So, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there has been a lot of buzz surrounding this upcoming documentary by Bill Duke and D. Chassin Berry entitled Dark Girls. Watch the Trailer As one of the darker black women that I know I feel like I have some authority on the topic. Let me start off by saying, I understand what they were trying to do when they made this documentary and I also understand that these are only a few clips from a much larger film. So let me get into how I feel so far, I really really wanted to like this trailer and feel inspired by it, I really did. Instead I feel upset and somewhat insulted by what I saw. During my childhood, I will go ahead and say it, one of the biggest insults that got thrown my way related to the how dark my skin was. From what I can remember it was mostly about how dark my hands and feet were compared to my classmates and other kids. I think being called a “burnt duck” because I was also rather thin and had glasses is probably the biggest insult that I can recall. Because of incidents like this, I can say that I have had the experience of others trying to make me feel bad about myself, because of their own personal ignorance and hang ups. However, as the women began to talk about how their parents (their mother’s especially) also felt that their dark skin was somehow inadequate or unclean I began to lose interest. (Some people should never have kids). I realize that many of these thoughts and feelings have been historically ingrained into the Black community and the result is a rather large chunk of color struck Black people. However, one thing that my wonderful parents ingrained in me was how beautiful I was as a person inside and out and how beautiful my skin was as well. I suppose I never personally had a problem with my own skin color, instead it also seemed to bother other people. I remember once in about seventh grade, a boy asked my why I always wore so many bright colors when I was so dark. ( If you know me you know that I love my bright ass colors.) I suppose that comment made me feel some type of way because I began to wear only dark colors for the remainder of the year until I stopped and considered things for myself. I came to the conclusion that I loved color so I was going to wear it and I felt silly for letting someones rude comment influence me. When it comes to dating Black men (which I must say are the only men I have yet to date), I am mostly approached with lines that have to do with the color of my skin. My personal favorite was “Aren’t you afriad all that chocolate is going to melt in the sun?” Sometimes fools even just shout CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE!!! at me as I go down the street. I can go ahead and say that I suppose it is and exotic attraction for some men which is cool. (Its that same thing when men like multiracial ambiguous looking women.) However, others are just creepy as hell and have a dark skin fetish (which trust me is GROSS). It seems to me though that most me are just attracted to women in general and have no regard or preference for skin color etc :). Others may just simply have a preference for lighter skin women which is also cool because if he’s not looking at me then I’m certainly not looking at him. Instead of just stating this fact, the film directors had to show a clip of this ignorant buffoon saying that dark skin girls look funny besides him, and he likes light skin girls with long hair don’t care. To which I would have politely responded “Negro please, you have on a five-doller hoodie from the beauty supply store”, but that’s neither here nor there. He could’ve just said he preferred lighter women. What his fool ass failed to realize is that beauty does not come in a certain shade or with a certain hair length or texture, there are plenty of unattractive and attractive people in all categories. For example once, this fool at my school who is right about my skin tone grinned up in my face and told me that I was, “the most beautiful dark skin girl he had ever seen.” Apparently he expected me to somehow be grateful and happy that he’d looked my way. Instead, I gave him my signature side eye and look of disgust and I promptly walked away. In the Dark Girls trailer the women go on to say that though men might approach them it was always on some sort of down low type of thing. This is the part where I was most insulted and annoyed. I feel that it is each individual person’s responsibility to build up some adequete self worth and self esteem for themselves. One woman talked about how some dude she talked to, would only meet her after school and around the corner and how she was never in public with him. Personally, I feel like thats what you chose to accept and with any woman if you allow a man to treat you any type of way, then he will. So in that I’m sorry I cannot understand why they would allow themselves to be treated any less then they are worth. I do realize that self- esteem is also an uphill battle for most ( I had my own struggles in puberty and even at times in high school) but, we are all human beings here so being treated like one is the first step. (Also poor self- esteem is never attractive). The trailer goes on to discuss how the subject of hair length and even texture is also a subject that can be talked about when discussing skin color. Like I discussed in my previous blog Hair my own hair was always somwhat of a sore subject with me and it is something that I have to personally work on. However, hair length has nothing to do with the color of your skin, many Black women simply do not take care of their hair properly and the constant manipulation into different styles is also harmful at times. All of the really long haired Black women that I peronally know have actually brown to dark-brown skin. The trailer then went on to show this ignorant broad who was absolutely ridiculous.com saying that “natural hair looks unclean.” I’m not even going to waste my time being annoyed, I shall simply blame her lack of education and not comment any further. The trailer ended with a woman discussing racism among members of the Black commmunity which I agree is a big problem. Admitly, we like to hate on one another and that becomes problematic when our children are still picking the white doll from the Brown v. Board experiment sixty-plus years later because they feel that white or lighter skin is better. Once we as a people stop buying into that foolishness then other poeple will too. I also wholehardly disagree with the woman who says that we in the Black community have no tangible connection to one another. If you are Black and you don’t claim it then that seems like a personal issue to me. However, the rest of us can watch Black films and television shows and even comedy specials and at once have an intimate understanding of the content and subjects because of our collective memory and experiences. (Secretly, when I’m lonely for Black people at school (which is about 3% Black) I watch episodes of Soul Food the series). Like I’ve said everyone has their prefereces and there is nothing wrong with that, but as a beautiful dark skin black woman with some decent self- esteem I’m not going to pretend that I have problems getting men or that I somehow feel less than because of my skin tone. (If dark skin Black men are seen as some of the most beautiful people in the world, then their feminine counterpart should be right there with them.) If you want to buy into the fact that its harder because you are darker then by all means go ahead and sit at home alone, or let men treat you any type of way. The only person that you are hurting is yourself. I really hope that the documentary is much more well rounded and less sefl-deprecating then the trailer because thus far, it seems like a pity party that I will not be attending. Anyway as my mama use to say, “Good Black Don’t Crack”. Watch the trailer and let me know what you think.
xoxoxox Chocolate Girl In the City