Changing Faces

Growing up I was always known as the dark one. Like some evil lord rising out of the west I was labeled.  As a child I knew I was the least attractive one in a home with lighter skinned people and a sister who was much older and much lighter than I was.  I didn’t so much develop a complex about my complexion but rather slowly brewed and matured it! I was defenseless with no way of changing what essentially was part of who and what I was… A dark skinned girl.

Funny how complexion plays such a big role in defining whether a woman is attractive or not.  Lighter skinned women are immediately viewed as more attractive when compared to dark skinned women who are often made to feel less attractive. Someone gave me an example many years ago of how men choose women and said “lets say 4 girls are sitting together and men are asked to pick a girl, the first girl to go is the short light girl, followed by the tall light girl, followed by the short dark girl and tall dark girl leaves with the bar tender!” “But” I said “that tall dark girl is me”!

Later in my life I discovered women like Naomi Campbell, Iman, Kubi Indi and realized they didn’t have caramel skins but were in fact luscious chocolate coloured beauties that the world looked at and rated as being amongst the most beautiful women in the world!  Could it be that the view of what was beautiful was changing?  Then I read about people of Indian descent who were bleaching their skins as dark skin was unacceptable and that bleaching creams had the biggest market in India!  Clearly I was wrong on many levels, it’s not just black people that have a problem with a little chocolate it’s the world and society in general.

I have seen the fallen countenance of mothers as they are handed their new born dark skinned babies and thought to myself “its just a darker shade but your baby is beautiful regardless” yet assuring them that “babies change and she will get lighter!”  I know women that dream of having a little mixed race baby so they have the right complexion and that gourgeous head of curly hair.  Its insanity I tell you these people are crazy!

When I look at a fellow dark skinned woman I see past the chocolate and I see their beautiful eyes and elegant nose, soft lips and proud chin. I see a woman, and not a shade of brown.  I find it ironic how a race of people discriminated against because of their colour have no problem turning around and discriminating against someone because they are a few shades “too dark”! Look what that did to Micheal!! Brother done turned himself white good Lord!

From my point of view a lot goes into making a beautiful person and as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and thought to myself “Damn girl, you fine!”  I am beautiful because I look like my mother who is beautiful even though we have different shades.  I took my appreciation of myself and my blackness to the next level when I cut my relaxed hair off and started growing a funky afro, sure I’m a dark skinned girl with natural hair but that doesn’t change the fact that I am an intelligent successful woman who has great friends and family of all shapes, sizes and colours and I wouldn’t change that for the world… So ladies, put down the bleaching cream promised to give you skin 7 shades lighter in 6 weeks, you don’t need that!  Say it with me “DARK GIRLS ARE BEAUTIFUL”

Looking in the mirror …. that’s how I see it!