Home Entertainment Pharrell’s G I R L Album Cover & The Truth About Colorism In The Black Community

Pharrell’s G I R L Album Cover & The Truth About Colorism In The Black Community

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The anticipated release of “G I R L,” the first album by Pharrell Williams in eight years, has been met with open arms by the hip-hop community. It’s no secret that Skateboard P and his unique attributes of song, rap, and production have augmented the genre into an enjoyable and quality experience. This is the same gentleman whose tunes can have 50+ year old grannys jamming with the kids, and drug dealers nodding their heads in salutary approval. As “Happy” tears up the pop charts, it seemed like nothing could derail Pharrell’s momentum. That was, until he released the cover art for his project.

As seen above, the cover art depicts Pharrell with three women wearing shades and looking cooler than the other side of the pillow. The artwork seemed innocuous enough, but indeed there was controversy afoot. People (a majority of whom are black women) took to social media to voice their displeasure over the lack of variety of the women depicted on the cover. More specifically, some were upset that a black woman was nowhere to be found on the “G I R L” album cover.

I didn’t fully invest myself in dissecting the controversy in the beginning. “75% of the people complaining will probably bootleg this album anyway,” I thought to myself. Once the firestorm of outrage bubbled however, I decided to really analyze what occurred. I wanted to take a look at it from the black woman’s perspective. This has been a demographic who’s been a victim of sensationalism in the media for far too long. They have been baited into arguments, and challenged anytime they have an opinion because “they’re always mad about something.” This troubling narrative makes black women a target for incessant ridicule, even from black men, so I can understand the sensitivity this uproar may have caused.

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I looked at Pharrell and wondered whether the European standard of beauty crept into his psyche and exhibited itself in the promotion for his album. I also wanted to look at Pharrell objectively and I wondered if he had a “light is right” track record in the visuals for his music. I didn’t have to look too far for this answer, as Trent Clark from HipHopWired compiled a list of examples where Pharrell has worked with brown(er) skinned women. I gleaned 3 things from this list:

  1. Pharrell is definitely a vampire because he’s 40 and looks as if he just reached the legal drinking age

  2. Pharrell has an eclectic palette for women

  3. Pharell is not “skin conscious” and doesn’t put one group in the forefront

Pharrell, who’s been pretty squeaky clean his entire career, commented on the outrage on “The Breakfast Club” on Power 105.1 NYC. He offered the following:

“What really disappointed me is that man, they jumped the gun, because the one I’m standing closest to is black.”

So there was black representation on the cover after all. Interesting. He later goes onto say:

“I understand that plight, you know? My dad is a dark-skinned man! My mom is a black woman that is a huge part of my business. My business is run by a black woman and I’m married to a black woman, so what are y’all talkin’ about?!”

Finally, Pharrell offers this quote which spoke volumes :

“..Unfortunately, they looked at the cover and they didn’t see…y’know I don’t know what the definition is..she’s a light skinned black woman but what is this conversation? So is our President not black? Is Lenny Kravitz not one of our greatest rock…I mean what are we talkin’ about?! And is Lisa Bonet in or out.. like what are we talkin’ about?!”

Even after this interview shed light (no pun) on the “G I R L” cover, people were still outraged that the woman in question wasn’t darker. They skipped over the fact that their initial accusations held no merit, and skipped to the “lesser crime” of our black sisters not being dark enough for their liking. Whenever this skin color debate rages on social media, we tend to identify the disease and not the symptoms. We forego all wisdom and understanding in the hopes of conveying our point. We should identify the root cause of these color issues. Pharrell alludes to the issues illuminated by this album cover debate, and a few ugly truths among people of color:

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Ugly Truth #1: Light-skinned black people aren’t perceived to be “black enough” by darker skinned blacks.

I remember having a conversation with a few women about the light-skinned / dark-skinned saga. We talked about “preferences” and how they were developed and applied. They took issue with black men having a preference for light-skinned women. I asked them, “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you see a light-skinned black woman with a black man of any complexion?” Their collective answer was one word, spoken with the unison of instruments playing at the Philharmonic Orchestra:

“Typical!”

I won’t front… Instinctively, I thought that too. But it doesn’t change the fact that we indirectly put down light-skinned women when we chastise black men for dating them. Who are light-skinned black women supposed to date to appease the overall black community? If they date outside their race, they get praise for not conforming to “unsupportive” black men who put other races on a pedestal. If they date within their race, they’re looked upon as a symbolic effect of colorism on black men. This doesn’t alleviate blame on black men who SOLELY date lighter women because they think “light is right,” but we have to see the other side of the picture too, and how this premise can affect light brown women. It’s funny how some black men’s “preference” for light-skinned women is always met with ridicule, yet when darker women communicated their “preference” for darker women on the “G I R L” cover, they were upset that their premise was challenged!

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Let’s not act as though light-skinned blacks don’t have certain stigmas either. If I asked black people of all complexions what’s a stereotype associated with light skinned people, they would probably chuckle before rattling off their list. We all know them. They include:

  • Light-skinned men are soft and extremely emotional

  • Light-skinned women are conceited and high maintenance

  • Light-skinned blacks think they are white

  • Light-skinned blacks have it easier than dark skinned blacks

  • Light-skinned blacks aren’t “as black” as dark(er) skinned blacks

The list above is no different than the stereotypes associated with our darker brothers and sisters:

  • Dark-skinned women are always mad

  • Dark-skinned women all wear weaves

  • Dark-skinned men are animalistic in nature

  • Dark-skinned men and women aren’t marketable to the majority

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Ugly Truth #2: Darker-skinned blacks feel the oppression more than light-skinned, so they overcompensate

Black people suffer from so much ridicule in the media, in society, and in general that it becomes overwhelming. We see our young black boys continue to be murdered without just repercussions. We are constantly reminded of things we can’t do as black people. This extends to art and entertainment. Black women of darker shades get discriminated upon, so black people will feel compelled to highlight women of color immensely in order to compensate for the racist and prejudicial views. This is why black people will voice their opinions when SNL didn’t have black female representation on their show. While I agree with promoting our own, especially when other inside and out of the race will look to downplay, I see the other side of the spectrum, where lighter blacks will get diminished in order to place darker-skinned blacks on a higher pedestal. It almost feels as if lighter-skinned blacks are seen as necessary collateral damage if it means advancing blacks in general and promoting our darker brethren. Extreme ideals of any kind can be problematic and further lead to division among African Americans, and blacks around the world. Once again, this isn’t EVERYONE, but it’s definitely prevalent.

