by Paula Neal Mooney
I just watched this amazing "A Girl Like Me" video clip of the award-winning documentary by Kiri Davis, a 17-year-old New York high school student. (Thanks, dreah, for the heads up.)
Kiri Davis conducted a modern-day "doll study" wherein she asked black children to choose between the black and white dolls. Most of them selected the white dolls.
But skin bleaching tales caught my ear the most.
One black woman spoke of friends who actually pour bleach in their baths in sad attempts to lighten their skin.
I understand the mentality.
Even though some blacks consider me light-skinned, my biracial friends and whites are quicker to call me dark-skinned. All depends on your perspective.
Anyhoo, I still use the skin lightening cream sold in grocery stores.
I tell myself it's just to even out my skin tone. But I feel a little weird at times as it moves down the conveyor belt toward the register.
I snickered at my mom when she used beauty products like this. She was browner skinned than me and my sister and our dad. Skin color was always an issue lurking in the background.
The book The Color Complex gives great insight about these issues of being color struck. Something so ingrained in us, I won't give a pat ending that we should all just get over it.
I know people consider lighter-skinned black females prettier, in the same way that whites are held as the standard of beauty in our society.
One time this comedian on stage called me out in a room full of people -- he was picking out the so-called pretty and fair-skinned women in the black crowd.
I can't lie and say that attention like that on the surface didn't speak to some innate, temporal and base part of my being.
But at home, later, I realized how sad it was that the brotha thought he was complimenting me.
So watch the A Girl Like Me video. Talk amongst yourselves...
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bleach ,hair ,dark ,skin ,light