The controversial film documentary Dark Girls reveals (in full nakedness) the internal and external racism of the Black and other ethnicities towards women/girls with darker complexion as well as society’s obsession with lighter complexion, which kind of sucks to be honest.
You may be wondering why I just mention females. Well, despite men (especially the black brothers) experiencing discrimination, they are considered among other females the most attractive (at times for the wrong reasons such as their manhood being bigger). I even got to a stage of stating that it’s in every ‘white’ girl or other females of other ethnicities dream of having a relationship with a black brother even if their skin is surplus with beautiful melanin. Hence why, (not on the most part) the rise of interracial relationships with black men going out with women external to the black race. At the exclusive UK preview Bill Duke highlights his inspiration in creating the film documentary; reflecting on his personal discrimination he experienced being dark skin in his childhood all the way until high school. However, he also states the fact that dark-skinned women experience 10 times worse.
Well, watching documentary makes you to understand the issues we as black women have with ourselves in terms of self-esteem. The film looks into the issue in five sessions such as:
The History: how slaves where divided in terms of skin tone. Therefore light skin folks worked in the house and dark skin worked on the fields. Due to the amount of women being raped by the slave masters as well as their wives having flings with the males slaves. The whole mixed-race and colour tonnes began to increase.
The Impact: In terms of internal racial bullying at schools among black kids and the worse part, their parents. One of the ladies featured in film highlight how their were fights among dark and light skins girls with each other. Another remembers how one kid used to call her names and she always wondered why the boy would just pick on her. Once the teacher asked the boy the reason of the verbal abuse, he replied ‘because she black and ugly’. The shocking part was when a girl’s mother was praising her daughter for her looks but hinted that she wished that she was lighter, the girl said that after hearing that, all of that high praise just sank. Can anyone raise your hand if you called names like ‘blackie’, ‘mudduck’?
Men on Women: There where a few guys in the film. One of them stated his dislike for dark-skinned girls because ‘they’ll look funny beside him’, which reminds me of when one colleague of mine at work stated how she overheard one dude saying ‘how he wouldn’t be able to see her in the dark’. Others were questioning as to the need of the colourism, as long as you black YOU BLACK. There was some dudes that were genuine as during the scene of a couple of guys playing pool, one of male individuals stated how he’s been always been attracted to light skinned women. Which is cool, as many of us can get that. What was beautiful was the one guy that prefer their dark sisters on the basis of understanding in terms of progression, discrimination, struggle and triumph of being of darker complexion. Another young guy preference for dark girls was just on the basis of the beauty of the melanin. Which may explain why many brothers degrade a dark-skin/black women, really some of them are just fed-up of struggling all the time. To me, some black men are so funny as to how they get angry seeing a black woman going out with a white man (because of the way they use to rape them I’m guessing). Hey man, if you felt that way then why don’t you fall in love with one of us then? Clearly you see us as inferior to you; and just like how you prefer women of lighter complexion, we are in no way going to wait for you, if another man, external of our race offers us the love and treatment of an African Queen then we’ll go on that bandwagon. Simples. Although in the UK, there’s a majority of white guys who prefer white/mixed race girls…guess they think (thanks to the media) that black girls are either too much or unattractive…unless they lust for us in secret. Who knows? Everyone’s secret desires are confidential.
One of the woman in the film highlighted how she was offer marriage proposals during her holiday in Cancun. Not only that, she was considered beautiful and didn’t understand how her own people didn’t consider her pretty at all. Great that they featured two white dudes who couldn’t get enough of Black women. I remember a former colleague who’s Asian telling me about how even Asians men like Black women…maybe that would explain how I get stared on the train by some of them at a few occasions (then when I give them a look, they would just look away).
