Skin Deep: 5 Thoughts On The Dark Girls Documentary

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dark girls documentary

After watching the Super Saiyan Vampire Jesus Bill Compton get all the way crazy on True Blood, I saw my Twitter timeline discussing a documentary being shown on Oprah’s OWN network called “Dark Girls”. I immediately hesitated from joining in on the fun, as I feel like the light skin vs. dark skin debate is as old as Jay-Z vs. Nas, and I didn’t have time for potentially petty debate. However, I saw some great points and highlights being discussed, so I joined in on the discussion. After watching the documentary along with the Twitterverse, I had five key takeaways from the whole experience:

Dark Girls Showed The Most Commercials I Ever Saw in My Life

The actual run time for Dark Girls documentary is roughly 75 minutes, but with the amount of commercials that were shown I swore it was 3 hours long! What made it worse was the type of commercials shown, including one for a “Skin enhancer” product. I understand Oprah has to pay the bills, but the redundant, lengthy, and at times inappropriate commercials took away from the watching experience

Light Skinned and Dark Skinned Women Use Their Complexion As A Crutch

Watching that documentary, I couldn’t help to think that Director Bill Duke tried to sway the conversation, and make it more impactful, by having unattractive dark skinned women speaking about their struggles. There was one dark skinned women on the documentary that said she was called a “mud duck” by her friends father, as he warned him to stay away from dark women, and to me that father was both blind and an assh*le! Yet others were talking about their plight, and in my mind I thought “I don’t think skin tone has anything to do with why you couldn’t get any play”.

If you’re a woman who looks like Dwyane Wade, it doesn’t matter what skin tone you are, you won’t be attractive to me. Don’t use your skin tone as an excuse. Men who exalt sub-par light skinned women are no different. Just because a woman has fair skin doesn’t make her a dime! As men in general, we are somewhat conditioned to think that “light is right”. I’ve had to catch myself from automatically assuming a lighter woman was attractive to me, and I scrutinize now more than ever to avoid those conditioned assumptions. Just know that the jig has been above sea level for both the light skinned and dark skinned women complexion swindles for years!

Colorism Is A Global Issue

I got roasted on Twitter when I made an initial comment that the  light vs dark skin debate was a mostly USA issue. Before I could get out my complete thought, I had angry mobs doing the Dougie in my mentions. Yes, color is a global issue. You see it with the skin bleaching in the Caribbean, the major color divide in DR, you see it in India where women don’t want to get darker as they prepare for marriage, and even in China too! There are varying levels to this story, but I feel like the actual DISCUSSIONS on this topic happen openly in the U.S.A. while they are swept under the rub in other places. Once you travel the world, and speak to people in various countries, you find out the real.

The Color Issue Reversed From A Different Perspective

During the documentary, they interviewed a white woman who spoke about the tanning culture, and why people of fairer skin like to have that bronzed look. They feel it hides their imperfections (when doing fitness competitions), and they like to avoid the pale look. I’ve heard of white women getting botox shots in their lips to make them look fuller, and we all know the fake booty craze as well. I find it ironic that  white people would look to tanning as a way to hide imperfections, while that same darker shade is societally perpetuated as a core imperfection to Blacks. Black people want to be lighter to be accepted, and whites want to be darker to be “more perfect”. It’s a beautiful yet tragic duality.

This Documentary Could’ve Been Way Better

I commend Bill Duke for putting this film together and exploring this huge issue in our world today. I definitely  feel like more could’ve been done to fortify their points. They could’ve travelled to these other countries and spoke to natives to get their perspectives on the issue.   It would’ve been cool to get lighter blacks perspective on the subject and explore their perceived “advantage” in the world. I know it was mostly on the dark skinned woman’s struggle, but showing the trickle down effect to other shades would’ve been dope too. They glossed over entertainment, and other areas, but they could’ve fleshed out some of the more poignant topics.

I’m glad I watched this documentary, along with the interaction from the Twitter community. I got to see a lot of perspective from others, some humour, and it furthered the conversation and awareness somewhat. While there were improvement points, these discussions should be conducted more often.

Some questions that I asked last night, that I will leave for you:

1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama?

2) Is the main image of a strong black woman one that is of a darker shade?

3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general?

4) Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it?

5) What can we do to change the negative effects of colorism?

6) When will we have a documentary on women who use filters and angles to falsify their level of attractiveness on social media?!