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The larger issue at hand is the notion that “dark-skinned black isn’t the good type of black.” This has damaged our community for centuries. You see it more prevalent in media, TV, and movies than ever before. Maybe the problem is that lighter-skinned blacks felt a certain level of comfort knowing that we didn’t receive as much detrimental treatment from the majority. Maybe we should be even more vocal than our darker skinned black family so that we can make a stronger impact. That ugly base of thought that the darker the skin, the less you’re accepted needs to be abolished. The best way to change is to work within and demand change from all levels.

Those in modelling and fashion need to fight so more black men and women representing the entire diaspora of complexions are placed at the forefront. Actors need to fight so that casting black actors in “white roles” isn’t seen as an issue to the majority, as actors should be judged on their skill not their race. Advertisers and marketing professionals need to see the value in promoting a more 21st century representation of American cultures and families (which include all races) in their print and digital campaigns. in order for these changes to occur we have to be united. We should acknowledge our internal colorism and external prejudice, while still fighting to promote our people, regardless of how dark or light we look!

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Do I think black women and blacks in general have a right to feel like Pharrell should’ve had darker women on the cover? Yes they have that right. I just think it’s silly to argue over an artform when a black artist hasn’t been accused of discriminating or neglecting the darker shades of his race before. I didn’t like how it grew into a firestorm when Pharrell got attacked, and we acted in a divisive manner. We should stand as one black community to defend against it, and not let it divide us before we take on larger issues. Colorism is a problem no matter which side of the complexion scale you sit. We need to do better and not ostracize our lighter or darker black family in the hopes of moving forward.

 Streetz

 

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Comment(101)

  1. Pretty much. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of “us” are as much the problem as the so called establishment. Truth be told, all they want to do, given the chance, is do the exact same thing.

    You summed it up well when you pointed out that white people see us all as black, regardless of shade. But some of us are just stuck on stupid, trying to tell white people that we as blacks people want to be celebrated as well as a standard of beauty (in their eyes), while diminishing our beauty to each other based on shade. I’m sure that others see the irony here.

    1. We have a lot of deep rooted issues we need to deal with. peoples feelings are valid, but we have to filter to find the crux of WHAT we are feeling, WHY, and HOW to resolve, feel me?

      1. Absolutely. We also have to have enough sense to stop looking for the people that hurt us to heal us as well. That is easily the biggest impediment to resolving our issues.

  2. I've always said you can't have an argument/debate about feelings.

    That ad was designed to trigger an emotional reaction, whether good or bad, that was the entire point, as most ads are designed to do. It's to make you desire, just like the "Most Interesting Man in the World" commercials are designed to tap into your insecurity as a Male, that you're not "Alpha" enough. For those of you, who happen to have friends of other races, including white, try to approach your friends and simply ask them how they think their race is displayed in the media…I guarantee you will not hear anything positive, the media is designed to make everyone feel lesser, you just attach to the parts that belong to you, because you think you are the primary target of the system.

    The system knows that the average American finds identity and power in feeling like they are oppressed, whether it's true or not is besides the point, that's what is felt, and what is felt cannot be argued or persuaded with logic and reason, it can only be accepted or defeated by even a stronger emotion. Thus that's all the media does, it's either appealing to your emotions, your insecurities, your fears, your feelings of mediocrity and narcissism or persuading you to have even stronger emotions etc. And whoever is willing to pay the most for your emotional manipulation is who the media is going to serve, whether it's corporate or progressive, it doesn't matter: hearts and souls are for sale.

    Colorism exists, the media is indifferent to it, and it will always be; it will just exploit it. The media knows that blacks have color issues when it comes to the media, and even if Pharrell is ignorant of that, most successful PR people are not that naive, they are paid to be aware of mass psychology and the hive mind, with or without a college degree. They probably knew it would cause controversy and controversy keeps Pharrell's name in discussion of people, and even keeps his name in the minds of people. This increases youtube hits, twitter hits, facebook hits, website hits etc, which in turn helps album sales, and also the sales of the fashion he wears in the public, since he's being paid attention to.

    A lot of black folks make the wrong assumption that the media is unaware of our dirty laundty…the media spends billions in market research every year…they know out dirty laundry and will not hesitate to exploit it, and we are fools to think they should not or will not. Either we start the clean up or we get dragged around in the dirt, that's the rule of the game.

  3. If you are dark skinned, do not engage in this debate. You will told that you are bitter. I suggest you go to sites that are more understanding…sites supportive specifically of darker skinned blacks. This is where you can share your feelings without being told that the other side has it just as bad, which we know is not the truth. Those who have some privilege will not admit it, they will deny it to the end so that things will stay the same. If they were truly into eradicating colorism they would admit that lighter skinned people have it better. But that will never happen. Most dsrker skinned people are just told to get over it.

    1. Clearly you are speaking from emotion and did not take the time to actually read what I wrote. I was fearful of responses like this, but you can't please everyone and we don't try to please everyone.

      If we cannot speak civilly about the topic, how do you expect to ascend from the colorism bs and be better as a race?

      " I suggest you go to sites that are more understanding…sites supportive specifically of darker skinned blacks. "

      This comment is ironic in a debate about colorism…

    2. If you are dark skinned or light skinned you should very much engage in this debate. I don't think he would have written this if he didn't want feedback and honest conversation from everyone. Why go to a site JUST fro dark skinned people? Segregation isn't the answer…talking openly and honestly without being disrespectful is actually a great way to start the path to healing. I also think you're generalizing just a bit. I know plenty with "light skinned privilege" who acknowledge it and engage in conversations like this in order to help eradicate Colorism as a whole.

      1. What is light skin privilege outside of examples like the Pharell cover or similar situations that have to do with standards of beauty?

        Honestly when we try to have this conversation on a large scale we only focus on how colorism affects dark skin women and beauty, or how it affects dating (Dark Girls Documentary). Maybe we should try having the conversation from a different angle.

        Mocha : What specific privileges did they acknowledged?

        1. They get more work, (in modeling, acting), more dates (from the opposite sex), better attention from family members, more attention and look less threatening to some whites. Some white people actually do thing dark skin is a threat. It may not be a threat physically but economically. Non-marketable. Not going to sell, etc. I witness this daily. This isn't a fallacy.

        2. I'm not saying colorism doesn’t exist at all, again I know it exist in modeling. It’s hard to find a black model anywhere especially one darker than RiRi.

