02 February 2011

No Shade: You’re ________ for a Black Girl

Contrary to popular belief, light-skinned females are NOT the devil nor are dark-skinned girls “more black.” Each race has their own stereotypes, but, in the black community, there are stereotype subgroups. In the black community, we already have stereotypes that we’re loud, ghetto, opinionated, and pretty much, everything that is wrong with society. However, it doesn’t end there. On top of those stereotypes, there are also stereotypes if you are fair-skinned or have a darker complexion.

If you have light skin, you are seen as prissy, cocky and opportunistic based on your skin color. When you’re light-skinned, most people already assume that you’re attractive. If you wear weave, many people don’t question how real it is unless they can visibly see the track because it is assumed that you’re mixed. For some reason, light-skinned is often believed to be a result from some exotic breeding. “Red-boned,” “yellow-boned” or “high yellow”—I’ve heard it all. While being light-skinned can be seen as advantageous, it is not. Most (immature) men claim that they prefer light-skinned females; light-skinned females still get stereotyped as psycho and needy girlfriends. Plenty of other females automatically believe that light-skinned girls do not like them. In Spike Lee’s movie, “School Daze,” the light-skinned girls were called the “wanna-be’s.” Being a “wanna be” meant that they wanted to be white.

If you are dark-skinned, you are viewed as confrontational and aggressive in any situation. In Spike Lee’s movie, the dark-skinned girls were the “jiggaboos,” which referred to the term darker blacks were called back in the slavery days. Dark-skinned females are stereotyped as always having an attitude and very jealous of everything and everyone. Some dark-skinned women I know have referred to themselves as “chocolate” and “dark brown.” Many guys that I have grown up with have expressed that they don’t like dating dark skin women because they don’t view them as attractive. While I can’t knock them for their relationship preference, they should never be surprised when they come across a beautiful chocolate woman. “You’re beautiful for a dark-skinned woman.” That’s rude, disrespectful and ignorant. That was a back-handed compliment. The proper sentence would be “You’re beautiful.” The end.

The light-skinned vs. dark-skinned argument is old now. However, it has evidently resurrected as illustrated in nicknames and Twitter names. Tired of seeing names like @LiiteSkiinnedThiickness and @ChocolateMistress on Twitter, and these ridiculous Twitter “teams” such as #TeamLightSkin, #TeamDarkSkin, #TeamMixed…etc, I had to write about this. A while back, the Tyra Banks Show discussed women who used bleaching cream and encouraged their children to marry light or white so their offspring will be light. Hueism manifests itself every time we debate good hair or bad hair, the thickness of ones lip, or the broadness of a nose. Despite sayings such as “Black is beautiful” and “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice,” there is still a heavy presence of self-hatred in the black community. How are we a community if we continuously try to separate ourselves by skin complexion, class and social standing?

In the past, light-skinned actresses got roles as sexy leading ladies and dark-skinned actresses played maids and mammies or some type of domestic help. This mindset has carried over into the present. While light-skinned actresses play leading ladies, the darker skinned actresses remain in most “black films.” Many have been cast in “white” films, but they had to gain acclaim elsewhere before getting noticed for a broader audience. While darker actresses are obviously black in their movies, lighter actresses get cast as Spanish, mulatto or even white depending on the weave they get put in their hair. It isn’t fair, and it’s obvious that the color inequality hasn’t disappeared yet.

In order to love our “blackness,” we must accept every complexion, body type, hair texture, lip width, and personality. Being a member of the black community requires acceptance of our differences. Before we create other stereotypes given by ourselves, let’s tackle the ones placed on us by other groups. While we may not like someone for personal reasons, let’s stop separating ourselves by skin color. Black is beautiful whether it comes in a light, dark or albino package. While we’re eliminating color lines, let’s also cut out this “acting black/white” crap also. It’s quite annoying!


No comments:

Post a Comment