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Curly Nikki

A Response to the ‘Dark Girls’ Preview…

By January 27th, 202163 Comments
A Response to the 'Dark Girls' Preview...
Celebrating the Sun, Celebrating Me

by Jamila of CollegeCurlies

After watching the Dark Girls (Preview) video, I felt compelled to share a personal experience. I don’t usually get this personal, but I felt it on my spirit to share. If you take the time to read it, thank you.

Here goes.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have friends with significant financial resources—significant meaning enough to take me along on family vacations and outings that I, otherwise, would have never been able to experience. These friends (all white) took me on all-expense paid vacations to ski resorts, Disney World, the mountains, and of course, the most daunting of them all: the beach. I learned to swim when I was three, I didn’t mind the sand, and I loved the ocean…but my biggest fear in going to the beach was being out in the sun for too long. I prepared for these trips for days. I lathered myself in the highest SPF sunscreen, wore long-sleeved t-shirts over my bathing suit and covered my legs in towels during any out-of-water moment, no matter how brief. I sat in agony, greasy and melting, watching my complexionally blessed friends tan in the sun– horrified at the fact that, despite my efforts, I was getting darker by the second. For my white friends, bronzing in the sun with no worries but the occasional freckle was a privilege, one that I simultaneously wanted and despised. This went on for years. When I got to college, I started learning more about my connection to the African diaspora and began to really discovering the truth of my ancestry. (My parents made sure that my sister and I knew from where we came, but it wasn’t until I explored it for myself that I really started to understand what my ancestry really meant.)

I look back on those days now with a heavy heart. I wish I knew then what I knew now: that my skin is a reflection of my connection to a powerful and unchanging past, that my beautiful brown is nothing to be ashamed of, and that my skin is perfectly fine the way it is, even (and especially) in the sun, when I turn a ripe shade of mahogany brown. Back then, I didn’t fully understand the implications of what I was doing. I didn’t see that hiding from the sun was really just a way of hiding from myself, and that covering up my body to avoid getting darker was masking something much, much deeper inside of myself. It was an act of self-hate, one that was fueled and driven by a force too big for me to conceptualize at the time.

Today when I go to the beach, I lay out just as long as I please, admiring my sun-kissed skin and letting the warmth of the sun fill me whole. My skin is a reminder of resilience, of strength, of freedom, of legacy, of something much bigger than myself…something I hope to pass on to my daughters, no matter what color they are. My younger me asks my current me for forgiveness, and I wish myself upon the sands of my childhood– as bare as public law will allow, soaking up every glorious ray of light the world has to offer.

‘Dark Girls’ Preview…

63 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it is wonderful that you have accepted your beautiful brown skin. It's only when we mature that we begin to appreciate our own uniqueness. Sadly many people are too afraid so they never take the journey inside to discover why they dislike their appearance and ultimately themselves.

    On the upside your religious avoidance of the sun was actually a protection. Many people of color think that because their skin is brown that they are immune to the affects of UV rays and skin cancer but that is not so. I hope that now you continue to shield your skin from the sun, not because you are ashamed or afraid to get darker, but because you love your skin and yourself and you want to stay healthy.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm going to be honest, I have to question some of the girls in the video who say that people find them unattractive because they are dark skinned. Could it be because you aren't pretty? I'm sorry but some of the women simply weren't attractive, regardless of skin tone, it makes me think there were other factors that contributed to rejection by men. This is not saying that I don't sympathize with dark skinned women because I am one of them but an unattractive women claiming people are biased against her because she dark skinned seems doubtful. Regardless of skin tone, some women are deemed attractive and some women aren't.

  • Paul says:

    WOW! What a fantastic Blog! I felt really inspired so and I think it is a great way to ease into the whole blogging thing! This went on for years. When I got to college, I started learning more about my connection to the African diaspora and began to really discovering the truth of my ancestry. You are worthy because you were born. There is no reason to ever feel less than or insecure because you are worth all and can have all simply because you were born. It's absolutely ridiculous the way that we obsess over this issue. I also agree with one of the women who stated that white people appreciate us seemingly more than we do. I am going to post a link to these on my blog if that is ok with you. I know that my followers will love these. Thanks so much!!
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  • Jessica says:

    I always noticed that it's dark-skinned black women that marry white men. The lighter black women marry black men. I guess this is so because black men don't really seem to find darker black women as attractive, so as a result, these black women start to draw closer to white people and more white "cultural values" like education, going to college, etc, which is where they meet white men.