          Dating in some instants (again every black man not with a dark skin woman doesn’t have a hidden color issue), family members, and not every dark person has experienced colorism in their family just like every light person wasn’t the family prize for being light. Some of these things don’t run across the board for all light skin or dark skin people.

          Yes I’m sure some white people ate more comfortable with a Paula Paton than a Jennifer Hudson. Yes in some cases a woman that is noticeable black may have a different stereo- type (loud, aggressive) placed upon her than one that is passable.

        3. How do you want light skin people to support this to change it ? I don’t think the majority of light skin people have a hidden hurtful agenda towards dark skin people.

          I mean do very light skin models stop taking jobs until there are darker ones on stage next to them other than an Alex Wreck once every 10 years?

          Should light skin women start to question their partners about what type of black women they like, should they leave if their man “likes light skin women (or thats his Preference )” even if he’s light skin?

          Other than telling your family to keep their nasty comments to themselves about color, you can’t disown them for the most part; only try to get them to see different.

          I guess it’s hard to have the conversation because no one has up with a solution that we can each put into effect, most of the time we just no the problem and argue about it.

        4. Same way we tackle racism. Why is this ism so complicated? We should all talk and try to find solutions. And the question I would ask is how would you want BLACK people to support this and change it. As ooposed to how would I want light skinned people to support and change this. As soon as you start separating US, you contribute to the problem. I don't want light skinned blacks to do anything differently than dark skinned blacks. Together we can shut Colorism down. That would be nice.

        5. I don't understand where you're going with this. You asked for examples. Not sure about the countering or why the countering is necessary. Plus ALL and EVERY are not my choice words.

        6. I asked you for examples of where light skin people are given privileges because they are light. Based off the examples you have given I would like to know how do you think light skin people go about “checking their privileges” in those circumstances. I know every word isn’t your choice of words but they fall within the examples you gave (in my opinion)

        7. I gave you examples of the people I know who acknowledge their form of privilege because you asked for privileges they acknowledged,. And I don't know if they go about "checking their privilege." What does that even mean? I don't have an answer for you. And again…ALL and EVERY…not me or my style. Not sure how you using those words fall within the examples I gave of SOME people that I know. I don't generalize. But thanks for the questions. I hope some of this helped you.

  4. This is why as a community we can’t have a conversation about colorism. It seems like the narrative can only come from a person of a darker a complexion with a certain experience or opinion ). ( in response to @dolograteful)

    As far as the cover goes. I can understand why some women ( and men) felt Pharell should have picked a darker skin or more noticeably black woman. While I could tell the woman that one of the women were black, the fact that most almost had to guess that she was black , was kind of typical when it come to the music industry . I mean it’s not like he had a light skin woman like ( a nia long complexion or Sanna Latham or aaliyah ) were they’re light but you can tell they’re black, that girl is passable .

    Like you said, black people come in all different shades, but when one shade is constantly the representative, especially when we know the specific shade is getting more play because it’s seem to look more passable or exotic , or mixed ( as if being black isn’t enough ) then there’s an issue.

    I think we also have too look at people reactions to Lupita on twitter , as an example of why we need more darker skin representation. She’s a beautiful girl, but the fact that she’s almost the figure head for darker skin beauty because there are very few women that are darker than Nia long on a main stream level being celebrated is a sign that we are in need of a change.

    I mean listen have you seen the Lupita slander, everyone doesn’t have to be in love with her, but it’s like men ( and even some women), went out of there way to say how ” she’s not all that” or how she’s ” average”. It’s like let’s be real there some very average light skin/ mixed girls who float across the time line that people go crazy for and it’s only because they look mixed , have long hair or a fat butt, but people don’t go out of their way to slander or voice their distaste . I mean all the memes comparing Lupita to famous black men, or calling her ugly.

    As a community we need the Lupitas to get just as much exposure as the Paula Pattons .

    I think hip hop is the only genre were we feel all beauty should be included. I mean if a white country / pop singer did that album cover , they wouldn’t have had a black woman on there. While I know pharell isn’t a colorist, it would have been nice to see a black man show the beauty of black women ( from very light to very dark) on that cover because honestly if our own black artist don’t show us off, who really will.

    I will say the only thing about this conversation that pissed me off on twitter was that it went from pharell needing a black woman in the cover to making it seem like light skin women aren’t real black women( not all light skin women look like the girl on the cover.) when it come to this media ish it’s only a certain type of light skin woman they’re looking for ( damn near mixed).

    1. "I mean listen have you seen the Lupita slander, everyone doesn't have to be in love with her, but it's like men ( and even some women), went out of there way to say how " she's not all that" or how she's " average". It's like let's be real there some very average light skin/ mixed girls who float across the time line that people go crazy for and it's only because they look mixed , have long hair or a fat butt, but people don't go out of their way to slander or voice their distaste . I mean all the memes comparing Lupita to famous black men, or calling her ugly. "

      between blogs, facebook, and twitter, i've heard the exact opposite, to the point where i'm worried this is on some over-sensationalizing stuff. i'm not fascinated by her, so i know to shutup, but the amount of support/fawning i've seen…is more than the Beyonce and Rihanna fans put together…i've seen no slander from any dudes i follow on social media (that being said, i know jerks exist, so i know someone's slandering her, i just ain't seeing it with these 4 eyes i got lol)

      but, this is my POV. your mileage my vary.

      1. I understand RiRi and Beyonce get slandered. But the masculinity comparisons rarely if every happen, even with RiRi short hair cute. Even with Amber Rose hair, I've seen dudes say they don't like it or she just has a body, but they never compare her short fade to Chris Brown, or Tyga Insert light skin man with fade)

        Also just like Beyonce fans and RiRi fans ride for them, some make it seem that the women who love her are being over sensitive when they see people going above and beyond to call her ugly. I can stand the Navy or B-Stands sometimes but I mean Lupita just got on the scene and it seems like some people are just slandering her because other people love her.

      2. The love for Lupita will NEVER be more than the love fanatics and thirst buckets have for Bey or Rihanna. LOL. NEVER. Lupita is like a Novelty. Unfortunately that is how you can look at it. For some strange and close-minded reason, folks haven't seen such beauty come in such a dark package in a long time. Plus Social media makes opinions more immediate and visible for all to see. Seems like people are OD'ing on the the support to you whereas some may argue sincerely that it isn't enough.

        1. If Lupita was a pop icon then yeah she might be > Bey or Rihanna. It kinda tough to put her in that category now.

          Never? Can't really say that.

          Body wise she also doesnt have the OOMPH of a Bey or RiRi (re: not thick) lol but she is pretty overall.

