More Cream In The Coffee? The "Dark-Skin" Debate

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Ndidi Nwakalor -- anyone who doesn't find her beautiful is blind

[Op-Ed]

How Popular Media And Entertainment Industry Demonize "Dark" Skinned Women

I sat in my living room and watched a documentary on The Oprah Network about women rich in complexion, otherwise referred to as dark-skinned.

Once again, it was another sad story to be told. It was an excellent story nonetheless. When will we ever see a documentary about dark-skinned women that celebrates our skin?

Why does everything about dark-skin have to end in tears? If the woman isn't bending over in the movie then she’s standing up being laughed at, ridiculed, and called "ugly."

Man, these are the thoughts in my head. I mean, I love Tyler Perry but why does the dark-skinned girl have to always be the girl on the side? If she’s not the girl on the side, or the crackhead for that matter, she’s getting cheated on with a slimmer, prettier light-skinned girl.

Why did the Mad Black Woman have to be the dark-skinned one? Question after question boggles my brain.

There was also a documentary about light-skinned Latina actresses who were upset that they were losing roles to even lighter-skinned Latinas. Their complaint was that they were always being cast as Black women in these films.

Imagine that.

If light-skinned Latinas are being cast as Black women, think about all the dark-skinned actually Black women who are not getting the roles. Gabrielle Union explained that it is hard for dark-skinned women to even stay afloat in the movie industry because they always cast the lighter-skinned women.

Film directors cast Zoe Saldana to play the role of Etta James then had the nerve to paint Zoe Saldana dark-skinned. They couldn’t find a dark-skinned actress to play the role of Etta James? Even when we have Angela Bassett, Gabrielle Union, and Jennifer Hudson who can sing too?

The list goes on.

The truth is, all women are in some way demoralized in media. When it comes to dark-skinned women, it becomes worse. Dark-skinned women historically were seen as the ones that men could have sex with and fulfill their pleasures with while the lighter-skinned and White women were good to marry and be seen in public with.

Even some dark-skinned Black men say: “I want kids with good hair and light skin.” For that reason they will shun away from dark-skinned women.

When the media is quick to put out statistics about Black women, especially the one about us not being married as much as our White and Asian counterparts they fail to consider how we are viewed by society. Maybe we are not married because men still don’t see us as marry-able (I made that word up).

The standard of beauty goes down the darker one becomes; so if we are not being seen as beautiful then we may not be seeing ourselves as beautiful and therefore we accept the demoralization.

Think about it. The "nastiest" most sexual girls in the videos and movies are always darker-skinned or have darker hair and darker features in all White movies. The common theme is “dark”; what is deemed "pretty", "acceptable", and "innocent" can only be light.

Generally, the media won’t even show a missing child on TV if she doesn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes.

We must be objective in our analysis when he say Black women feel and are treated as inferior. Media must consider how we are viewed in society and how White hegemony has perpetuated these views.

All around the world many dark-skinned women are bleaching their skin. The issue is not with us, it is with the people who are dictating to us what they believe we should be.

 

 

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