A new documentary called, “Dark Girls” talks to several black women about their struggles with skin color.
One girl says, “I used to wish I could wake up one day lighter. Or wash my face and think that it would change. I thought it was dirt and I tried to clean it off, but it wouldn’t come off.” Another said, “It was so damaging. It made us feel like we weren’t wanted. That we were less than.” In a really surprising snippet, a teacher asks a young girl to look at a spectrum of girls from very light to very dark, and pick out which girl was, “smart and pretty” and which one was, “dumb and ugly.” The child confesses she thinks the light girl is smart and pretty “because she’s white,” and the dark girl is dumb and ugly, “because she’s black.” Wow.
Watch it here:
I was actually sitting with a non black friend when I saw Jezebel tweet about this story. She asked me if I’ve ever struggled with low self esteem because of my skin color. I had to admit that I hadn’t…I’d classify my coloring as caramel, somewhere in between light and dark. I’ve always had confidence in my skin and my hair…and thankfully was never teased about either as a young child. I know depending on where you live kids can pick on and poke fun at you. But growing up I was always in private school where there were 15-20 black kids tops (out of like 400 white kids). My black friends and I were so happy to have each other, we never picked up on each other’s skin colors and our different gradations. In college I did notice, however, that some black guys preferred lighter skinned girls with long hair–which was definitely hurtful at times. But by that time I was able to brush it off, confident in myself and in the fact that they were idiots:)
What about you?