    2. "I think we also have too look at people reactions to Lupita on twitter , as an example of why we need more darker skin representation. She's a beautiful girl, but the fact that she's almost the figure head for darker skin beauty because there are very few women that are darker than Nia long on a main stream level being celebrated is a sign that we are in need of a change. "

      This is an excellent point. Agreed

      "I mean listen have you seen the Lupita slander, everyone doesn't have to be in love with her, but it's like men ( and even some women), went out of there way to say how " she's not all that" or how she's " average". It's like let's be real there some very average light skin/ mixed girls who float across the time line that people go crazy for and it's only because they look mixed , have long hair or a fat butt, but people don't go out of their way to slander or voice their distaste"

      I have said for YEARS that all light skinned wome aint cute just because they're light. There are JUST as many average LS women and DS women as Asian/white etc. People are just conditioned to think "light is right" and its sad. We have to overcome that.

  5. Streetz one point you brought out that stuck out to me.

    1) sometimes I wonder when will some people not assume that a man dating a light skin woman is typical. I mean they’re are definitely black men with color complexes but not every man with a light skin woman is trying to diss dark skin women. I mean even light skin men can’t date light skin women with out getting that ” typical look ” sometimes.

    As far a light skin privilege, idk how we can talk about it in a healthy forward moving way honestly. I mean I feel like you, white people know I’m black and I face the same job discrimination as my fellow darker sister. White people don’t care that I’m not as dark in 99.99 percent of the situations I’ve been in ( heck maybe I’m not light enough ). Now when it come to my own community and other communities ( I know colorism is heavy in the Latino community as we’ll) they’re May be things I’m not aware of and need to hear,( even of I haven’t experienced the privilege personally )

  6. I wish we didn't need tone-based affirmative action for an album cover. We're talking about a project called G I R L, not USA or The Black Community…created by an artist known for liking a diverse range of women.

    I look for opportunities to support progress, but I'm not one to blindly support just because there's an uproar. I can't tell people how to feel, but I've been struggling to feel much of anything around this one. Seems like another case of looking to someone else for an internal boost.
    My recent post 013: Men Just Wanna Have Fun

    1. Maybe I'm the only one…maybe! But an album cover is just an album cover to me. There's lovely ladies on the cover. There's not one dark enough for some people's liking… I don't get it. That's a consumer's preference I guess. It's nothing Pharrell sould have to fret about. It's a cool frigging cover and we had to find issue with it? The fact that there was an uproaor over it just annoys me I guess. This was an amazing post. I was enlightened no doubt. I just wish something more than an album cover would've sparked this discourse you know?

      1. Maybe you're annoyed because you're not asking the right questions…not that you have to. Generally I would love it if the people upset at those who were upset…(Black men specifically) would take the time to ask why instead of assuming, agitating, putting words in our mouths and being so passive aggressive with something like colorism. Seems like WE only get upset when whites inflict racism upon us. When we do it to each other…annoyance.

        1. NO, he's annoyed because it doesn't make sense…you're talking about an album cover, not anything of importance…i live in Indy, everyday i wake up, go to sleep, go home for lunch, I see amazing black women on TV, on the local news networks being anchors, weather person, cable news networks (Tamron, Joi, Gwen, etc… and these aren't lightskinned women either…idk about where you live but the places i've lived (STL, INDY, Denver, BAY area) black women are all over it when it comes to the news. This is a WAAAY more important realm than a frigging album cover…so when people say they are annoyed, this is what they mean

        2. Well thank you for explaining what annoys all people! LOL! Now I'm annoyed because you feel like because you live in INDY, there's a possibility that maybe this isn't an issue? I've lived in plenty places as well and Colorism doesn't skip cities and states just because you lived there and didn't see it. Maybe you too are annoyed because you don't understand the issue which clearly is deeper than a "frigging" album cover…maybe…because that is what I said in the 1st sentence. MAYBE. So when people say "maybe" they offer an option, another theory…this is what "they," meaning I mean. LOL! Thanks for your response though.

  7. Pharrell , a black man, says his new album is dedicated to women and on the album cover he has one black women who most wouldn't even know is black. How is that not problematic to you? Black women who actually look black are always being shut out in the media, so of course there will be backlash when a black man shuts them out as well. No one is saying that he can't have racially ambiguous black women on his album cover, but at least have a woman on there who actually looks black. It 's not that big of a request. There may be some truth to this article, but it has nothing to do with the Pharrell controversy. No one was hating on that woman because she's light skinned.

    1. I agree with your over all statement. I think what some people have an issue with is the facts that we keep dropping the “looking black” like light skin people are the only people who look racially ambiguous or like light skin women “aren’t real black” is were I saw the conversation go left on my timeline. There are dark skin women with features (ex hair and facial structure). I remember an article on clutch about the main girl the Kendrick Lamar poetic justice video (who happens to be dark skin) and people started to bring up the fact that she was dark but looked mixed so that didn’t count.

      Like you said I think as a black woman it would have been nice to see Pharel with an album titled “girls” that showed some noticeable variety , that showed a black woman that we don’t normally see celebrated on a cover that men and women of all cultures would have saw.

    2. I spoke of what I SAW in regards to the controversy. Maybe you saw different.

      If you wanted a darker skin sister on the cover that's your prerogative. To DEMAND it, is very presumptuous.

      You're basically saying our sister on the color isnt sister enough to represent us because how she looks doesn't fall into a specified "black beauty and representation" parameter.

      "doesn't that seem problematic to you?"

      1. I wouldn't say she's saying the sistah isn't black enough to represent us. I'd say she like many of us are tired of her type of blackness being the only option deemed appropriate and marketable. It's not about not being black enough…it's about a certain type of Black being as dark as "they" want.

        1. "Black women who actually look black are always being shut out in the media, so of course there will be backlash when a black man shuts them out as well."

          I agree with the assessment, I just think we shouldnt shut out our black sisters who dont "actually look black".

          And what the f*ck is actually looking black? Im lighter skin and all my white coworkers know I m black. Do blacks not consider me as "looking black"?!

          My problem is more with her delivery, I guess. Still silly to me.

          Plus I put the point she made in my article, and it's missed (which Im not surprised)

        2. I guess you don't watch news at all…your local news more than likely is filled with black women, cable news has black women all over it, killing it…here in Indy we have at minimum 5 black female anchors and reporters on tv everyday! When I watch tv I see Gwen Ififf, Tamron Hall, Joi B, Fredricka Whitfield, Donna Brazille, Nina Turner, Goldie H. and thats just off the top of my head and not including my local news

        3. Hooray for your news channels! I actually work in TV and see black women killing it as well. So your assumption about not watching the news whether local or cable is just that…an assumption. Not sure what that has to do with my point or the point a lot of others make when commenting on this article. Progress still needs to be made. Discussions should still be had and colorism still exists. just because you don't see it, do not dismiss others who do or who are passionate about eradicating it. Thanks.