    You'd think white men would want a lighter skinned black woman because of the history of racism and light skin is closer to their own skin, but white men appreciate more the attitude and mindset of these black women, regardless if they are extremely dark skinned. Light skinned black women might be more unapproachable because they are more "black" to them since they were not rejected by their community as the darker women were.

    It's an interesting phenomenon.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have three stunning sisters (including a former model) who are all much lighter skinned than I am. As the darker one I learned early on not to let it bother me but instead to work on my personality and to work with what I have. I have never wanted to be light or bright like my sisters – each one of us is different and unique so although they are sometimes treated different it doesn't bother me – I am happy for them. I live in East Africa but when I went to college in the U.S 5 years ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback and incredible amount of attention I received in the black community. Men used to compliment me left, right and centre, and ask for my phone number. My girls of all skin tones were confident in their own beauty and their strength and confidence rubbed off on me.So I am glad that my American experience was only positive in terms of colorism and acceptance in the community, from both men and women. It boosted my self-esteem at a crucial time in my development. I loved it – I can't wait to go back and visit!:-)

  • Anonymous says:

    @ the overweight vegetarian (tee hee!), you took the words right out of my mouth (fingertips?). preach.

  • The OverWeiGht VegeTARian says:

    I'm considered dark skin and I have never had low self esteem about my color. I know I'm attractive. I get tired of all the dark skin woe is me topics/movies/videos. If you're unattractive no amount of makeup or skin bleaching cream will make you attractive. Why must they find unattractive dark skin women to prove a lame argument. All dark skin women do not think they are ugly and envy light skin women. We are not living in the 1800's. Live and let go.

  • Anonymous says:

    Everyone that is saying they need to just get over it is an idiot. Seriously…take a step back and look at things from the point of view of a person that has been ridiculed and treated like crap all their lives because of their skintone. Some people man…

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous at 10:47 PM, the little girl does not strike me as learning disabled. Her use of the word "skinneded" TO ME says that she does not come from a very educated household, and that does not equal learning disabled. Have you seriously never heard anyone say "skinneded" even in jest?

    As for the movie, I feel for those women. I'm neither dark, nor light, but I haven't been spared from colorism. I've had people impose their insecurities on me, randomly commenting positively/negatively about my "light" or "dark" skin. Some people are stuck on color and they don't even know it because it's a trauma that has been passed on from generation to generation.

    My skin color is generally seen as desirable (I see my skin color in the media on a regular basis), but that doesn't mean that I can't empathize with darker skinned women. But even if my color wasn't seen in the media on a regular, I'd like to think that my loving upbringing would sort of act as a shield or a buffer, but who knows.

  • Anonymous says:

    HOW ARE PEOPLE SUPPOSE TO JUST "GET OVER IT" WHEN ITS STADING RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM EVERYDAY. WE LIVE IN A WHITE SOCIETY, SO YOU TELL ME HOW IN THE HELL, ARE WE SUPPOSE TO JUST "GET OVER IT". IF THERE WAS NO RACISM AND CAUCASIONS HADN'T DONE WHAT THEY DID, THEN WE WOULDNT HAVE SUCH AN ISSUE!

  • Anonymous says:

    YES, EVERY RACE HAS THEIR ISSUES, BUT OUR RACE HAS IT WORST BECAUSE WE GET THE CRAPY END OF THE STICK BY EVERY OTHER RACE COMMENTING ON OUR SKIN COLOR. ITS A BIGGER ISSUE IN OUR COMMUNITY BECAUSE OUR RAPPERS ARE THE ONLY ONES' STILL TALKING BADLY ABOUT OUR DARK SKIN WOMEN. ALWAYS UPLIFTING LIGHT SKIN WITH LONG HAIR. OTHER RACES DO NOT DO THAT. WE STILL DEAL WITH IT IN TODAY'S AGE. SO ANONYMOUS 1:08AM… ITS HARD TO MOVE ON WHEN ITS STILL RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACES. PEOPLE DEAL WITH IT EVERYDAY.

  • Roslyn says:

    @NaijaPrincess

    Color is hardly a sole US issue. I have lived in Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Morocco and Senegal and have heard rampant color struck comments and natural hair prejudice just said out loud. I've only visited Lagos to stay with a friend who now lives in Indonesia but she told me stories of her mother and father giving attention to their seven children based on their color range. She was the darkest and still feels she gets the least attention and affection. She said she still feels ugly and became intensely ambitious and anxious over it. The film is an important worldwide discussion, please don't pretend as if Nigeria and the continent of Africa doesn't have this same exact serious issue. I'm from this country of Martin Luther King and Freedom Riders and Malcolm X and Eli Whitney and Michelle Obama and on and on and on. I don't appreciate ignorant comments disparaging a place that has offered and continues to offer everything to those who can't receive it in their native countries. We are all one people, try to remember that.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm dark skin, and to me this video was a nothing else then crap!! I haven't meet not one women regardless of their color that have not had their own personal insecurities! Rather they were fat, skinny, tall, short, light or dark, thanks to Adam and Eve, we as humans have personal problems. Once the problem is reconized, get help, talk about it and move on!! To me these women seem like they need to speake to a counselor and not in front of the camera!!