“Until the Lion has a historian, the Hunter will always be the hero”

Streetz

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  • Mocha

    Great observations and I loved your Tweets last night. To answer your questions:

    1. YES!
    2. Good question. Can't say yes or no but I know the image of the ghetto angry black women tends to be dark skinned.
    3. I like Black men. Never had a preference as far as complexion. My 1st love looks like you and my love who lost his life was the definition of Hershey Chocolate. In Miami I've noticed that the Black men don't really check for the darker shades Black. In NY it can go either way. I however do not discriminate or make assumptions that you may not like me or vice versa based on our shade.
    4. I think that is ridiculous but a person who dates lighter BECAUSE the person is lighter or can give them lighter babies or possible good hair and light eyes is a problem. He and she exists but if it's organic love, who cares.
    5. Talk about it. Honestly without tit for tats and a need to compete.
    6. You're a fool! LOL!

  • WIM

    Let me begin by saying, I didn't watch the documentary. I'll answer the questions to the best of my ability.

    1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama? I've wondered this for a long time, especially since Barry predominately dated white women in his youth. I imagine his trajectory would have been different, I could see him being successful, but not president, with a white woman. If his wife was simply light-skin, I still think he would have succeeded, albeit, with more scrutiny about his personal choices/taste.

    2) Is the main image of a strong black woman one that is of a darker shade?

    FIF

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general? As far back as I can remember, I've been dating all types of races. I've attributed this to growing up in the suburbs, but most black (women) people attribute this to some kind of grand conspiracy, generally revolving around my complacent or well-intended, but misguided notions and preferences having been influenced by a eurocentric ideal of beauty. I've never gotten this and I likely never will because I generally find myself attracted to attractive women, regardless of facial symmetry, skin tone, or hair density. I've long since given up trying to prove my blackness and self-worth (or hate) to others based on their perceptions of whom I choose to date.

    4) Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it? I've been light all my life, and while it's not as pronounced now that I'm in my 30s, when I was younger, I was always questioned for not being "black enough." To this day, no one has ever been able to describe to me what being black entails. You know it when you see it, I guess.

    5) What can we do to change the negative effects of colorism? Stop being idiots. To a degree, I think colorism will always exist. Thinks improve with each subsequent generation, in my opinion. Hopefully, we'll get to a point where it doesn't dominate the landscape.

    6) When will we have a documentary on women who use filters and angles to falsify their level of attractiveness on social media?! You. Must. Chill.

  • Southerngyrl_

    1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama?

    Honestly, Barack is still a biracial dude. In my mind it could have gone either way for me. I think people would have had something to say, but lets be real, his Mom was white. I can't be mad if he dates someone light or biracial. He's both of those.

    2) Is the main image of a strong black woman one that is of a darker shade?

    Unfortunately I think this is often seen in movies and tv shows. I can say that in my mind, it is the image that pops up when I think of the "strong black woman" archetype. Maybe it is a leftover from the mammy days? I don't know. It does need to stop.

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more won’t date you? Any complications in general?

    Though I've never faced any of these issues. I usually suss out pretty early if a guy is colorstruck. I won't date a guy if he is colorstruck. It just seems like he may have deep seated insecurities and relationships/dating are already hard enough. I have dated the spectrum and never found a pattern on who likes me more. Back in the day (early 90s), people would say lighter skinned guys were pretty boys and players. I remember believing that for a little while, then I grew out of it.

    4) Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it?

    No one black experience is less black to me, not even Barack's experience. I do have a problem with people who say they would only date someone who is white, light or whatever. I date whomever and continue to do so. I have never said, "I only date light skinned guys" or "I only date white guys". That just sounds weird to me. Often times, the people who say this aren't even light themselves. Like, chick/dude, your preferences exclude everyone who looks like you. It just seems like there is something inside of themselves (or externally) that they don't like. Another side to this is the excuses, complaints, ridiculousness that some of these folks give to try to justify their "preference". Black men won't do this. Black women can't do this. Really?

    5) What can we do to change the negative effects of colorism?

    Educating ourselves. It has gotten a little better, but there is still so much to do. In this day and age I have heard people make comments like "he's not ugly, just dark". As if darkness is an automatic level added to ugliness. Really? Honestly, this ish still goes on today because we have still carried it on. It isn't as overt as it was 30 years ago, but it is still there.

    6) When will we have a documentary on women who use filters and angles to falsify their level of attractiveness on social media?!