      2. Thanks Streetz….my beef with the beef exactly.

        Now, I actually thought the lady in the back looked black from the jump. Either way, I felt like the first thing to do would have been to ASK if there were any black women on the cover. Why no one bothered to do that before spazzing out, I don't know.

        I feel bad about how the black woman on the cover must be feeling…and the fact that no one seems to care about her feelings in this beef.

        1. cynicaloptmst81: "Now, I actually thought the lady in the back looked black from the jump."

          OK, so it wasn't just me thinking that woman is obviously black.

    1. Do we consider the ladies on that cover to be objectified? I thought it was a pretty cool cover, very discreet. I'm just genuinely asking not point fingers at you brotha lol

        1. So is any woman on any cover objectified? What makes these ladies on this cover objectified?

  8. What I think is interesting about some of the thoughts in this post, is that they sound similar to the counter arguments that white people against our discussions/arguments/diatribes about white privilege. The fear of people with light skin being "shut out" or perceived as "bad" or "a problem" parallels in a way to the fears or concerns that whites have about discussing and addressing race issues as well. I'm not sure what that says or how I should feel about it. Maybe, we as a collective group in the black community need to look at the way we present our gripes to mainstream society so that they don't feel ostracized. Or maybe light-skinned people should yield the same advice we give to whites and be mindful of their privileges and be open to listening and learning and realize the concerns of dark-skinned people and their desire to be included won't actually jeopardize you in the end; that they just want to make room for everyone. Just a thought.

    1. I agree with the premise of listening and learning. But I think that some dark skin people have this idea that there’s some group of light skin people sitting around trying to figure out how to make sure “dark skin “ women are never noticed, or to make sure are dark skin brothers and sisters are never included. I think listening and learning needs to come from both ends because it doesn’t just effect one side of the coin, trust me we see with Obama how quick white people will call you “N!gga, Monkey etc” no matter how light you are. Now if you want to talk about the privilege light skin receives within our community, I’m all ears, but let’s not make being light skin (remember there’s degrees to being light) means as a black person you won’t face any of the same discrimination that dark skin blacks face from other races of people. (not all light skin people are passable either or mixed).

      1. There is actually a group. (At least in my Industry.) And they aren't always light skinned…a lot (not all but a lot) of these requests come from dark men who are convinced that there are women who are "too dark" to be part of a project. And as a Casting Director, I get specific requests to NOT Cast darker women for videos and covers AND most recently have received these requests for children. Imagine turning away kids for fashion week because they are dark or don't appear mixed enough. So yes…there is a group…several groups actually.

        1. Mocha, I understand that aspect of a group turning away darker skin people, or people who look “too black”. What I’m saying when we talk about colorism, we make it seems like all light skin people have it out for dark skin people. im sur ein some situtaions casting directors get their directions from their clients about who they want in an advertisement, not saying it’s right, but I doubt those light skin casting directors not picking a dark skin child had anything to do with their own skin tone(and more to do with the atmosphere of the industry which needs to change).

        2. You'd have to ask them. I'm not a light skinned Casting Director so I would and could never make that assumption. People do things for various reasons. Some fair, some unfair. Some professional and some very unprofessional and personal

          I also am definitely NOT part of this WE you speak of. "we make it seems like all light skin people have it out for dark skin people." When I talk about Colorism I don't put blame on one shade…I blame us all. But unfortunately Colorism picks sides.

      2. Maybe I wasn't clear before, but I've never have claimed that light-skin people don't experience similar experiences as the rest of the black community. At the end of the day, mainstream (white) society will most of the time see us all as black. However, it's obvious when it comes to certain things lighter skin seems like a "safer" or "more marketable" or "more desirable" choice within our own community and even outside of it (which puts them at an advantage). To say that whites don't notice it, simply isn't true. It's definitely not the huge deal that we seem to make it in our own community, but just look at casting choices and ad campaigns, it's definitely there in who is represented and who isn't so much. White people may not walk around saying "so-and-so is #teamlightskin/#teamdarkskin" but they know.

        I have actually had a conversation with one of my best friends mom's who is white, who told us a story about how her husband (a minister) was counseling a young black boy who had been called a "nig**r" at school and was upset about it. Mid-conversation she said, "I mean we were so confused about it. I don't know why they would even call him a nigger, he's not even that dark."

        I'm a dark skin female and I dated a white guy who told me he didn't usually date women who are so "afrocentric". There is nothing afrocentric about me. I wear my hair is straight, cut in layers or in a high bun most of the time. The majority of my clothes are from H&M or Calvin Klein or Banana Republic, almost preppy if you will. I was confused as to what he meant, so I inquired what about me was so "afrocentric" and he proceeded to show me pictures of girls he dated in the past — all mixed or lighter skinned girls. So to him, clearly "afrocentric" meant dark. They may not call it as to the point as we do, but they definitely notice the difference.

      1. I'm not sure that it's that deep. The discussion stemmed from darker-skinned women (or people) being confused or upset about the fact that a woman of a darker hue wasn't included on the GIRL cover. My observation was simply the sentiments of lighter-skinned people who push back or counter (not saying it's wrong) to the gripes of those people, seemed to emulate the same comments that whites make in regards to our issues with white privilege and overall prejudices. They always seem to be automatically shut down simply for the fact that they aren't the people affected. This is understandable most of the time (as with other privilege discussions), but other times, I wonder if their commentary should be welcomed for further clarification and understanding on both sides.

        For women specifically (as it pertains to the conversation), it seems that the argument is that darker-skinned women aren't included in the group of women that are deemed attractive or desirable. To deny that there aren't other benefits of being born with lighter skin in American society, would be remiss. This doesn't mean that darker-skinned people are "less than," just like whites aren't "greater than" us as black people. I'm not sure where that sentiment came from.

        1. “t seems that the argument is that darker-skinned women aren’t included in the group of women that are deemed attractive or desirable”

          So is the plan to force others to see them as desirable?
          Why is being seen desirable or attractive so important?

