When I was young, growing up in Africa in a country where lighter skinned women are the epitome of beauty, I once asked a woman whom I looked up to why women with light skin were considered more beautiful than women with dark skin. Her answer was straightforward, “Because men like women with lighter skin if you are dark, men won’t find you attractive”. I remember looking at this woman confused because that is when I learned that it was the black man who determined what was considered the beauty of a black woman. I grew up to witness this harsh reality, I saw dark-skinned women being called all sorts of hurtful names not by white men, but by black African men. I saw light skinned women being sought after and exalted as the most beautiful.
But the reality is, most black women have darker skin tones. The lighter black women are in the minority, meaning in the eyes of most black men, black women are not beautiful.
So I believe when it comes to black people hating their own skin, it’s now time to shift the blame game and leave white people out of this twisted sickness of the mind. If black people have woken up to how white people mistreated them, why can’t they wake up to the fact that their very dark skin is beautiful too? If slavery was abolished, why can they not abolish hating their own brothers and sisters for having darker skin? I find black people to be the most self-hating and self-destructive people on this planet.
If I call my own child ugly, then she goes to school and gets bullied for the way she looks, why would I dare complain about my child being bullied? Is that not being a hypocrite? The name calling that comes from me as the mother is obviously more hurting and damaging to my child than the name calling she gets at school from strangers.
Why is it that it’s mostly black people who torment other black people for having more pigment in their skin? Why is it that in the black community people with lighter skin have more privileges than those with darker skin? Light skinned black women have grown to feel more beautiful and superior to darker skinned black women, causing them to mock women with darker skin.
Dark skinned black women bleach their skin because they are made to feel ugly not by the white man but by their own people.
Last week dark skinned model Porsche Thomas posted her pregnancy belly on social media and she was slated by most black people for having very dark skin. Black people simply found her rich melanin skin disgusting and not worth displaying on social media. Porsche Thomas was bold enough to address her black critics who had savaged her on social media for being too black.
“While some of y’all been in my comments criticising the blackness that is my belly, I (have) been over here enjoying life, growing tiny humans, performing miracles and hopefully getting even blacker,” she wrote.
Porsche Thomas was criticised by black people for being too dark
“I don’t think there’s a lot of self-love in the black community. We’re so quick to say, ‘black lives matter’ but we’re so quick to turn on each other. I just don’t think there’s a lot of support in the black community. I think the reaction to my photo is evident of that. Most of the negative comments I received were from black people, a lot of dark-skinned black people, a lot of young black people, which is crazy to me,” Porsche Thomas said.
It wasn’t white people who found her dark skin disgusting, it was black people who hated the way God created her, which she has no control over. In my own experience, I have found white people to admire very dark skinned black people, often complementing dark skin as being strikingly beautiful. I can’t speak for all white people, but the few I have known in my life do find very dark skin beautiful.
When I watch black movies, I hardly see very dark-skinned women being portrayed as beautiful.
I can not help but blame black men for shunning dark skinned women, causing them to resort to bleaching their skin to feel accepted in the black community. Last week on a Facebook page of a Zimbabwean male socialite Mike Tashaya, a Ghanaian woman with dark skin was called disgusting and told that in Zimbabwe men do not go near “a thing” that had such black skin. After such hatred from Africans to an African woman with dark skin, can women who bleach their skin be blamed, when they are made to feel disgusting and insulted by their own fellow men, who are supposed to find them attractive. Not all women are strong enough to withstand such hate and stay true to who they are.
Former model Irene Major bleached her skin so she could feel prettier. “Being lighter shows you belong to a different place on the social ladder. All the rich, successful black African men marry either a white or very light-skinned girls because they too grew up thinking lighter is the more pretty. It doesn’t matter how dark a man is, of course — the pressure is all on women,” Irene Major said.
Irene Major bleached because she feels successful black men prefer white women or very light skinned black women
American rapper Little Kim reports to have been insulted by her own father for being too dark, and that men often left her for lighter skinned women. She explained how her looks always haunted her as a child, and her own way of dealing with her insecurities was bleaching her skin so she would not look “black” anymore. Who can blame her when her own father who was supposed to make her feel like a princess found her dark skin ugly?
Little Kim does not want to look black anymore
Not all dark skinned black women are as bold and brave as Khoudia Diop who has stood firm against the cruel name calling and colourism and was able to become a successful dark skinned model full of self-love, grace and acceptance.
Not all dark skinned women like model Khoudia Diop are able to stand the hate from black people
So when I see black people complain and mourn that they are treated differently by white people because of the colour of their skin, I can’t help but shudder at the hypocrisy. Charity begins at home, maybe for the world to stop “looking down” on the colour of our skin as we claim, we have to start the movement ourselves by loving our own dark skin.
I dream of that day where black people will stop blaming white people for their own self-hatred and begin to ask themselves why they hate their own skin.
I dream of that day when black men will stop hating and mocking women with dark skin. I dream of that day where black people will stop tormenting each other because of the amount of melanin in our skin.
I can no longer blame colonisation and slavery for black people’s self-hate. I refuse to believe that lie. The self-hate surely is something that comes from the black man himself, something within his own soul that causes him to loathe the beauty and richness of his own skin.