  • Anonymous says:

    A lot of deep rooted personal issues; gone but never forgotten. Several years ago my daughter was given the infamous 'brown paper bag' test by her father's family. I assumed they were happy, she passed.I learned to love the things about me that for so long I despised and was tormented about from others. Loving me dark skinned, kinky headed and all! LOL!

  • Anonymous says:

    There are more important things going on in this world and in the black community than light skin vs. dark skin. Unemployment, Education, Crime, High Incarceration Rates of Black Men, Two Wars, Soldiers Dying, Terrorism ….. Meanwhile, these adult women are crying about being picked on when they were in Grade school 20+ years ago. As for the child in the documentary, did anyone else notice her language? She responded, "Light Skindided." What parents and teachers are allowing her to talk like this? Why would a documentary use a child that clearly has some sort of learning disability or speech pathology to represent all young black children? My 3 year old african american niece is learning a second language already and thinks very highly of herself. There are many many more black children like her. Why not use a highly intelligent black child in the documentary?

    Final thought, how many movies have you seen lately about white women crying because they are so pale depicting slow learning white children????

  • Courtney says:

    To Anonymous at May 27, 2011 8:49 AM:

    How is one movie focusing on colorism in the black community the same as saying "dark skinned black women are unique in having 'beauty esteem images'"? If I say "I like red," does that mean I hate blue? Unless you were born yesterday, regardless of how much self esteem YOU may have, regardless of how well YOU understand that your skin tone doesn't imply anything other than the amount of melanin in your skin and certainly doesn't negate or preclude your beauty, that doesn't change the FACT that OTHER PEOPLE have, can, and WILL think and express those kinds of sentiments. Good for you that you grew up in circumstances that allowed you to develop the kind of self-esteem that would not let such comments affect you, but I think it's ignorant at best and disrespectful and trivializing at worst to characterize the experiences of those who did not quite escape as unscathed as overreacting, making a mountain out of a molehill and all the other similar implications the tone of your post seemed to make.

    Somehow, though, I'm not particularly surprised that a black woman who'd reference the Bible as her source of opinion would be less than empathetic to other black women's plight and more judgmental. That seems to be the case more often than not, in my experience, for reasons I still can't fathom. Telling other black women to "GET OVER IT"? If you were one of the unfortunate few who grew up in a FAMILY where your siblings, father, mother, grandparents, etc. ALL made your skin color a point of contention, I'm pretty sure you would have developed some sort of esteem issues as a result. It's called "having a normal human response to traumatic events." But I suppose the bulimic who throws up because her mother called her fat all the time should just GET OVER IT. I suppose the girl molested by her father and who can't trust men should just GET OVER IT.

    Such a simplistic, idiotic solution that doesn't help anyone or anything, nor does it take into account any aspect of reality.

    To Anonymous at May 27, 2011 5:32 AM:

    Someone call the wahhhhbulance. Won't someone think of the poor trauma light-skinned women have to go through as well?

    Can you get a sense of perspective? Whatever hostility black women are mistakenly venting in your direction for being light-skinned? I can BET you they received TEN TIMES MORE HOSTILITY for being dark-skinned. Again, no one is saying that everyone has it easy except for dark-skinned women. But can we please stop pretending like it's not an issue at all? Hell, you really don't have to go back that far to find a quote from some ignorant rapper talking about his preference for light-skinned, Asian, Latino, or whatever women, or at least his aversion to dark-skinned women.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous 9:26 AM – Who cares what white (or other) people think? This documentary was made for US.

  • Anonymous says:

    The little girl broke my heart.

  • Anonymous says:

    Its sad that this still happens. As a child i longed to be darker so people would stop saying I wasn't my mothers child. I was called light bright, high yellow and mutt. i would have to demand for these people to let me be black, because I was. Being called yellow was the worst it went as far as not wearing yellow because i would be to bright. I can understand what these women are feeling they're all beautiful in my eyes light, dark doesn't matter.We just need to stop this and hopefully with my boys and what I'm teaching them can be a start.