    LOOOOOOOOOOL. You are a hot mess.

  • Amicus

    I personally love the way Michelle Obama looks. I think she radiates beauty. The kind of beauty that not only doesn't fade – it grows. You don't see her and see hip, lips, breasts & butt (yikes, even writing that close to her name seems *wrong*). Instead, you see the strength and generosity of her spirit. You don't just know it's there…you actually see it, and it's beautiful.

    I think women spend too much time/money/emotions on the temporary. And I think they do that b/c they *believe* other people (especially men) will want them if they're beautiful. I agree with their reasoning, people are attracted to beauty. However, I wish more women would get a grip on what beauty actually is. Michelle Obama has the kind of beauty that I attain to & am always talking about.

    For the record, I think she would be as beautiful in any other package (white, red, yellow). BUT, I'm particularly happy she attained it in the package she has. #tallchick #darkwoman #brownskin

  • InsominaPoet

    1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama?
    - I think people would have reacted a little differently – I don’t know if it would have risen to the level of him not getting elected…but I do think Black women might not have been as supportive of the Obamas if Michelle was more of a Whitley than a Kim. (yes I made a different world reference)

    2) Is the main image of a strong black woman one that is of a darker shade?
    I think it is…when I think strong black women – they are always darker. When I think of lighter black women I automatically think they are more likely to be “kept” and not need to be as strong as a darker sister. See my aforementioned Different World reference…Jalisa & Kim's stories exuded much more strength than Whitley's or Freddie's. IJS

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general?
    I do not date men who are lighter than me. I didn’t even realize this – until someone else pointed it out to me. I think it stems from my grandmother having an extreme color complex when I was growing up. I am brown – I have a cousin who is very fair skin. My entire childhood my grandmother would say she had the right complexion and the wrong hair and I had the right hair and the wrong complexion. She played obvious favorites within our family based on skin color and as a result I developed a serious resentment towards lighter people. As for attraction – I find that light skin men don’t really approach me – but to be fair I think it’s b/c I exude “don’t try me” to them.

    4) Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it?
    This has no impact on me at all UNLESS I see someone who ONLY dates lighter women. I have a friend who considers complexion a deal breaker in relationships. He says he can’t marry anyone dark because he doesn’t want his future children to be dark (mind you – he is very dark). He’s admitted that he’d rather date an unattractive lighter woman than an attractive darker woman. In his case I don’t think he is “less black” I just think he is insecure & ignorant.

    5) What can we do to change the negative effects of colorism?
    Sadly, I don’t think this will ever change. I think it’s too deep rooted at this point. Maybe it will end when everyone just looks tan from all the interracial relationships ;) LOL J/K – kinda…

    6) When will we have a documentary on women who use filters and angles to falsify their level of attractiveness on social media?!
    LMAO – Instagram has videos now – so hopefully that will curb some of this ;)

  • Truth Be Told

    This was an excellently written post Streetz! Great observations! I didn't watch the documentary (because dear Lord, not ANOTHER documentary on skin tone issues in the black community) but I couldn't escape the twitter discussions so I have a fair bit of idea what happened. Here are my responses:

    1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama?

    This indicates a sad state of affairs but I believe he would’ve had slightly less support and a not so welcoming reaction. He still would’ve won for sure because they would still be a black couple, but he definitely would’ve needed to convince the masses more. Now if she was white?? Nah.

    2) Is the main image of a strong black woman one that is of a darker shade?

    Again, this is a big shame but yes. With all these dark-skin/ light-skin discussions going on, we’re slowly re-defining who we consider a “real sista.” A guy is celebrated if the woman he is with is dark-skin, with natural hair. We consider him a “real guy” who isn’t afraid to handle the “sistas”, a guy whose “condition hasn’t been conditioned” etc. etc. And we have to be real careful here. Because, in our attempt to right our wrongs, we’re slowly creating a whole new type of discrimination; the discrimination that if you’re not dark-skinned with natural hair, then you’re not a real black woman. We can celebrate all shades without the need to down one for the other.

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general?

    I’ve never honestly thought that someone liked me more or less because of my skin color. I’ve never had a guy tell me that they were attracted/ unattracted to me purely based on my skin tone. I’ve had compliments about how great my skin looks though, but that’s just all the water I drink ;-). I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’m not going to beat myself over the head about why I think a guy likes or does not like me. When it comes to MY preference, I recently went from thinking D Wade was the best looking guy in the NBA to now thinking Danny Green is everything good and perfect on God’s green (no pun intended) earth. So take that how you will. I’m a sucker for guys with locs though and no, not the Chief Keef type either.