        2. Force, no. I have an issue with the idea that anyone should be forced to include people based on some sort of politically correct agenda (i.e., SNL). Let people do what they want, if you take issue with it, don't buy or support their content. Quite honestly, I really like Pharrell's album, "Lost Queen" is my jammmmm…

          I think most of the level headed people who engaged in this debate, simply wanted to point it out, because so many people, are quick to dismiss the feelings and realities of darker skinned people, in particular, women.

          Why is it important? It shouldn't be that important. However to act as if what is portrayed in our media is not a reflection of society or eventually affects society is simply incorrect. The media definitely doesn't show all facets of our society, hence the lack of dark skin presence in general (outside of like, sports), and other groups that are not as "popular". This dismissal, and lack of representation does have an effect on the psyche, and can be difficult to shut out. For little dark skin girls, the dismissal of our existence outside of bad or purely animalistic behavior, does have an effect. The intentional or unintentional reluctance to see us as desirable, while at the same time groups within our own community are so quick to ostracize us for our complexions does have an affect. There is a lack of balance that can make one feel as if they are not seen or wanted, and then when the issues are addressed and then dismissed once again, make them feel they are not heard.

          It's a problem, that stems from the issue of lack of presence. I wish all we had to do was teach young girls that no matter who recognizes you or worships you, all that matters is inner beauty and inner confidence, but it simply isn't realistic. As long as a woman's worth is primarily nestled in her looks, reinforcements of all kinds of beauty will help to foster young girls self-esteem and self-recognition. Just look at the overwhelming love for Lupita Nyong'o. Her presence is doing wonderful things for young girls who look like her, who rarely ever see their features and complexions praised. I freaking love it.

          P.S. This speech, says everything I want to say, but much more eloquently. Of course from the lovely, Ms. Nyong'o. (http://www.upworthy.com/oscar-winner-lupita-nyongos-speech-on-beauty-that-left-an-entire-audience-speechless).

  9. Can some one please explain why black men (especially entertainers) are the only group that feels the need to place another race’s woman ahead of his own. You will never and I mean never see entertainers fron ANY other race with a woman outside of their race in the media. When u turn on the spanish videos and movies u see Spanish women, white videos and movies white women, Arabic and Asian… you get the point. These Willie Lynch black entertainers are the only fools on earth that exhibit this behavior. I love Pharel’s music like everbody else, he is a musical genious. But it is funny that none of the “Girls” on his album cover looks like him. A reply from the author would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I agree with some of what you said.

      Colorism exist in the Latino community. HEAVY! You ever notice darker Latinas in those videos? I think it gets a pass because in America blacks are more self aware of the color issues due ot our roots in slavery. You go to DR, PR, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Cuba, Brasil or any other Latin country with African roots, and they will tell you the same things we are talking about now.

      Other races have that privilege that they don't have to worry about "furthering the promotion of their race" because they're already in the pole position.

      Our entertainers are in the unique position of marketing to the majority, and controlling that imagery. When they don't give an entire representation of our race (in terms of complexion), it's frowned upon by most.

      You do have to ask if they are OBLIGATED to do so, do they have malicious intent when "omitting" darker sisters, and do we shun those lighter skinned blacks who fit the "majority" beauty standards in favor of darker sisters.

      I'm just typing out loud. I don't have a definitive answer.

      My main idea is that we should overcome this together. Lets not shun the lighter by not "fittin in to blackness" lets not diminish the struggle of darker skinned people in general and lets tackle the issue with a UNIFIED front!

      Thanks for reading

      1. "Lets not shun the lighter by not "fittin in to blackness" lets not diminish the struggle of darker skinned people in general and lets tackle the issue with a UNIFIED front! "

        This a thousand times over. Sort of off topic, but I just read an article on yahoo about Misty Copeland, a black ballerina in the American Ballet Theatre. The article mentions her struggles with acceptance in the company and quotes her saying, "My blackness has always been clear to those who say I don't fit into the classical world of ballet." Copeland is not dark, yet still faced adversity before becoming a soloist in ABT. I read the comments and was annoyed at the responses dismissing her struggles saying that she is not dark. Someone said outright, "When they choose a really dark skinned ballerina, let me know. She's light enough to bypass the racism in ballet, and get chosen for important roles." So because she is not dark enough, the racism she felt by being a Black woman is not valid?? Major side eye..

    2. "You will never and I mean never see entertainers fron ANY other race with a woman outside of their race in the media."

      Robert DeNiro. George Lucas. David Bowie. Gabriel Audrey. Robin Thicke (before this week). Wolfgang Puck. Roger Ebert. Dirk Nowitzki. And there are more.

      "These Willie Lynch black entertainers are the only fools on earth that exhibit this behavior."

      See the list above.

      "it is funny that none of the "Girls" on his album cover looks like him"

      Pharrell, like any other musician, has no obligation to place females on album covers that belongs to the same racial group as he. And there's at least one girl on the cover who is black, anyways.

      People need to stop looking to the media and to entertainers for validation and start looking within themselves. Get your priorities in order.

  10. Can't he just like who he likes though? Is that so wrong? I'm just curious. I love black women, I love dark women. But I find women of all looks attractive. Everyone has their different beauties. Shouldn't he be able to put who he wants on his vocer without backlash?

  11. I think most people agree with the fact that Pharell having a dark skin woman on the cover would have been a better representation of diversity on his cover. The disconnect came about when some made it seem like being light skin is not “really black”. Again I understand that in this case it seems like he picked a black woman that was passable (even if his intent wasn’t to over look a darker skin woman). It was almost like people were trying to separate light women from dark women. Yes in some situations being very light or looking mixed will be the reason why your “blackness is accepted”, not completely scot free of racism or prejudice (because white people have no problem reminding a light skin person of how black they are) but possible a little further a head than someone who is darker.

    1. think the conversation is so frustrating because honestly we don’t know a solution that will bring about the change that is desperately needed asap. For example, getting more black women represented in modeling or videos, in this age its hard to find a black woman as the lead in a video unless she’s mixed or passable or you’ll see a mix of black women in a video if the it’s a strip club, or if the video’s in the “hood” (a lot of the time). It would be easy to say just “don’t support those artist” but when almost %80 percent of consumers that purchase hip-hop/rap music are white, our dollars to some don’t mean much in that arena. So after you take out that option you just have to hope your favorite male artist is aware of colorism and takes pride in making sure all the sisters are represented. But that seems impossible when so many men feel they don’t “owe” to it too black women to make sure that job is done.

  12. We got Colorists and Race-ists (yes, this is a Real Word, Look it Up) going around in circles about Shades of Skin. This is the legacy of Willie Lynch that transcended the House and Field Negro conflict, and UNTIL WE CAN DEAL WITH THIS BS, the Black Community can Never fully deal with Racism.