  • Naijaprincess says:

    Reason #10,001 why I have no desire or plans to raise my children in this country. I never want them to feel less than. The amount of self hatred we have for ourselves is just mind boggling!!! Mind boggling! And the saddest part is that many people in the black community are completely blind to these issues- mental slavery! I was never made to feel less than until I came to this country from Nigeria as a teenager and it was very hurtful the people who sought to tear me down were also black. I just can't! What is this? Dump on black women month? I'm over it! Over all of it! Moving back across the ocean where at least I know that I am upheld as the beautiful being that God created me to be. SMDH.

  • Tracey Joy says:

    this left me in tears. bought up so many sad memories from childhood that I had forgotten. I kinda wish they would have stayed there…forgotten! This was painful to watch. I was called tar baby, coco bliss, dark skinned, ugly, nappy headed, big lipped, big foot girl at school that everyone made fun of including very close family members. Funny thing I started to feel beautiful inside and out when I began to associate more with the white kids at school. They accepted me and my self esteem rose. To this DAY I'm called "white girl in black girl body". So stupid and sad. I'm all natural no relaxers here and it is still the white people who say to me, I love your hair, it's fits you, it suits you, keep it up, you're beautiful. In my family and many people of color it's comb your hair girl, gosh you need a relaxer, don't walk around with nappy hair, girl you know you wrong for that. Difference between the child and me today about 25 years?…nothing has changed. Rephrase I'm proud of who and what I am you will either love me, hate me or accept me. If you don't love me and don't want to be close or around me then leave me alone. Hard to tell your family that when you are a child.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yuck! This is disturbing that this is still relevant in the black community; clearly there is no unity. Light skinned girls get it just as bad as dark skinned girls and at the end of the day, its all black. What's the problem? The brown paper bag test is alive and well. Self hatred never went away, its just been masked in a different form.

  • Ashley says:

    I'm light skinned but grew up in a predominately white community and felt some of the same issues that were brought up by CN and the people in the video. I spent more than a year in middle school avoiding the sun at all cost just to be lighter and still felt less than everyone else. My cousins who are all darker than me would always tease me and call me "white girl" which actually made me feel better because that's what I wanted to be. It wasn't until late high school early college that I started to embrace who I am step out into the sun (literally and metaphorically). I truly hope that we can all learn to embrace all shades as beautiful and never let another child think that their skin color is ugly or undesirable.

  • Anonymous says:

    This video was just a reminder of how blessed I am to have the mother I have.

    I don't know if she did it to fortify me or if it was a genuine affection….maybe both, but I was mother's "chocolate pudding." LoL

    And to this day, I still am. She'd smother me with kisses and hugs while she called me that. As a child nothing made me happier.

    I never felt like being brown-skinned was a negative. I was made to feel beautiful….that my brown skin was beautiful. Back in the day, I was the only black girl I knew who was out sunning herself in the backyard. And the browner I got, the happier I was.

    My first BFF was light-skinned with long hair and i can remember one of the brown-skinned girls that lived around the block would taunt my friend. And would call her banana and derogatory names centering around her light-skin.

    It's all so sad, that the ramifications of colonialism and racial stratification still have such a powerful, detrimental and lasting consequences on us all.

  • Anonymous says:

    This was a very hard video to watch. However, now that we are all agreeing on what the problem is, let us come up with ways of fixing it. First, be mindful that you were made in the image of God, and everything about that is beautiful. Next, start loving yourself. If you love yourself, others will love you. Start treating other blacks people the way that you would like to be treated, and I promise you that you will be repain ten folds in return. Know that you belong, feel like you belong, treat yourself like you belong, and learn to ignore those who are too ignorant to know that thier attitudes don't belong.
    Hey, I love to see the ladies who are keeping thier hair all natural!

  • My God Given Hair 10 says:

    I thank God I never had a complex about my skin color. Over the years, my mother has shared with me issues she had and names she’d been called growing up. Being that she was born in 1943, I was not surprised at some of the things she told me. Though as a teenager and a younger woman my mother faced many insecurities related to that, my mother learned to love her skin color. Even though my Dad is light skinned all her babies came out chocolate including me. The funny thing is I love being chocolate; my parents instilled within me to love myself. I affectionately refer to myself as a creamy milk chocolate. Not that I haven’t experienced some of that ridiculous light skinned dark skin stuff, but it’s never made me want to trade the rich hues of melanin God has so graciously blessed me with.
    It’s so unfortunate that we can’t recognize how beautiful we truly are, no matter what complexion we are…..

