May 26, 2011

"Dark Girls"

*for some reason, I cannot post the video itself into this post so the link will take you to an external site.*

Watch The Video Here!

Just watching this preview makes me sad. Especially the part where the guy says that 'dark skinned women look funny beside him.'
Sad that there is still the 'color bias'.
Sad that it matters so much to so many.
I can still remember being teased about how dark I was when I was younger. I was sun kissed black, especially during the summer time when I stayed outside from sun-up to sundown. Then to top it off, I was rail thin. So, kids being kids, I was called names and picked on. Some bothered me, others didn't.
I thank my parents for instilling in me confidence and the belief that I was/am beautiful.
Today I find that this is starts earlier still. Sadly, my own child went through a 'thing' when she first started kindergarten. She would come home, excited about school and learning, but sad about something else. It took a while for her to come to me and tell me that she wants her hair to be long and yellow, and she doesn't want her skin to get darker. Holding back the tears was one of the biggest struggles for me that year of school. I realized once I visited her school one day that she was only one of three black students, and one of two black girls in her class. I would tell her all the time that she is beautiful just the way she is and doesn't need long, yellow hair or lighter skin. Thankfully, she has not mentioned anything more about it and has been blossoming into the beautiful, smart, charismatic young lady I hope to successfully raise.
I remember watching the Tyra shows about the women who would bleach their skin. Some even so far as to bleach their children's skin. The episode where the little girls hated their hair was a heart breaker. It stings to know that children are exposed to lifelong damages so early in their lives.
Something as simple as a child telling another (dark skinned) child  that he/she is "as black as tar and needs to go back to Africa" is carried into adolescence and, for some, even into adulthood. To make it worse is for it to be said by a black child to another black child. 
Words are powerful.
No matter the age of the mouth from which they spew.
I remember Anderson Cooper did the 'Kids On Race" Doll Study in 2010. It amazed me how young the kids were relating darker skin to the more negative thoughts and attitudes than the lighter skinned dolls.
I'm not even sure there will ever be an end to such self-hate, let alone racism and stereotype of other races. It surely has to start at home. Parents have to teach their children to 'love their neighbor' regardless of race, color, sex, hair type, height, sexuality...everything.
To hear the girl in the "Dark Girls" video talk about natural hair looking/being disgusting hit a small nerve. Maybe because I and two of my daughters have natural hair. Although I usually keep their hair in braids and beads, I do occasionally wear my hair out, most times as an Afro. Never does my hair look like I 'just rolled out of bed', or 'dirty'. Especially since I wash my hair more now than I did when I had a relaxer. But, I can't be mad at her for her opinions, right? She's just a child.......
Which in this case, isn't really a defense, at least not for her parents.
It is my job to teach my daughters to love themselves and their beautiful skin, their gorgeous manes-straight, curly, and otherwise, and to love and accept and be kind to those around them who love, accept, and are kind to them. All the world needs is one big hug. *sigh*
Black is beautiful. All shades and hues. I just wish that everyone could see and love it!
Although I'm sure I'll be a crying mess when I see it, I cannot wait to watch "Black Is Beautiful: Dark Girls".



Anonymous said...

I too watched this video and was overwhelmed. I'm not dark skinned myself, but I was raised in a color biased environment. I always thought lighter was better and only wanted to talk to the lightest of guys. I even broke up with a guy once b/c he was too dark (the joke was on me though b/c I later found out I was pregnant with his child). I now have a son who is very dark and his skin is gorgeous to me. I feel like our culture has so much work to do. We need to come together as a people and stop fighting with each other about things like good hair vs. bad hair and light skin vs. dark skin. It's extremely sad.

ShontaeB said...

Our culture definitely has alot of work to do. And what saddens me most is that if the "adults" now (our generation) is teaching the children of tomorrow then we may be in for a world of hurt and hate because it seems to only be getting worse. We can only hope for now.....

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