Aug 09, 2010 @ 2:31 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 1 Comment
“How much of the color complex infects and influences the way that Black men and women love and attempt to love one another?“-Marita Golden from the book Don’t Play In the Sun
Growing up I never had any qualms about my complexion. I was fortunate enough to have parents who did not suffer from colorism like other peoples parents. That was me as a child, as I grew up and matriculated through high school and having attended an HBCU I have been fully immersed in the issue of colorism that we often ignore within our community. As a brown-skinned sister I can say with all honesty that I have never looked at a light skin woman or bi-racial woman and coveted her skin complexion. I am so immersed and in love with ALL things Black that I often wished that I was darker. In my eyes there is nothing more beautiful than a Black man or woman with a beautiful velvet dark chocolate complexion.
In saying that I often times question if Black men (no matter the hue) feel this loyalty and passion for me. I have been single for 2 years and 3 months now and needless to say I have lots of time to think! As a brown-skinned woman I would be lying if I said I have never consciously or sub-consciously over compensated for being brown-skinned. I have always felt that I had to be smarter, better dressed, and well-rounded. I had to be the TOTAL PACKAGE. As a brown-skinned woman I have spent lots of money and time on my exterior. As a brown-skinned girl you cannot afford to be caught slipping in the social arenas. We brown-skinned girls and darker-skinned girls only have one impression to make and it has to be a good one. My need to over compensate also stems from the fact that I am rocking a natural super low cut which adds extra pressure to an already pressurized situation. It is no secret that Black people have an enormous fixation with hair and by cutting all of mine off I was making a bold statement and also possibly alienating myself from potential suitors?! I am brown-skinned and then I have the audacity to have no hair so you know every time I cross the threshold of my house I must be on on target.
I have to admit that when I was at my lowest point, I often thought to myself that maybe if I was lighter, a size 6, & had “good” hair maybe I would not be single. Now, I am an educated woman who reads enough to know that this type of thinking is problematical form of self-loathing that will never facilitate good coming into my life, but its hard not to get caught up in the color complex. Every time, you watch a music video the lead “video-ho” usually has super long luxurious hair, light skin, Hispanic, or bi-racial and is shaped like Jessica Rabbit. If that is not enough lets look at Beyonce. When Beyonce first came on the scene she was much browner in hue than what she is now. In fact the more famous Beyonce becomes the lighter her features get. With all these pollutants attacking my psyche its hard to look at my bald-headed, brown-skinned, plus-size self and feel happy and good about what my self-image, but I am here to tell you that those negative thoughts have passed and no longer have root in my mind. This is why time alone with self is so crucial. I had to learn to look at myself through my own eyes and be attracted and happy with what I saw. I looked in the mirror one day and I was not crazy about what I saw so, I am now currently in the process of changing my lifestyle becoming more active and loose weight.
If we are honest with ourselves there are a lot of women who seek validation from men/lovers. If you can only see your beauty through someone else’s gaze then you are only seeing a fraction of yourself and that is a pity. One of the greatest epiphanies I have ever had in my singleness is when I found out that I did not love ME! I got my nails done religiously, got a haircut every week, I shopped every chance I got. In essence on the outside I looked good, smelled good, but I did not love me. I was blaming my weight, my complexion, and my hair/politics for me not having a MAN. Truth is, I was not in any condition to be dating or entertaining anyone. Until, I had made peace with who I am, how I looked , and I saw my own beauty for myself then, how dare I enter a relationship with someone else. Not all growth can take place while you are in a relationship. You must commit to yourself and commit to changing your self-talk and rewiring your emotions. That cannot be done while you are catering to a mate. Giving yourself a personal/spiritual makeover must be done on your time ALONE! You can have all the right ingredients that it takes to be beautiful, but if you have no self confidence you might as well be an ugly-duckling! No one can give you confidence nor can shoes and clothes give it to you as well. Confidence is a light within you that emanates from your core that makes you irresistibly gorgeous. No matter what mass media, hip-hop, or the fashion world says BLACK IS still/always will be BEAUTIFUL no matter the hue. Dark-girl do not shy away from bright colors and brown-girl see your worth. Use this single time to fall in love with yourself, love your imperfections/ flaws, and more importantly do not make your most beautiful accessory which is your skin something you have to make excuses for. Love the skin your IN . Like Mary J. Blige said, “work what you got!”
Categories: The Temple of My Familiar