her complexion alone will gain her any wins over me, when it comes to the attention of a man, appointment of a job, etc. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not blind to the fact that there are men who prefer light-skinned women over brown/darker skinned women and I'm well aware that there are (still!) those who believe light-skinned people inherently are/look/feel better than a brown/dark one. However, those people can't change the way I see or feel about my pretty brown skin.

Yes, beauty is subjective and, therefore, not everyone will agree with what I see. Sure, there may be some people who look at me and say, 'She's cute' or 'she's aight' or even, 'she's ugly.' Yet, that matters not because, in my (not so humble) opinion, my being beautiful is a fact that NOBODY can take away from me....chocolate skin and all.

Conversely, I've heard people say things like, 'Dammnnn, she/he's not even cute and they're light-skinned!' As if it's unbelievable or unheard of for a light-skinned person to be unattractive. Or, 'Ahhh, he/she thinks they're fine/all that/better than somebody!' just because they're light skinned. No No Nooooooooooo people!!! Reverse discrimination is not right, either. Take the saying, 'The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice' - it sounds good but really, what are we saying we sing that phrase? In essence, we're saying our lighter skinned counterparts are not (as) sweet....or good. And that is simply not true. Sweet berries, good things and beautiful people come in/from all shades & complexions. Some of the most beautiful people I know range from light bright to dark as night, as well as the ugliest. Y'all know it's true....so please, act like you know (and stop being so damn ignorant)!