  • Megan says:

    It seems that most of the feelings of insecurity and self hatred all stem from the home. Being a parent is the most important job in the world and most of these mothers and fathers are dumping all their insecurties and feelings of self hatred that had been passed down to them to their children which is PATHETIC.

    Like the young lady who stated that her mother praised her for just about everything, but the only thing wrong with her was her skin tone. And that one negative comment her mother made has affected her into adult hood. Just think if her mother would have stopped at the positive comments, her daughter wouldnt feel insecure about her skin tone. So in order to stop this ignorant a** cycle parents need to let their kids know that they are beautiful and to not let anyone tell them different. And like my mother use to tell me, "Opinions are like assholes, everyone has
    one". I know its not that simple but as time goes on and you continue to build a child self-esteem and they develope self confidence, other peoples comments wont bother them to much!! It worked for me! NEVER EVER in my 28 yrs of life have I ever wished I would wake up and be light skin with hair down to my butt. Both my mother and father told me how beautiful and intelegent I was and hey I think its true! lol

    Aside from how you grow up we as black women have to take responsibilty and empower our self and not allow peoples ignorant view about dark skinned women destort our view of ourselves.
    Im a dark skinned woman and if a man made a comment like that idiot did in the video it would slide off my back like water on a ducks behind. Everyone isnt going to be attracted to you and people are going to have something negative to say.
    Who cares?I would ask myself would I want to be with a black man who makes derogatory comments about black women(when i hear black men make comments like that I always feel that they have an issue with their mother)..ummmm no so who cares.

    I love who I am and I'm comfortable with myself. I have a wonderful black man who loves me for me. He loves my beautiful chocoalte skin and my tightly coiled natural hair. Now his parents did a good job raising him, and he appreciates black women and our beauty. His
    mother and father made a choice not to instill the ignorant views their parents had about skin tone. His mother is creole and grew up in the south and was disowned by her entire family because she married a dark skinned man. My boyfriend always wanted to meet his mother's side of the family and didnt understand why his grandfather and grandmother werent around and when his mother told him the story he was shocked and she told him we are better than that.
    So moral of the story is 1. Parenting is key and 2. we have to take responsiblity of our esteem. Its called SELF-esteem for a reason. 🙂

  • Dorian @ Big Apple Style says:

    I loved that film! I can identify but in a different way. I never received the "you're too dark" comments, but definitely received the "you talk like a white girl/you're an oreo" comments. The closest I ever got to the "your skin color isn't the right tone" was from my grandmother who used to call me high yellow – when I'm no where near that. In general there is a TON of division in the black community – we (much like any other group) find anything to be divisive about: skin color, long vs short hair, clear diction vs. slang…it's ridiculous.

    It really is a shame though, that in 2011 we're still battling things that were started over 200 years ago. Although I agree with the one poster who mentioned that she's tired of seeing movies where we're downing ourselves, the reality is…if people don't call attention to the foolery, it only continues.

  • momo7 says:

    How sickening! Aside from the unfortunate stories in the video, I also despise when family members (especially parents and children or brothers and sisters) or people who may resemble each other (features, etc) are ignorantly told that they do not look alike just because one may be lighter or darker than the other!

  • Natural-E says:

    Heart wrenching because it is so TRUE. We all know that it is if we don't lie to ourselves. We all even hold some of these prejudices. We can't help to, it's in the very air we breath. All we can do is fight it and move forward in love and respect…and together.

    Evelyn of http://salonnaturelles.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous says:

    On the one hand, this *is* an issue that needs to be addressed. My question though is, then what? Will this movie really change how we see ourselves or how others see us?

    On the other hand, I am SOOOOOOO D@RN tired of every documentary/movie about "us" being negative. "Good Hair","Dark Girls." Back in the day there was "Roots," Boyz in da Hood," the other 90s gangsta movies, "Clockers," etc., "Precious"… Don't these filmmakers realize we aren't the ONLY ones going to see these films?

    So now we've gone from slaves, to drug addicts/dealers, to child abusers/teen baby mommas/hiv carriers, to inferiour by genetics(hair & skin). In a minute there's going to be a movie about how "stupid" we are.

    Doesn't anybody else see this trend? It's starting to worry me that in the next few years we'll end up back in chains because it's been "proven" how inferiour, stupid, etc. we are. And many of us will ACCEPT it because WE are the ones ACCEPTING our "inferiourity" based on hair type, skin color, etc.

    Sorry bout the tangent, but I'm upset at the color discrimination amongst us(against light skinned sisters too- let's not feed into the BS) -and- against us.

