Friday, May 27, 2011

How Do You Feel About Yourself?

So, the other day one of my friends posted this video on her wall, it's a documentary called Dark Girls. I encourage you to watch the short video before continuing to read this, although it's not really necessary because the point of this post will be easily understood.
From the short preview, I've gathered that the documentary is going to be about the plight of dark skinned girls. Being a dark skinned girl myself, I was very interested in seeing what tone this was going to take. I haven't seen the whole movie, but if the preview is any indication of what it will be, I'm not so sure I'm going to watch the whole thing.
The clips they showed were really sad and I really do feel awful for these women. I sincerely hope somewhere in this documentary they're going to have some stories of dark skinned women who are strong, confident with who they are, and NEVER wished to be light skinned.
I got teased about being dark skinned at times, but I never let that teasing get to me to the degree that some of the women in the preview displayed.
For example, I had this light skinned cousin who thought she was hot shit. She used to tell me "boys like me because I'm light skinned with long hair. (conveniently leaving out the fact that it was a weave) Boys don't like you because even though you have long hair, (mine was real) you're dark skinned.
My response to this was always the same.  "boys like you because you're easy, slut." 
Boys didn't like her because she was light skinned with long hair, they liked her because she was a tramp ass hoe who let them climb through her window when everyone was asleep.  It was pretty easy for me to brush off her insults. I'm sorry, but a slut like her will NOT make me feel like less of a person. I knew she was on some bullshit even when I was younger. I digress.
I'm not going to act like the black community doesn't have a problem with skin tones. It's not hard to look at what's shoved down our throats daily as "beautiful" and surmise that the dark skinned girls are not as highly regarded.  I see how this can be disheartening to some women. We're all human and we all have emotions.
That being said, we've got to change our reaction to these slights. 
I am dark skinned, and I am totally, completely okay with that. I have never wished to be light skinned! I used to get teased by all sorts of people about being dark skinned too, but I did not let that define me. My Mother is a beautiful dark skinned woman and all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was like her. She always told me I was pretty and she never put a disclaimer on it. Even when I went through that really, really awkward stage, she told me I was pretty. She still tells me I'm pretty. Hell,  if no one ever told you that, then dammit stand in the mirror and say it to yourself. I AM BEAUTIFUL!
If as grown women you're still being talked down to or made to feel like you're less than because you're dark skinned, then you've gotta change something about you. The only conclusion I can come to is we live in a time where people no longer have a fear of being slapped in the face. If someone is blatantly disrespecting you, it's because they feel completely safe doing so. This needs to change quickly. I'm not advocating violence, but I'm all for self defense.  I'm not joking.
As that old saying goes: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."~Eleanor Roosevelt

1 comment:

  1. i recently wathced a clip of this movie as well and for a split second also started to feel the "woe is me" was coming on a bit strong. I, like you, have always been proud of my dark skin and grew up being told I was beautiful by my parents. I never even had dolls or barbies that werent dark skinned and beautiful so it never occured to me (until I got older) that there were people in this world who would look down on me because of it.

    In regard to the filmm, i'm with you on this. I actually getting a little tired of hearing all the rhetoric about dark skin and how many dark skinned girls feel bad about themselves. I would rather hear about how to turn things around or at least, as you mentioned, a few stories about women who don't feel this way!