    I Myself LOVE Black Women of All Shades; No Woman on this thread can tell me otherwise as my Mother, Grandmothers, Aunts, Cousins, Daughter, Daughter’s Mother and Ex-Fiancee Are Black. White ppl see ALL of us as Black; Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were Black.

  13. How in the Hell can we unite for Trayvon and Jordan but with a Damn CD cover we going in on this Colorism shit??? REALLY?? Black Women seem to WANT to have the right to be Objectified (by Black Men) and then Bitch about said Objectification….. Why, IDK but I’m not on that crap.

    Black Men want to be treated as Real but Some of us call ourselves Niggas, and Want/Allow Black Women to call us Niggas….. I “get” taking “Nigger” and its power away and making something New but not Everyone is in agreement with this…..

  14. Saddened by folks who are still screaming about the middle girl being a Black woman. In other words, "shut the fuck up…you're never satisfied…is she NOT Black enough?" I overestimated people thinking they'd get the point but some people will never fully understand Colorism or just don't want to. Seems like it's more important to try and prove each other wrong instead of asking, verifying and understanding what exactly the issue is. People take things out of context, don't read, or my favorite…just assume that everyone is mad for wanting to discuss, share experiences or just shed some light on a tense situation. Still glad you write this however. Thank you.

  15. I definitely think this is a necessary discussion. This album cover is just the thing that baffles me as to what sparked it. So many other scenarios could be given in which this discussion I think could have more fervor. Maybe I just think an album cover is an album cover. And he chose who he chose, we shouldn't put words in his mouth so to speak you know?

  16. Black man puts dark-skinned girls on album covers and in music videos and he's subject to various protests for exploiting and sexually degrading "our women" and is labelled a misogynist. Black man doesn't put dark-skinned girls on album covers and in music videos and he's said to have a color issue and doesn't appreciate "our women".

    Looks like it's not the men who have a color issue….

  17. Why did people wait til now? Pharrell didn't do anything wrong. It's the wider culture that has the issue. We can't solve anything if people attack the symptoms instead of the problem. The problem is colorism and the fact that it's perpetuated by the media and even most people themselves.

    -The dark-skinned jokes
    -"Good" hair and "bad" hair
    -Dark-skinned people always referred to as savages, animals
    -Hyper-sexualization(Especially dark-skinned women)
    -"I didn't want my child to come out too dark"
    -People treating each other differently based on skin tone
    -Light-skinned privilege

    These, I think, are better places to check someone when they comment or make statements like this. Not waiting for a celebrity controversy. Most of those things are rooted somewhat in truth. You can tell some people really believe what they are saying. They don't see anything wrong with it because no one corrects them. So the problem snowballs until someone does a study or until someone gets caught verbalizing the unspoken rules of color. Just like racism, it's only bad if you talk about it.

    "You're cute for a dark-skinned guy." I'll never forget. Wasn't the first time I heard it but I was at a HBCU. I was so used to it I just walked away. Should have said something but I didn't. Nothing was solved by attacking Pharrell. He was just an easy target.

    1. I love your comments here, THOUGHTCRIMINAL and just had a convo with Streetz about the jokes and "checking" folks who engage in some of this weird type of comedy and ways of thinking. In addition to these jokes being tactless and hurtful, we also realized that you can't really policy senses of humor. (If that makes sense.) What one finds funny can't really be sanctioned…even if the jokes are made and cosigned in poor taste AND come from a deep rooted hateful place. That's why I think talking about this whether an album cover sparked it or not is so helpful and important. Maybe some of the faux comedians will see that all of these jokes and non-jokes are really more scary, sad and divisive than anything. Maybe? And speaking of non-jokes, we once had a convo about a mutual "friend" who made a comment about loving all black women but wanting to breed with light skinned women because he wants his kids to come out light skinned. How do you police that? No one checked him but instead, attempted to "check" the women, (including me) who tried to check him for that statement and way of thinking.

      And I too heard the "you're cute to be dark skinned" at my HBCU. That was also accompanied by, "I don't usually date dark skinned girls but for you I'd make an exception, you're not even THAT dark, I didn't know dark girls could grow long hair," my favorite, "you don't sound dark skinned over the phone"…and a slew of others throughout my tenure there. That was my 1st experience with Colorism and it hasn't stopped. Only difference now is most of the comments and wack jokes that I hear come from dark skinned men. Most…not all of course.

      1. I question Which HBCU you went to that such Colorism occurred, because as a Howard University Grad (class of 2013), Dark Skinned Women were and still are in Full Force at the Mecca, Sorority or Not, Athlete or Majoring in Social Work, Medicine, Communications, Political Science, Psychology, etc.

        I know that Colorism is a huge issue; I don't see how I have "light skinned privilege" when Everyone Non-Black SEES and TREATS me as Black. ONLY in Our Community is this BS taken seriously and I Refuse to get in the gutter with folks who have Self-Hatred towards their Own Skin(tone) OR towards Other Black People. Colorism is no different than being an Uncle Tom IMHO

        1. Sorry, John Shannon…it's not the school, it's the people. And no offense but Colorism doesn't skip over certain universities whether they are the "Mecca" or not. It's great to have school pride but please don't fool yourself into thinking that Howard is exempt. And as far as Light skinned privilege…I don't know you so I couldn't comment on whether you have it or not or whether you would even acknowledge it if you did…but it exists. Hopefully conversations like this will eliminate it and Colorism as a whole. Thanks for your comments.

        2. I was at HU for two years(would have been class of 2012, School of Business, I had to leave). It happened at a party. It's for real out here. Just because you're going to a place with educated people doesn't mean it's exempt. Those people come from all over and some still hold on to the beliefs from their old hoods or families. I think acknowledging it is not enough. We have to acknowledge where it comes from and deal with that part.

      2. Sorry I'm late. I think you can police it and then you can't. People are gonna think what they wanna think and laugh at what they think is funny. If someone is called out on something enough times they'll think twice about saying or doing it again. But waiting until a celebrity does something always proves too late. Look at the whole Jay-Z/Racial profiling situation. That had been happening since forever in this country but people acted like it was a new phenomenon Jay sure wasn't gonna compromise the privilege he knew he had and so it was left up to regular people to say something. Very few big name people actually addressed it. Everyone else side stepped it. The message lost steam because we waited for someone to address it when your average non-white citizen could have. Not saying they'll get the same air time but it's more authentic. When enough people speak up for themselves we can get some progress. We need to stop waiting for conversation to be started by an incident or celebrity.