  • Anonymous says:

    It is sad! I remember back 10yrs ago in the fifth grade, I wanted to be lighter because the light skinned girls were looked on as pretty and they got all the attention. It did not lower my self esteem at all. I didn't share it with any one. I also wanted to be taller.

    I am 28,married and love my CHOCOLATE self. I would change nothing about my appearance for any amount of cash or fortune. My Black is beautiful!

    This issue is enbedded in our own race by our own people. I am also natural with curly hair. I hate it when people tell me that I have good hair. I see this alot in the school system.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah,
    I just have to say that Beyonce' PISSED ME THE EFF OFF with that cover that she did for the Parisian Magazine when she darkened her skin. I am a dark skinned woman myself, but for them to use BEYONCE' in that add was still a slap in the face! I don't understand why they couldn't have used any of the very beautiful darker complected models like Alec Wek? Stuff like that strikes a nerve, especially when she never spoke out about it after so many people expressed their outrage (It seemed that she just didn't care.). So to you girls who say just "get over it" (anonymous 8:49) maybe you should take a moment an consider the fact that there are many black people who have been HURT by the way that they were treated. Let people heal in their own ways, DAYAMMN! I am fully aware of how much God loves me…NOW, but that does not take away from the hurt that we faced as children, when we were not equipped to defend ourselves just yet. I appreciate the topic being brought to light, and hopefully we can proceed with deeper love and appreciation for all shades of black. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    wow that preview really hurt my heart….I have never experienced the racismn within my own race like some of the ladies described…I have a caramel brown complexion but I never discriminated on my darker complexioned sisters I have friends of all different colors…I have had lighter skin ladies say that people didnt like them or was jealous of them because of their light skin tone…I thought they were full of themselves because it sounded rediculous to me, but I suppose there may be truth in that especially looking at the preview…

  • Anonymous says:

    Whites created this issue, the false concept of biological race and established a color caste during slavery. Blacks internalized it then and continue to reinforce it today. Colorism is the ugly stepchild of racism, without one, there wouldn't be the other. They depend on and feed off of each other. You eradicate racism, you eradicate colorism.

  • JustTrena says:

    I didn't watch the video but your article was wonderfully written and I enjoyed reading it greatly!

  • bludini1 says:

    2 quick stories, In highschool I had a girlfriend that was made to stand with an umbrella at the bus stop to keep the sun at bay,wash with a cap full of bleach nightly and put baby powder in the parts of her hair to keep herself as light as possibe…..per her mother. Wah?

    I also have a friend who told me that if she had a light skinned daughter, she would name her Asia and if she child was dark skinned…she didn't know what she would name her. I asked "Why not Asia?" She didn't have an answer. SMH

    Yes we need break the cycle of something that is clearly ingrained in our culture. It hasn't affected al of us, but it has affected enough for the problem to be addressed.

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't been through this, I didn't know anything about the dark skin vs light skin until I watched the Tyra Banks show an Im 26 years old were im from its not like that and Im from the deep south GA ,I dint c any of this hate while I was n school , but this is really sad to me, its sad that its 2011 and this is still going on its seems to me its gotta a little woriser to me than better, smh

  • Tiffany says:

    This was indeed heartbreaking to watch. I have brown skin & as soon as Spring hits, I turn two or three shades darker aand I've always loved it! I like to quote "The Blacker the berry…..The Sweeter the juice….The Darker the flesh….The Deeper the roots." It hurts me to know that all these years later, our people are still dealing with this issue. What's really crazy to me is I have a friend who is extemely light & she hates her skin tone. She always said she was picked on as a child too. She always said she would marry a dark skinned man to make sure she had "brown babies" She indeed married a dark brotha & has those brown babies. Loving our skin tone is a journey (for some)much like the journey we've taken to love our natural hair.

  • GGmadeit says:

    I watched and felt like they stole my diary! I was sure I burnt that thing years ago! People will STIIL tell me I am a pretty DARK sista and all I hear is DARK! If I'm pretty to you say that and ONLY that! I am 44 and this cracked open a sore I was sure had healed :/