    4) Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it?

    Honestly? This is terrible and I’m glad I totally grew out of it but before, when I see a black couple, I immediately respect the guy more if he is with a darker-skinned woman. I think, well, this guy clearly has a mind of his own and does not simply follow the masses. I unconsciously think that most black guys who date lighter-skinned or white women do so because it’s popular culture, it makes them look good in the eyes of their guys. So their value goes down in my eyes. I didn’t hate it. I just felt contempt. Because I thought they were just being followers. That’s all completely changed now. Now I’m the first person to give anyone the rudest of side-eyes if I think they are being colorist. We are all black whether we acknowledge it or not. No one is any more or any less black just because their shade of black is different.

    5) What can we do to change the negative effects of colorism?

    Mature from it. Grow up. Stop with these millions of documentaries. Take control of your home and start nipping these discriminatory tendencies in the bud.

    6) When will we have a documentary on women who use filters and angles to falsify their level of attractiveness on social media?!

    We do. It’s called Catfish. And that practice is never stopping as long as they achieve what they set out to do with these filtering and falsification. If the men weren’t so invested in these internet personas, these women wouldn’t be so invested in altering those pictures to achieve their desired results. LOL

  • payne well

    "Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it?"

    This is something that sticks out to me, as darker skinned people are also notorious for making fun of lighter skinned people. i.e "you only black for play play", "you would have been a house negro", "hey white girl/boy!", etc etc etc. As we demean our darker skinned people, we like to also demean our lighter skinned people in a joking matter but we do not expect them to take this to heart, because at the end of the day "light" is supposedly "right". Similar to heavier people making fun of skinny people. A hidden jealousy perhaps? Or just a way to cope with the disparities in these two types of descriptions. There isn't a blueprint to how to be black, just that you embrace your past and move forward with your future. How I address the blackness of someone is quite comical in my view. If a race war broke out who side are you on? Black people? Well you are black enough for me!
    My recent post Practice what you preach!

  • payne well

    To add on:

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general?

    The rejection of certain shades is something that is consistently taught. People try to be lighter than someone else and excited to say "oh so an so is darker than myself". Or when someone says you are chocolate, and they break their neck to say "no i'm cafe au lait"! Finally, my favorite is we do not want to stay in the sun because we "don't want to get darker". Skin tones never made a difference to me until I was about 16 years old. Once my girlfriend tried to hook me up with a guy who she knew. He was an very attractive boy. We talked on the phone for a bit and he seemed to enjoy the conversation and I just thought we were golden. So he told my friend I was cool and that I sounded sexy because of the voice I have (which some would say sounds like a white person's voice). He asked her if I was mixed she said no, then he asked her to describe myself to him and she said dark skinned which he put the brakes on immediately! He said ":i'm sorry i don't date dark skinned girls." Not that I sounded ignorant, or that I seemed weird, but he didn't like me for something that I had no control over. As an adult yeah I can say that dude is definitely a jerk, but just imagine our teenage girls going through this in addition to what they are seeing in the media? I know the conversation is old, but so is the racism conversation to some. We need to keep this conversation going and learn to love all our brothers and sisters.
    My recent post Practice what you preach!

  • SMielz_920

    1)If Michelle was light I don’t think she would get attacked, but she wouldn’t be praised like she is now from Black women. I completely understand why though. Michelle is strong with out being the negative stereotype you usually she associated with strong especially strong dark skin women.

    2)Kind of. Think of “Diary of a Mad black woman” strong darker skin woman with a pretty girl light skin, sister who lets her husband beat her around.

    3)I don’t have a color preference. I’m what most would consider light. I would never date a man that is intrigued by my lightness/skin color.

    4)I think “Dark Skin women” get away easier with dating light skin black men than dark skin guys get when they date light skin black women. People tend to assume that if a dark skin guy has a light skin girlfriend that he has color issues. That’s the case for some but not all.

    6) That’s a new angle a colorism documentary could explore. It would be very interesting.

    • SMilez_920

      And I agree with the Mud Duck comment. While there were a few nice looking women in that documentary, most documentaries on this subject pick the mostly homely looking dark skin women to represent how all dark women look and feel about there skin. I see gorgeous dark skin women everyday, why not put some in the documentary who may have faced colorism, but didn’t let it break them and actually like their color and love themeself.

