In my previous post I discussed my personal experiences growing up with very dark skin so now I want to get into the actual Dark Girls documentary. In spite of my irritation with the trailer two years ago, I really enjoyed the film itself. It was very well done and I’m actually horrified that it took so long to be distributed to the public. I found that the experiences were enlightening, and the directors were sure to gain insight from a vast number of people. Everyone from white men who dated darker skinned women to Black people globally whose cultures were riddled with their own issues concerning skin color (skin bleaching and the like) put in their two cents. I think what stood out to me the most in the film were two things. One was how the disdain for dark skin was passed down from generation to generation. And secondly as always was the opinion of Black men concerning darker skinned Black women.
I’ll address dark skin as its perceived throughout the generations in the Black American community first. I think that what we teach our children has the most profound impact on who they are as people. I believe that because my parents instilled in me that I was beautiful no matter what did a great service for me as an individual. If we as a people continue to hate ourselves, and our children pick up on it then of course this problem will continue to fester into the next generation and the next.
I’ve written before that the ignorance that permeates in our community is a large part of what continues to ail us. (This can be seen when we consider education, sexual health, sexual preference, health in general and so forth). It’s something that we have to unlearn so that we do not continue to foster it.) I think once we begin to consider things that make a person great despite their physical appearance then we will begin to move forward. In the documentary, there was the cutest little chocolate girl talking her skin with her mother. I honestly found myself rather irritated the entire time. The mother, was a lighter brown woman who essentially said that before she had her daughter she never considered the plight of darker skinned women. I can’t fault her for that, but what I can fault her for was the fact that during the duration of the documentary her daughter barely looked into the camera. She at the age of seven or eight was already ashamed of her appearance. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s not something that just learned from the outside world. That’s something you pick up at home before you interact with others. The older generation and those who are having kids especially, need to unlearn their own prejudices and ignorance.
Now on to addressing Black men. Actually, I won’t address Black men, instead I’ll address Black women of all colors, sizes and so forth. I’ll specifically address myself because I’m also guilty. We as women, need to STOP allowing men to define our beauty and how we feel about ourselves. Its really that simple. Once we begin to do that a lot of these fuck boyz (definition from Crissle
)will no longer be a factor in our lives. Its really disturbing that as women we have allowed them to define who we should be, how we should look and so forth when quite frankly a vast majority of them are no where near up to par. (Now that was a partial read to Black men I realize that not all of you fall into this category so I choose to address those of you who are).
As I’ve repeatedly said, your preference is your preference but do not shame or look down upon Black women who do not fit into whatever standard that you’ve molded for the woman that you want to be with. Ok that was my read. LOL
So anyway, the Dark Girls documentary was well done. Honestly its nothing that many of us “dark girls” haven’t thought of or considered before but its something that I believe everyone should see. In order to see any change we must first change our behavior as a people.
Xoxox Chocolate Girl in the City xoxoxoxo
Ps. If you are not subscribed to Kid Fury and Crissle’s podcast The Read. You haven’t lived. I recommend listening at the gym. You’ll get the best work out of your life.