Moise Morancy recently coined the phrase #MelaninMonroe in a viral Facebook video. His
post inspired me to take a different approach with my thoughts on colorism. The "Skin
Shaming" antics, preferring light skin to dark skin antics within the Black Community
is becoming more prevalent within today's society.
Throughout my childhood, I always thought of it as playful banter, never reading too deep into the little remarks until I reached college age.The skin shaming trend started out with little statements among friends. Then, I noticed television shows hosting documentaries and films with testimonials of people resorting to bleaching their skin and feeling inferior within their own race. Then, it hit me that this was beyond a joke, it was real. This was a social crisis.
There are African Americans who feel that their complexion places some sort of entitlement upon them. And in contrast, there are others who feel that their skin tones bring their overall value down. They see their darker complexions as some sort of shortcoming. Seriously? I have literally been flabbergasted by this entire way of thinking, the mentality. In a world of Beyonces, no one wants to be Kelly? You have got to be kidding me! -Or maybe, I was just brought up with a different perspective on Black People, as a whole. (Notice the capitalization because there ain’t nothing improper about it.)
I have always felt that we, as a people, have such a profound beauty mainly because of how vast our shade spectrum is. These days, however, people feel that there is fault in the diversity that, to me, makes us beautiful.
Now, you have the media depicting us as ugly, black women and infusing that in the minds of our youth. Meanwhile, we are living in a time when black men feel compelled to say things like, “She is too dark for me. -A bit too natural for me.” -Which, in essence, comes off as she is a little too “black”. I have even heard guys say things like, “You are real pretty to be dark skinned.” This is a compliment that I can stand hearing about as often as I can stand being slapped across the face.
As a result, there are females that are not even offended by being categorized by a complexion. In fact, there are some young women embracing “skin shaming”, in a sense. They take pride in being that ‘fiya redbone’ that Lil Wayne rapped about as being a prize. I’m guessing that these women are overlooking his brown skinned first wife and mother to his first born. Then, there are my favorite posts like “Every light skinned girl has got that dark skinned friend” and vice versa.
Be clear, guys, I am in no way bashing women with fairer complexions nor am I praising darker complected women. My argument is that this should not be a selling point. Let your physical characteristics serve as just that. In a time where African American people have much larger issues that are self inflicted, how do we find time to point fingers at people that resemble our ancestors by name calling and critiquing their exterior?
Anyone trying to honor the late Tupac Shakur’s ‘blacker the berry, sweeter the juice’ theory?
Currently, the state of Black Women is in such a unique space. On one hand, we have all the means to be taking strides to new heights and a great deal of us are. While, on the other hand, we have sheer ignorance hanging above us like mistletoe, filled with things like skin shaming. Some of us are tolerating such foolishness and worse, accepting it. Rather than aspiring to be the Claire Huxtables, young black girls wish to be Marilyn Monroes. Not even crediting those who did it before her, like the Lena Hornes, the Eartha Kitts, and Dorothy Dandridges.
Rather than to leave you all in an argumentative state, I want to leave you with this:
Honor the beauty of our people, all of them. Understand the beauty that we possess, as a people. Stop placing value elsewhere. As far as I’m concerned, beauty is in the average black girl that has thick lips, full features, a fuller figure to match, with hair that kinks and coils in all the right places. Beautiful is the black girl, regardless of shade, that can rap a verse from International Player’s Anthem, listen to Chance The Rapper, vibe to Jill Scott, can turn up to the latest hit, still be educated, hold an intellectual conversation and bring more to the table than her looks and sexuality. (Not that those two can’t be present!)