      The ugly, low self esteem, angry, aggressive, dark skin woman is an image that many dark skin girls see in the media constantly, while I know these identities have to be explored in a documentary can we balance it out with some dark skin woman who have don’t represent that.

      • Southerngyrl_

        See.. I gues sit is just me, but I didn't really think most of the women were plain. I thought some were prettier than others of course, but I didn't think most were plain. That is life I guess. Some women are prettier than others. Looks are subjective.

        • SMilez_920

          Some of them were pretty like the one whose mom said "only if she had some lightness in her". But some of those women looked like the dark skin version of Tiny (TI WIfe) who we have no probelm calling plain or ugly.

  • SMilez_920

    5) I was thinking of a few different angles I would like to see a documentary on Colored girls explore and, dissect and give solutions too.

    1)Mother daughter complex. Most of uses have people in our families of all different complexions. I know a lot of light skin girls with dark mothers and dark skin girls with light mothers. We should explore their relationships, how do those mother stop or continue colorism in their own daughters.

    2)Fathers and daughters. What happens when fathers have daughters who look like them, when they don’t like themselves, and how fathers who love their dark skin pass that love to their children?

    3)“The Light Skin Woman” pedestal. What it represents, what it means, how it affects how dark skin woman are treated by others and how it ultimately affects how they treat light skin women, and how we can break that cycle on a personal level.

    4)Love. Light skin men and dark skin women, dark skin men and light skin women, is it a color complex for most of these couples or pure love.

    5)Brown skin women. Too dark to be “yellow” but just light enough not to be considered dark. How does colorism affect them?

    I feel like we can talk about colorism, we just have to open the conversation the positives and negatives.

  • Dr. J

    1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama?

    I don't think it would have much mattered.

    2) Is the main image of a strong black woman one that is of a darker shade?

    Who knows.

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general?

    I don't really pay attention to people skin tone.

    4) Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it?

    Don't really matter what your complexion is, that won't make you any more or less of a n*gga in some people's minds.

    5) What can we do to change the negative effects of colorism?

    Stop talking about it.

    6) When will we have a documentary on women who use filters and angles to falsify their level of attractiveness on social media?!

    I'm down.

    As you can see bro, I don't have time to deal with people and their color issues. They want to harp on this topic for the rest of eternity, they can do so. There's so much more important things to focus on in this world.

    • ky

      In response to 5: Really, you think not talking about the problem and all its damage is going to make it go away?

  • Lovely

    I will touch on just 1:

    1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama?

    In the black community, it would have been A LOT of discussion about it…people would have broken down her race just the same as Barack Obama. But for me….I have to admit, I like the entire package…that package includes the wrapping (her skin color). So I probably would have had a different take on her if she was lighter. Darker skinned women experiences are not the same as light skinned women. We are defined a lot by our circumstances. A light skin Michelle would not have been the same person as a dark skinned Michelle. Because her experiences as a lighter skinned women would have been different (i.e. struggles, accomplishments).

    But The question is the same for Barack…if he was lighter skinned what would be the level of reaction?

    People have to remember that "Black" by definition is a color. Using coal, space or opposite of the "color" white as the description…it's not defined by a person. North America created the term Black to describe or to refer to African Americans. So, Barack Obama would have had a little bit of a struggle if he looked more like his Mother…sad but true.

    • Lovely

      I don't think my message was clear enough.

      The majority of North Americans are not comfortable with the grey areas…… They like to be clear about your "color". Because Michelle and Barack's skin color is darker, it's easier to define them as Black people. Although Obama is mixed with black/white, the COLOR OF HIS SKIN IS BLACK …plain and clear. Opposed to If he looked like one of the Debarges (who father is white, mother black) but they are lighter skin… they actually could pass for white.

      The Obama's "color" is indisputable by North American definition…they can "see" Black. Easy for people to comprehend (that is white and black americans).

      My opinion is not to offend my light skinned sista's and brotha's…..that just the way it is. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  • slimmycakez

    I'll only focus on one:

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general?