Women on Men: In the documentary, they highlight how Black women are the least coupled group. I CAN’T FORGET that Japanese Doctor that done a research confirming that Black women are the least attractive i.e. ugly, due to them having more levels of testosterone and on average, a higher body mass index. One of the women stated how she was adored indoors, but never in public. As a matter of fact, her man was never around when she went public. Other issues they highlight was how women of darker complexion get more flings rather than relationships. One woman states how she was never considered ‘the girlfriend’. Women of dark complexion are just considered as sexual pleasures, ‘hoes’ or ‘prostitutes’.
The Media: If you live in Africa, watched TV and never see a trace of a character in your dark complexion, you’ll only be prone to go to extreme lengths to bleach, which is the number one selling beauty technique in other parts of the world. Even globally, being dark is not considered attractive. A Korean girl recalls how someone asked her mother during her holiday to her country as to whether she was her daughter, due to her having a natural tan that went in line with her skin. One man stated how he went into a shop in another country and couldn’t even find a normal body cream; as the shop only stocked bleaching/lightening skin products. Brazil, India and the Caribbean have people with dark complexion but are never considered more than they are in society. It’s even come to a case that even families detest their children going out with them, as they’ll mess up their ancestry of ‘lighties’.
Hip Hop videos nowadays never feature dark-skinned women unless they have big boobs/booty. Irrespective of the stereotypical black ‘bootay’ these artists say that they’re for us. Don’t know what planet they’re on featuring exotic light skin women 100%. Don’t even get me started with all of these male celebrities going out with women of other ethnicity. The film even highlighted the controversy surrounding celebrities like Beyonce and Rhianna who have progressively become lighter throughout their music career — through lightening injection (I hear).
The Healing: Finally, the film looks into the surprise of the First Lady being of dark complexion. The ladies in the videos declare their full self-acceptance and wouldn’t change a thing. Naomi Davis, who was featured in the film states that she has now a lighter load in a mind compared to how she was felt before with her skin. Indeed, the journey can get better only if more can be done for parents to teach their kids who are of darker complexion to realise that they’re fine just the way they are.
Despite the obsessed media being on the light skin wave. We have the likes of Alex Wek, Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, Brandy Norwood, Kelly Rowland, Keke Palmer, Naomi Davis and others that have beaten the battle against society’s distaste of darker complexion. It can be said that maybe the African-Americans have an identity crisis. Having to change their racial identity five times throughout history, and their sense of belonging still continues. The director also recalls his shock as to how the trailer reached 1.3 million hits worldwide from Brazil, Jamaica, Germany, France, Poiand, Trinidad and parts of Africa. Now to me, I presumed that France, Germany and Poland are kind of prejudice. So it’s weird that they viewed the trailer the most.
Personally, whilst the media don’t want black folks but rather the culture for commercial gain ‘stack-on-stack-on-stack’, black folks are still gradually going through a long road of self-acceptance. Especially black women of dark complexion. You know how society sees us as nothing less as sluts and see the likes of Azealia Banks not giving a good reputation of us thanks to her whole host of beefs. Nevertheless, the beauty of melanin skin is diverse and those of other ethnicities envy because of the natural attributes of youth, beauty and protection from the sun. Like my mother always said, people would always appreciate what they don’t have. However, I believe that there’s a difference with wanting something that has psychological effect to cause one to hate their appearance and embracing someone’s differences. In a way, those of light complexion can get away with bleaching/lightening of the skin, despite them playing around with their genes to become white as ghost (like in some Asian countries). Those darker complexion however, are not very likely. With severe red blotches and peeling of the skin. the side effects are very dangerous. Therefore, I don’t recommend anyone whether light or dark complexion bleaching. Whilst some need a helping hand to their journey of self-acceptance, others have found their identity after painful persecution from society, friends and family. Those people can now put two fingers up to the world and say that I’m Black & Beautiful.
Dark Girls, it’s your time to shine…may I also add that you can still rock your afro. The word ‘nappy’ is too much referred to afro hair! Black Americans need to get out of this ignorance.
Watch out for the next film documentary focusing on women of light skin complexion, society’s obsession, stereotypes and struggles with them. I think it’s going to be called The Yellow Brick Road but don’t take my word for it.