Well hello everyone I’m back with something today that’s been bothering me heavily as of recent. This thing is – Black girls’ hair and complexion.
For those who don’t know, it is believed that the beginning of the preference of various shades of brown began after the transatlantic slave trade. Original African slaves would be sexually assaulted and produced mixed babies who would most times be a lighter skin tone. The lighter skinned offspring would then be taken into the slave master’s house to work there while the darker skinned slaves would work in the fields.
On top of this, the slave masters would degrade the dark slaves about their skin tone. As a result of this psychological alteration, the majority of the black society began to internalise the myth and view themselves as lesser, the darker the skin tone.
Growing up in the Caribbean (I’m from Turks and Caicos) where the population is predominantly black, I’ve been labelled ‘light skin’ among my peers and most people I’ve come across. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been called beautiful by most up front but the most common compliment I’ve gotten is on my skin tone. Many guys would call me ‘mango skin’ or ‘red-bone’. It would seem as if I’d be instantly labelled as beautiful because of my lighter skin tone.
Now, personally I originally didn’t think I was light skin but ‘brown skin’. An insecure darker skin friend of mine, out of jealousy I suppose, once said to be me matter-of-factly, “Guys only like you because you’re light skin.” Hmm. As I grew older I began to really think about this colour thing and the stupidity of it began to dawn on me. Anyway, time progressed and by the time I got to high school a trend became popular on the internet which is the Light skin vs. Dark skin war. *sigh* Yes how ignorant. Sadly me being naive to the triviality of this I participated, proudly using my ‘upper hand’ being light skin. We’d use being light skin as a pass for literally anything.
Person: Girl you think you all that.
Light skin person: Duh, I’m light skin.
If a guy posted a selfie ‘smizing’ or posing like this:One would say that is a light skin pose or that he’s acting light skin.
When I searched for light skin on Spotify I found this playlist. As you can see most songs are from the artist Drake who is bi-racial and high coloured. He’s also known for singing very emotional songs.SMH. The truth of the matter is most non-black people looking on don’t see light skin or dark skin – they see black. So why are we so bothered about the distinction?
Part of my maternal lineage nods to Chinese ancestry and my dad is also mixed. As a result my hair was longer and much thicker than most of my peers, mind you it’s not even that long in my opinion. This would get me lots of compliments to this day which I’m very appreciative of. However it’s the after thought of the compliment that annoys me. I would be able to tell that the person complimenting me is likely fantasising about having hair like mine or if their child’s hair was that long and I know this because many have confessed. (Below is me some years ago LOL)
Clearly we’re not all meant to have long hair or look the same so be grateful for your hair. Look at Lex Luthor, it’s impossible for him to grow anything from his scalp. Sometimes I wish to have shorter hair because mine is very hard for me to manage. I even wish to have coarser hair sometimes because I think the texture looks better. Self love is what we should promote not exclusivity and colourism.
Now I’m not saying being brown, yellow or white is not beautiful but today this post is about my sistas and brothas. Yes, confidence is not not brewed to perfection overnight but let’s start from this. Loving the skin you are in and the natural hairs from your scalp just the way it is. There is nothing wrong with switching it to wear long weaves but it should not be to escape the natural look or because you think natural hair is to be looked down upon.
Worldwide society does contribute a lot to this colour war and at first I thought it was a black exclusive talk until I moved to the UK and got a surprise. The black secrets are no longer secret. Everyone knows about the Light skin vs. Dark skin, which type of hair is better etc.
Not too long ago I was walking with a friend and she left. Shortly after another friend (non-black) of mine walked up and asked who she was. He then proceeded to say “She’s even blacker than you fam.” 🤦🏽♀️. I was appalled and asked what does that mean. He laughed and said “Lowe it”. I let it go but it really shed a light on the disgrace our race has displayed. Because we shed our dirty laundry in public people of other races are now running with the colour war. I don’t hear my white friends talking about Team pale and Team tan so what the hell are we doing?
That scenario made concrete what I always thought, that I am not light skin and to other races we’re all just black.
Yes this generation has come a longggg way from this slavery based mind-set of colour preference. But instances of such nature have been quite frequent in my surroundings and a great deal of people still function based on this. That makes speaking out on acceptance of black beauty a necessity for me.
Black natural hair is not only beautiful if it is long or wavy my sistas. Please abeg, stop saying that.
It’s been this for a very long time:
It’s time we stop blaming white people for imposing European standards of beauty on us and flaunt our melanin. No more “That’s a pretty black girl” or “You’re pretty for a dark skin girl” It’s now “Girl your melanin is popping!”.
A new birth of body positive sistas and brothas have risen so let’s join them by promoting all shades of black, all textures of hair and black businesses in our communities. Let’s start with more thick/natural hair YouTube/Pinterest tutorials. Every time I go on Pinterest to do a quick hairstyle for my hair type I can’t find much for long thick hair. (Beauty gurus hit me up 🤙🏽)
So my chocolate guys and girls let’s remember to lift up and support each other as together we are stronger and no man is an island.
P.S. Here’s a question I’d like you guys to have a think on. Is the need to always have our ‘edges laid’ a nod to European standards of beauty? Comment your thoughts.