Friday, November 9, 2012

Shade doesn't matter


A Letter to my people,

You know what perhaps I should apologize and say that this is no means an attack on you. I even thought of sending out letters to my Brothers and then another to my Sisters but I figure this might be easier...buffet style. 
So allow me to pile a heaping of observation on your plate.

Our little girls. Our young girls. The future of our race. The mothers of our future leaders. They need you. They need you to tell them they are beautiful, they are smart, they can achieve if they believe –
and any other rhyming motivational speech.

Do you realize many of our young girls aspire to be video models? 
Video vixens...video actresses...video hoes. None of them aspire to the director of the video or even the stylist on the set but one of the girls in the video.  Have you noticed they (the videos) rarely use dancers…like the-I went to school - studied dance for several years - auditioned for this video with the choreographer & director - then for a week before production practiced-learned the dance - now I am on set actually dancing-one and two and kick ball change, type dancer? The young girl is just gyrating to the beat or back shots are shown as she moves seductively around the room.  The video barely even goes with the song anymore....they are clich├ęd and they all look alike. 
Where are Hype, Billie, F Gary Gray...sorry I am getting off subject? 
What was I saying...oh…the young girls just want to be the eye candy in the videos.


Why because that's what boys like and I want boys to the like me. Or I wish I had longer hair and lighter skin because that's what the boys like and I want boys to like me. And if you think the dark skin/ light skin drama has gone away...think again…it hasn't.

Okay I know I am "one of the darker sisters on campus" and while I never had a deep seeded issue with it, I recognized as a young girl that I was not what was classified as "beautiful". I did. Guys liked girls that looked liked Gina from Martin. Pam, the browner sister, was the best friend that often got clowned because of her weave. And while I know in my mind this issue is one that has been beaten into my people, I really thought that in 2011 it was one that wouldn't pop up in the middle schools and high schools of today. That is until my pretty little brown cousin asked me “why guys only liked light skinned, thick girls with long hair?”

I was taken aback! I was like- how do you figure that!? And then she quoted Lil Wayne's opening sentence in "Every Girl"... ("I like a long haired thick red bone").   I just shook my head and told her that all guys aren't like that and that is just a song. Some guys might have a preference but also told her that if a guy Only wants to date you based on your skin complexion and not because you are Freakin Awesome- he is a loser. 

Before you jump on my case, read that sentence again; yes if I guy only wants to date someone solely because she is lighter or darker and not give her credit for her personality then he is a shallow loser. What’s gonna happen in the summer time when the lighter gets dark or in the winter time when the darker gets light- we gone break up? Exactly…well she laughed and agreed but then shared with me a story about a friend of hers (a dark sister) and she wanted to "talk" <--remember when we used to say that...to this young man in their class. The young man agreed that that the girl was funny and mad cool but declined. Why...because she was "too dark".
To that I told my little cousin, his loss and he is a loser.

Brothers, you're probably saying oh you being too hard on shorty and perhaps I am but at the risk of losing my pretty little brown cousin-I can get harder. I hope she never hears things like, "you're pretty for a dark girl". Or when a light skinned girl walks by, hear the guys she is hanging out with say "she is ugly, that's a waste of a light skinned girl" as though the notion is light is right and down with brown . In the words of Rodney King, "why can't we all get along"? Sisters you aren't exempt...many of you are just as color struck BUT then will get three quarters pissed at a brother for being struck with that same fever. Shade doesn't matter. Assholes come in all shades but so do charming, incredibly wonderful people. 

Why not recognize that all shades of brown are so beautiful. Caramel, butter pecan, mocha, dark chocolate, etc…It's one of the many things that makes us so unique and oh so beautiful.