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m glad this film is coming out. Some light really need to be shed on this issue. Has a darker sister myself, I did grow up wanting to be lighter, with the long flowing hair. I use to pray to God to make me lighter… Sad to say. I was teased for being darker (by my black people), but deep down I knew it was something about me that I could never change. I would watch people bleach their skins just to be lighter.
    As I got older, I start to grow out that mentally that darker is not as pretty. I started to pray to God to help me to see myself the way He sees me. I’m beautiful no matter the skin tone. My beauty comes from deep within. We are all beautiful!! And Just like Anonymous 11:35 mention, we are worthy because we were born!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 9:59 am, I agree. We need to end the cycle.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can relate to this topic so much, being from the south and having a light skinned mother and a dark skinned father. Both of my siblings are light skinned and then there's me I'm dark skinned. My brother used to tease me and say I was adopted because I wasn't the same color as him or my younger sister. Whenever my mom would hear that it made her upset and she always defended me and corrected my brother for saying those hurtful things. We as a race need to stop the self hatred God made us all unique and different for a purpose.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm so glad I grew up away from the south as an army brat. I played in the sun all I wanted and never knew about light vs dark until we moved back to NC. How can these mothers be so cruel, they are the first defense against racism. We do this to ourselves!

  • Anonymous says:

    WTF?! videos like this are embarrassing for the black commiunity damn my white friends have a new talking point smh

  • Anonymous says:

    I too fall on the dark skinned spectrum and the only thing I found sad about this preview film was the little girl. Other than that I really thought it kind of pathetic that we're constantly going through this silliness about dark skinned vs light skinned. Sorry but dark skinned black women are not unique in having "beauty esteem images". Women with A cups wish they were D cups. Women with small, flat butts wish they were J. Lo. Some petite women wish they were taller. Obese women spend a life time and a sometimes a fortune trying to lose weight.

    Unless it's an issue such as obesity which could threaten your health my advice is to GET OVER IT. I don't spend one minute wasting time or energy on the color of my skin. I honestly could care less whether people of any race or sex accept my dark skin because I know I was created in the exact way God wanted me to be. And since he is madly in love with me that's all that really matters. And the fact that the Bible (especially if you read the book of Proverbs) places absolutely no value on physical beauty but rather it's about being a woman that FEARS the LORD. So if you're constantly measuring yourself according to the viewpoint of people (especially in our vain country) you're going to be miserable.

  • Jo Somebody says:

    Do people realise that the vast majority of non-Blacks don't care? To them, we are simply Black regardless of shade. Those who hate us, hate us all, and those who like us don't decide based on shade. It seems to me that the greater the population of Black people, the more shadism is an issue. I know this from going to a vast majority White school and then to a more mixed school, and a vast majority White church and then more Black churches.

    Why do we do this to ourselves?

    It's bad, but I'm thankful that one of my childhood bullies was dark-skinned, because while I got called ugly every day and grew up to have issues with my feelings on my looks, my skin colour never came up. Who knows what issues I'd have or what I would have done to myself if my bullies hadn't been a mix of shades!
    Anyway, bring on summer. I've got a beach to lie on (and yes, we SHOULD wear sunscreen – I don't want cancer, thanks!). I always look much healthier when I tan.

  • Namun says:

    This video is heart breaking. It's unbelievable the sh*t we sometimes believe and what we pass on to our children. Really? When does it end?

  • Shay says:

    i watched this just now with my kids. they don't understand a lot of it but they can understand some. i teared up at a lot of different parts in it. my husbands family is dark. his sister is probably the most beautiful dark skin woman i have ever seen in my life. the funny thing is when i was watching it, i didn't even notice they were dark skin, the looked normal to me, all i saw were black beautiful women.

    what made me sad was the comment about being natural is just the most disgusting thing ever and a dark skin women will just look funny on his side. wth people?!

    there's so much more i want to say but i gotta get ready to take my kids to the doc.. thanks for sharing this though!

  • Paul says:

    Wow wonderful information It is utterly despicable and I wish with everything that we can just come together and love and respect each other regardless of our differences. I pray that you can rise up, and using the words of Oprah you are worthy becaue you were born. I will learn plenty of new stuff right here. Thanks for sharing with us..

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  • b. says:

    Your story reminded me of when my grandmother would admonish me in the summertime "you're getting dark…" with that unspoken pause to let me know I might need to do something about it (stay out of the sun). Even then, I knew what she meant. Even then, I said to her "and what's wrong with that?" I will always love my grandmother forever (RIP) but times like that I almost wanted to get burnt to a crisp just to refute that sort of thing!

    Yes, I know that getting darker over the summer and living with the derogatory words/actions of others like in the video are not the same. I just want to do all I can in my everyday life to eradicate the motives behind ALL of the divisiveness. ugh.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you – I can't wait till this film drops!

    We need a public acknowlegement of what this is doing to the black woman. We were beautiful and prized before the diaspora. We want to reclaim what was ours.

    This ugly thing must be put to rest. The dirty linen must be aired. Sunlight remains the best disinfectant.