    I'm going to keep it ALL THE WAY REAL…YES, I struggled with this! At one point in my life, I ONLY liked light-skinned guys. "Tall, skinny, and lightskinned" was my perfect man. But that's only because I had issues myself. My sister is lightskinned, and growing up, I felt she received more attention and was deemed prettier because of her skin color. In turn, she always made sure to add that she was lightskinned when she talked about how pretty she was and why all the guys liked her. My first boyfriend was tall, skinny, and lightskinned and the irony was that he was colorstruck himself. He always admitted that he mostly liked lightskinned girls, and reminded me that I was one of the few brown skinned girls that ever he liked…like I should feel special that he deemed me worthy enough to date. He also felt superior because he was indeed lightskinned, and made sure I knew that as well. That relationship was pretty darn horrible for a plethora of reasons, but the color issue definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Thankfully, I got over my color issues, I got over him, and matured a whole lot from those days. I realized that PRETTY IS PRETTY! Guys in general will approach/like/date girls of any color if she is attractive. And confidence is key! The only thing that makes me groan a bit inside is when there are girls (and guys) that still use their "lightskinned-ness" as an added bonus of their greatness. (i.e. on Twitter where a girl's bio might be: "Sittin' pretty while on my grind. Handling these dudes like a BOSS. Beautiful, classy, AND I'm light-skinned! ;)" .. or some mess like that.)

    Nowadays, I don't care what color you are — you can be brown, light, white, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, a snowman — as long as we can talk about Jesus and how great God is, that is attractive enough to me. +5 points if you're already easy on the eyes.

  • 12 Point Buck

    I tried to watch the documentary too, but couldnt relate to any of it. I even laughed when the chicks were in tears talkin bout "they called me a tar baby porch monkey". I just couldnt relate.

    I grew up in a very caring and loving environment. Never really heard people around me dissing on skincolor like talkin bout. And never had a preference myself– the closest i came was in the 5th grade one time. We were doing a play and had to hold hands, and i didnt want to hold this one black girl's hand because she had hard rough ashy skin– all she needed was some lotion.

    So, speaking anecdotically, colorism has been a non-issue in my life, and I couldn't watch Dark Girls without laughing every 10 minutes. This morning I texted my sister to ask if I'm considered light skinned. Apparently I am. Who knew?

    All I know is that I like girls with proportionally large bottoms. And like Big Pun said, "I regulate every shade of that…"

  • http://mssexydanielle.blogspot.com/ Danielle

    As a dark-skinned woman, I honestly couldn't really relate to the documentary, although I thought some of the dialogue in it is necessary. In terms of dating, I really don't have a preference when it comes to color, and I haven't had an issue with attracting men because of my skin tone. I'm a sexy chocolate chick! LOL…but seriously, I think the only way the issue will go away is by changing the mindset of our young people, and teaching them to love themselves, regardless of the messages they receive from society, the media, etc. I actually just wrote a post on my blog about this very same issue: http://mssexydanielle.blogspot.com/
    My recent post Straight from a "Dark Girl's" Mouth

  • Dontgetcrazyyy

    I'm a dark skinned woman from a family of other dark skinned women. But (in all humility) we're cute, so we all get treated as such from all races/colors. It's no sitting in a corner while all the light skin girls get chose. It's none of that. I've gone out with my lighter friends, and I receive about equal attention unless they're butt or breasts were exponentially bigger or they are pretty too.

    Have I heard guys say they don't like dark skin girls? Yes. But guys say they don't like fake hair, booties, and breasts, yet love KING models. I'm not hurt by it. There's a lot of white guys who prefer blondes to brunettes. It's not a big deal. I don't pine after people who aren't interested in me. Also, guys usually do the initial approaching. So if they're approaching, I assume that they don't have a problem with girls who look like me.

    I will say that there have been guys (who at some point dated or tried to date me) who tried to pull the dark-skin vs. light-skin card when they get mad or are with their homeboys, but nobody that I actually liked or who I didn't later discover to have serious personality issues. But I assume something like that has happened to most men and women when involved with rude people. A guy citing your weight (too big, too skinny), or a female bringing up your low income, low status, chexual performance. People just try to bring up what they feel like may be your insecurities when they get mad.

    I sound a little indignant. Which may not help with the "angry dark skinned girl" stereotype. Lol. And maybe I'm in denial, but it just isn't as big of a deal as it's made out to be. I do think the best solution would be just stop talking about it so much.