        Look how quickly Pharrell dodged the question. He brought up the woman's ethnicity instead of stepping into the discussion and admitting that colorism is a problem. He could have explained himself easily and still addressed the issue that popular culture looks down on dark skin. Instead he just started dropping facts:
        -The girl closest to him is black.
        -Are you gonna tell her she's not black?
        -I wake up black every day.
        -"It's unfortunate because it's 2014…"

        The last one bugs me because white people and even some blacks use that as reasoning against modern day racism. "Well it's 2013.,." They said that all last year despite the in-your-face racism. You can't get results by putting those types of people on the spot. They think they're above it and will never engage. However, with the average person, we can bring it up and see what happens. If they want to talk, great. If not, leave them about their business. Just call em out whenever they say something stupid. Then they're forced to speak on it. That was the main problem with the Pharrell thing. He just had an album cover. Way too open to interpretation. And excuses.

  18. You want to make a difference then shut it down, and change the way you think and process things. Stop the hate. Don’t teach, encourage, or perpetuate the hate or separation. If an example is not set youth will continue to do the same thing.

    I have an acquaintance who is darn near 40. She is dark skinned and has deep rooted issues of race, but claims the problem lies with everyone except her. She’s ugly, ignored, disrespected because shes dark. Well this is BS. When people assume they are being slighted or disrespected they look for a reason. Many dark people who have been told that color is an issue tend to hold on to that as truth and reason for the slight. Well my thought process is a bit different because being slighted to me far outweighs the reason.I am not dark but but I’ve witnessed instances where she believed a lighter skin person mistreated her because of color. She totally ignored how the person was just rude. It’s stupid and it needs to stop.

  19. Black is black is black. It doesn't matter if the person is as light as butterscotch or dark as midnight.

    Black people are the only ones hung up on this color issue. Don't expect the media to pander to us or refrain from doing something just because they acknowledge that some of us are color-struck.

    In today's world, green is the only color that matters.

    1. Thanks for the comment RT. I wouldnt say that blacks are the ONLY ones hung up on color. Goto Latin America and you'll see similar issues too. And these issues come from somewhere.

      Its a huge undertaking we have to do in order to correct the behavior and mindset. We can't dismiss the issues in our faces, however.

  20. Fascinating thing………. The GOP/Tea party have a problem with POTUS' "My Brother's Keep" program to help ALL Men of Color- which includes ALL Shades of Blac- and yet WE of the Black Community have Colorism Poblems…………..

    Beyonce was toted as a Voice for Feminism of ALL Black Women- Light AND Dark- and yet we have a Colorism Prolem???

    I commented before a few days ago but with everything that has happend since this post came out I'm extremely baffled as to WHY, even outside of Political, Gender, Socio-Economic, and sexual Orientational conflicts, Shades of Skin Tone is AS CRITICAL, IF NOT MORE, than Blatant, Subtle and Instutional Racism??????

  21. "Ugly Truth #1: Light-skinned black people aren’t perceived to be “black enough” by darker skinned blacks."

    They aren't as black though, thats the truth. They receive significantly less prison time than dark skinned black people, for one. Why is it so hard for people to get this? There is a significant privilege light skin people have over darker skinned black people, to the point where I think it's necessary to acknowledge that blackness is more complex than the "one drop rule." If you have pale skin, light eyes, and wavy soft hair….. thats a completely different life experience than the average BROWN skin black person (we come in all shades but most of us are medium brown/dark, & light skins are overrepresented in media).

    Furthermore, I don't even believe thats true. Black community puts light skins on a pedestal if anything constantly claiming lightbrights as "just as black". And why should light skin people feel so entitled to be embraced (even more than they already-sufficiently-are) by dark skin people anyway? really? thats a level of entitlement on par with whites.

    you may be part of black culture and have black heritage, but if no one can tell that you're black and you can pass for white — guess what? You're not racially black. Get over it. Im not sympathetic to light skin struggles (cause there are none unless your albino). own your privilege & stop derailing with the entitlement.

  22. Very well written Streetz, and I loved the objectiveness of it all. I can identify with dealing with issues of colorism, however I think the road to healing will be a long one. I think the issue that most darker skinned women have is that they are tired of being represented only by their lighter sisters. We are beautiful in all shades, why is it so difficult to show that? Lupita should not be the token dark girl when there are plenty of beautiful darker girls everywhere. Honestly, I didn't even notice the album cover. However I won't dismiss my sisters feelings about it either.

    I think we should start with being more empathetic and understanding towards the feelings we have on both sides about colorism and racism. The seeds of colorism were planted long before many of us were born outside of our race and clearly has continued within. "They" taught us, and we in turn taught each other. Yes it is 2014, but yes it still exists and those wounds begin when we are younger. It isn't hard to look for, for example google "The Doll Test."
    My recent post March Madness 2014

  23. The truth is most black men don't get it because they are represented. When you think of black men in the media there is a whole color spectrum from light – Obama, Will Smith; brown – Denzel, Lebron, dark; Wesley Snipes, Djimon Hounsou.
    However, when you think of black women in the media it is only light and and most recently (light) brown. Lupita is the rare except and we will see how long her fame lasts. If the sexes were reversed the men would be complaining but people have such a hard time putting the shoe of the other foot and opening their mind to understand the other side of the story.

  24. Hello Fellow HUMANS, I am a Dark-Skinned Black Single Mother who is a Veteran From Mississippi and who has had to overcome the opinions of so many thinking God Only knows about me because of my dark skin. Now as far as Mr. Pharrell, My Sister and her husband treated me to lunch on day in P F CHANINS in Beverly Hills, CA. This was before he was married and of course I had no clue who this man was that kept starring at me. Of course I thought it was because of my Strong Southern Accent but my sister said it was because I was So BEAUTIFUL. I could only smile and simply say “Thanks Sis”. I reacted this way because born and partly raised in Mississippi I’ve always been told that I was UGLY AND TREATED BADLY because of my Dark skin. So, to be starred at by someone of his caliber certainly changed my view of my past…. Oh yeah I wanted to apologize to Pharrell for NOT KNOWING WHO HE WAS, I mean I walked by the man like he was just JOE BLOW from around the corner. So, no I don’t feel this man was making a statement of lighter is better or every woman is Beautiful EXCEPT DARK SKINNED BLACK WOMEN. My words of WISDOM to you all is “LOVE YOURSELF MORE AND OTHERS WILL FOLLOW”1

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