    I have a deep brown complexion and 4c coils. My dear sister has ALWAYS been called pretty b/c of her 4a coils, hair color and complexion. She is an accomplished, intelligent and beautiful Christian woman, with a masters in electronics engineering. The irony is that she is stigmatized by other's comments of "you think you're better, yadda yadda yadda". It hurts us so much.

    It just seems a b* can't catch a break…

  • rojosonji says:

    Left me in tears…

  • Anonymous says:

    Thankfully the video was down and I wasn't able to see it or my heart would break at the images as well. I find it so disheartening that there are ways we discriminated on ourselves; aside from the discrimination we deal with from the outside world. It is utterly despicable and I wish with everything that we can just come together and love and respect each other regardless of our differences.

  • Anonymous says:

    This was heart wrenching to watch. I'm just speechless.

  • Anonymous says:

    Its so sad and sick that people still will let the shade of your skin to disconnect from their own race. My great niece is a beautiful little chocolate drop and I love her dearly but I remember when her mother and sister would be with me in the summer, my own daughter was only little darker in my opinion, but people still would walk straight up to me and give my lighter child compliments totally ignoring my beautiful nieces right next to her! I would go out of my way to point out how pretty all the kids were. It seems it went over their heads. All we can do is keep being positive to our kids and try our best to never let them feel less than any one else for any reason!!

  • Anonymous says:

    this is very sad and I cnt understand what they're going through unless I'm put in there shoes; However I am light skin and I get treated badly by SOME dark skin women not all but some. I get it but I think you have to look at it from both sides. There are some light skinned women who get treated like dirt because ppl assume we are stuck up or we think that we are higher than everybody without getting to know us.

  • Tiga says:

    Just one quick thought on your story, putting sunscreen is actually a good thing because black people get skin cancer as well and it is recommended that we do wear sunscreen when getting expoxed for a long period of time to the sun as well as shade to protect our eyes from possible irreversible damage, so yeah black do crack lol. However, you just need to lowest SPF will do.

    Yes it is crazy this issue of colorism is affecting black all over the world and not only black but also East Indians, Asians, Black from the Caribbean. Some were lucky enough they didn't have to deal with other were bullied at school because they were too dark. Im sure we all know of the sentence you are pretty for a dark skinned girl??? meaning what dark skinned girl cannot be pretty, I know light skinned people who are not pretty at all but who get a pass because they are light skinned and it is sad also for them to be preferred solely on their skin tone and not who they are. To me who say beauty comes in all shapes and colors well its the same for ugly (not necessarily in term of physical ugliness but ugliness of the heart) comes as well in all shapes and colors.

    The saddest part is that we are perpetuating those ugly stereotype, like the woman talking about the newborn girl and her mom who said Im glad she didn't came out dark. I remember when my son was born people were like wow he is light and got good hair, great he didnt came out dark?? Wth Im black so it wouldn't be a surprise. Then he got darker because often babies get out light but darken over time. People were like of he is getting dark but not too dark and he still got that good hair. Can you imagine a person hearing such comment since day 0 of their life?

  • Professional Complainer says:

    This really does make me sad because I know it still goes on. I am light and have received both undeserved criticism and praise. I actually had a roommate who told me that I thought that I was better than her because I was light and she was dark. She was truly upset when I responded that it was SHE that thought I was better than her! It's absolutely ridiculous the way that we obsess over this issue. I also agree with one of the women who stated that white people appreciate us seemingly more than we do. Why can't we all appreciate the beauty in all shades?

    Sad, sad, sad!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm truly amazed at how this is still an issue. The little girl with the picture really made me sad. And the guy who doesn't like dark skinned women doesn't know how stupid he losok. Black is beautiful, no matter the shade. I wish our people as a whole felt the same. 🙁

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm on the darker end of the spectrum. I didn't realize skin color was an issue in our community until I was older (middle school aged) and watched a show on BET that dealt with the topic. Thankfully, I've never experienced such in my own life. I was always told by my Mama that I was a cutie and I believed it. Still do.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm so sorry that people feel this way and are treated horribly just because of their skin tone. If you are a black woman period you most likely have felt this in some form. For example even with everyday media the white woman is celebrated rarely is a dark woman even seen on tv or magazine. So to be treated like this from everyone is horrible and I pray that you can rise up, and using the words of Oprah you are worthy becaue you were born. There is no reason to ever feel less than or insecure because you are worth all and can have all simply because you were born.

  • The Purse-a-holic says:

    Crazy…its kind of sad that I understood these issues. Little girl with the picture ripped my heart in two.

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