  • http://glippost.wordpress.com DarrkGable

    1. Much bigger landslide victories if Chellie-O was a redbone.

    2. Definitely. The prime example for years was Betty Shabazz. Now it's Michelle Obama.

    3. Shades never factored into the my choices of women when I dated. Truthfully, the skin tone of the women in my family, particularly my mother, played a bigger subconscious role in the skin tone of women I dated.

    4. Doesn't really matter. Whatever another prefers, more power to them.

    5. People gotta be willing to admit their biases first, then frank discussions can happen, aside from the politically correct BS.

    6. Everbody is making their own on Vine, Viddy, and Instagram.
    My recent post When Trusting God Is All You Can Do…

  • Young Heaux

    I'm so over the light skinned look, and I'm yellow myself. I swear when I'm not bombarded by images of white women, I'm bombarded with images of the lightskinned, long haired chick. If you really can't see how distorted this ish is, you lyin to yourself.

    It's not really that n****s are out here talking about how they don't like dark skin girls, or that "light is right." It's that if a dude–educated normal dude–on my Twitter timeline posts or retweets a picture of a "hot girl," I can guess that 8 times out of 10 that chick is light skinned or latina or some non black ish. 8 out of 10 girls are not that, 8 out of 10 BLACK girls sure as HELL ain't that. So is the "jig" really up? You can send the message that "light is right" without saying it.

    Anywho, thats simple n**** sh*t. Aside from the notions of beauty, there are other real impacts to the colorism issue. Sentencing in criminal cases for the same crimes are worse for darker skinned people than lighter black people, for instance. I wonder even whether Barack's caramel azz would've been able to win the presidency if he was dark-skinned.

  • http://twitter.com/sabadaga @sabadaga

    " There are varying levels to this story, but I feel like the actual DISCUSSIONS on this topic happen openly in the U.S.A. while they are swept under the rub in other places." You are dead on point on this. I am from France and I have been living in SF for almost a year now. What I love the most about this country is that people are free to talk about any issue, there is no really taboo here and that's awesome !!!

  • Adonis

    Love dark skin women.

    But I hate it when ugly women try to justify their lack of male attention to skin tone.

    It is the reappearing “ugly girl” argument

    Bria Myles, Gabrielle Union, & any cute darkskin woman with a tight body is getting chose.

    Now employment, the criminal justice system, and family treatment. Whole different ballgame.

    That’s all

  • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

    I absolutely agree with you that the color issue is a global issue, I recently read that 75% of women in Nigeria bleach their skin. I think a lot of times the issues are swept under the rug in many countries. I remember growing up, a lot of guys had a predisposition to like lighter skinned girls, heck in some cultures a lighter skin lady "fetches" a higher bride price/dowry. Personally I dont think I have a conscious skin tone preference, beauty, sexiness and personality do it for me.

    I think some of the issues attributed to being dark skinned can be attributed to other things or are just generally the problem of being black in a society where you are at the bottom of the totem pole. Some of the most beautiful women in the world are dark skinned. I really dont know why people like to flog the horse on this issue, how about make a documentary about fighting poverty in the inner city or something. geez!
    My recent post Democracy Day: What is Nigerian Democracy?

  • Peter Parker

    Hope this doesn't come off the wrong way, but if you fine you fine! I love my black sistas whether you are brown, dark brown, dark chocolate, or light skin. No preference in my book. I have dated the entire rainbow, so it's all good over here. Personally I look for other physical attributes that I place a greater emphasis on than skin color ex( nice smile, smooth vs. botched up skin, and preference for the my thick women-southern thing). Anyways, I will definitely have to check this documentary out.

  • Courtesy of Moi

    I didn’t watch Dark Girls in its entirety, but the parts I saw were issues brought up in other docs I’ve seen. However, I intend to watch the whole thing. I just didn’t understand some of the ignorant comments made by one of the men. I feel like it’s self-hatred. Why group dark skinned women as being mean, unattractive, or lacking self-confidence? Aren’t we all individuals? How do they feel about their dark skinned mothers, I wonder. 

    Not sure if someone has mentioned this already, but check out a short doc called Shadeism. Also there’s Black in Latin America doc that has less to do about light vs. dark, but if you’re into documentaries & history, I highly recommend it.

  • langwichartz

    "If you're a woman who looks like Dwayne Wade, it doesn't matter what skin tone you are, you won't be attractive to me."

    +1million

    The whole subject wreaks of Crabs in a Barrel syndrome!

