I embrace every bit of my chocolate complexion, after all black is beautiful. I will not trade my dark skin and dark mask for anything. I am proud to be who I am.
More often than not, we watch music videos and films that extol light skinned women to the skies. This, at the expense of dark skinned women, without realizing how it molds and shapes young girl’s mindsets on the definition of beauty and even intelligence. As women, we have to begin to rethink what constitutes beauty. To this end, there is need to decolonize the mind and view beauty from our own African perspective.
Among the painful burdens black women continue to bear on a daily basis is the devastating, seemingly insurmountable ‘curse’ of being dark-skinned. Dating back to slavery, this ‘curse’, a sinister by product of racism, has traversed centuries, manifesting in such an awful way that the darker you are, the worse off your experience with discrimination is likely to be.
As dark blacks we have to make the decision to be free from this mentality. After making that decision you have to commit to it, and you might still fail in some moments but confidence and acceptance becomes your daily practice when you decide to commit to this as a matter of your outlook on life.
Some people will always find you ugly because of your skin and there is just nothing you can do about it. I make no apology to being dark-skinned. While I actively and absolutely detest anything to do with skin lightening products, do I understand why some women and girls turn into it? Yes, I do. Women are being taught that their value is in their physical appearance must fit in a particular box, then of course they are going to try their hardest to fit in that box.
Rather in a perfect world beauty would be as diverse as humanity is, but that perfect world does not exist, although we try to resist and redefine what beauty is. The reality you have to deal with is that some people and yes including black people are going to find you ugly solely because of your skin. And there is nothing you can do about it.
What is lost to many of us is that physical beauty is a social construction. This is true regardless of how you choose to define it. The questions I have grappled with and that continue to shape my perspective are as follows:
So what if someone thinks you are ugly because you are dark-skinned?
Does it take anything good away from who you are?
Does it affect your ability to be kind, intelligent, to do good work, to be a good person, and to love and be loved?
I urge all dark girls out there to be free from everything. Be your own praise singer, and be even that one confident dark skinned lady who young girls can look up to.
Dark skin, white mask? Not with me, I am dark and I wear my dark mask, and proudly so.