Light-Skinned Women Party Pic Flier Forces DJ to Cancel Event

by Paula Neal Mooney

You may have already heard from Media Takeout the uproar this flier caused, soliciting light-skinned women to come to a party in Detroit for free.

With a pic of a light-skinned black woman on the flier, and "light skinned women & all Libra's free entry all night" on the bottom of the image, this "light skin" bash harkens back to the days when we used to give each other the brown-paper bag test.

That's during the era when blacks stood humiliating at the door of a party and had to pass either one or all of three tests I've heard of:

  1. Stick your arm in a brown paper bag -- if you were lighter than the bag, you were in.
  2. If your veins showed thru your skin -- you were in.
  3. If a fine-toothed comb could pass easily thru your hair -- you were in.
Did I miss any inane tests?

The Light-Skinned, Dark-Skinned Thing...
...has been around for ages, ever since there were house vs. field folks. Of course the politically correct thing to say here is that we've gotta get beyond the mentality that says lighter is better.

And it's true. We must look upon the heart and not upon the skin.

I admit my baser side relishes the misguided logic that says lighter skin is better and any surface-level favor that's afforded me, but that all flies out the window when placed up against the type of bright-blonde haired beauty I saw walking out of my health club yesterday.

The logic is junk, and we must eschew it and take care of whatever skin God gave us. ORIKI Cosmeceuticals has a product line that caters to olive skin tones -- though I don't see any sistahs as chocolate-toned as this one on the site.

It's funny that the skin tone we're considered to be is all relative -- white people and my multi-racial friend said I'm obviously dark-skinned, while black people usually say I'm light skinned.

And though I admit to using skin-lightening products (I haven't tried the expensive stuff yet, only the stuff from the grocery store that evens out my skin tone), I know our color complex issues run way past the melanin.

My one "light-skinned" black friend noted that light-skinned black women tend to hang together. A darker-skinned good friend and I talk about skin tone issues a lot -- and how she got teased and called "white girl" by other blacks because of the "proper" way she speaks.

So there's always something to envy in each other and discuss. There will always be some fleshly thing held up as the standard of beauty during whatever century we live in. The ironic thing is, none of it will matter on the other side...


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