  • Bluevett

    SMH…pleezzee, not ANOTHER article about skin color!!!????? Blacks have been having this conversation since the first one of us set foot in this country as an explorer or walked off that plank from the first slave ship. When is enough, enough?

    I am sickened how “we” allow others to define our standards of beauty and attractiveness or dictate the skin color of the person we choose to bed with. Enough with the Obama’s, Halle, Kobe, Beyonce, Tiger, Oprah (on and on) discussions about skin color, people. If it is not apparent, people can choose to date or whatever, with whomever they choose to do such with, without anyone’s seal of APPROVIAL. Get over these issues already!

  • caramelcovereddream

    1) If Michelle Obama was light skinned with long hair, what do you think the support level/reaction would’ve been to Barack Obama?

    II think the support level/reaction to Barack Obama would've been pretty much the same, but I believe both black and white America would've taken more kindly to her.

    2) Is the main image of a strong black woman one that is of a darker shade?

    Probably so, although it's not necessarily true. Historically, women of darker shades have had no choice but to be strong. A lighter skinned woman has always had it at least a little easier in the Big House versus the darker skinned women toiling away in the cotton fields and other farms, and have probably had it much easier in the realms of other jobs, education, and relationships/marriage.

    3) How do you approach dating in the realm of colorism? Any preconceived notions? Any shades that like you more/ won’t date you? Any complications in general?

    Although I do believe men are attracted to me in general, I admit to sometimes believing if my skin were lighter and my hair longer, I'd have black men falling all over me and a more diverse group of black men to pick from. What black man doesn't love a redbone? We all know what type of women most black men go for when they "make it" in the world. Not excusing bad behavior, but I agree with something I read earlier, a light skinned girl is more likely to get a pass for bad behavior, her past, other character flaws, etc. Look no further than how the black community (mainly men) worships Kim Kartrashian…..whom I know wouldn't be as idolized as she is if she were black.

    4) Is a black person who dates the lighter shades of the race any “less black” to you? What are your initial thoughts when you see it?

    They're not less black to me. My initial thought is, you love whom you love. As a black woman, I could care less if a black guy is dating a white woman or women of other races, but when he starts blasting on black women for their physical appearance or perceived "attitude problem," I take offense. Way too often, we black women take the blame of those so-called "ratchets." If Becky is so wonderful, what are you doing spewing venom about black women for?

    5) What can we do to change the negative effects of colorism?

    Learn to once and for all learn to love one another; we had no choice but to in the times of slavery. If we all were to be put back into slavery today, we'd all go down together regardless of complexion……

    6) When will we have a documentary on women who use filters and angles to falsify their level of attractiveness on social media?!

    That would be interesting. Not just women who use filters, but women who get by on a totally made-up look….from hair to eyes to plastic surgery, being fake is in, especially in the black community. Seems like the faker, the better.

  • Uit

    1.I think Barack would have gotten the same support but would be scrutinized more.

    2. From what I've seen, yes. Try to think of the last strong "fair" black woman you saw in film or read about? Since I am "fair" it actually kinda pisses me off cuz not all lightskinned chicks are push overs.

    3. Skin color is not an issue for me. I'm more focused on the person being right for me.

    4. How do you prove blackness? I had this issue alot growing up. Because I was lightskinned, did my homework, passed my classes and spoke properly I got teased a lot. In my eyes, no. Everyone has a different experience and how being black affects will be different too.

    5.Take a zen approach.

    6.I agree with caramelcovereddream

  • http://twitter.com/mpj2k4 @mpj2k4

    Well is there a little bit of prejudice and discrimination in regards to color and getting a job or getting an advantage sure, but its no different than what I go through in my life as a black man in comparison to white men but its something I have to deal with. My issue is that most of the black women I know have a preference, many won't date light skin guys because they feel they are pretty boys. So its okay for black women to have a type but when black men prefer light skin women its hate for darker women? Sure she can't help the fact that she is darker but is that any different then women wanting a guy that's over six feet, so she can wear heels and still be shorter than him? To me its all double standards and men are held to higher standard IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/goldeelocks1908 @goldeelocks1908

    GOD BLESS YOU FOR THIS. You totally read my mind. There are so many more additions, I felt like the documentary needed, in order for anyone that sees it to see how colorism is a challenge for everyone, not just one specific group. Nice job.
    My recent post Photo

  • Dutchess Williams

    I did not care for that documentary at all.. I also have a response to it
    My recent post Untold Beauty : A response to “DARK GIRLS”