She's Pretty For A Dark Skinned Girl

Tameka Foster Raymond took her feelings to the Huffington post with this provacative essay on the treatment of dark skinned women in the media, and more importantly our own community. Here's a snippet:

"I am a dark-skinned African American woman with features that reflect my ancestry. Debates regarding Light vs. Dark and other biases have plagued our race for years and continues to impact millions of Black women. The deeply rooted intra-racial contempt that lies beneath this inane "compliment" is the reason I've chosen to spark dialogue surrounding the topic of self-hatred in our culture. It saturates every aspect of our lives, dominating the perspectives of our generation as a whole. We culturally are so influential, at times inadvertently, that we affect all with the words we utter and the images we portray. It lends to the theory of systemic racism. I'm authoring this piece because I'm miffed by this reality and would like to share my views on these subjects.

It is a fact that many African-Americans are often mixed with an array of other ethnicities (as am I), which allows for the spectrum of our features to be as distinctive and special as we are diverse. Why is it felt that the more diluted our traditionally African features become the more aesthetically acceptable we are considered? It was said in the 1960s and the sentiment seems to be forgotten, "Black is Beautiful." Wow, nearly 50 years later and is that now only meant for a specific shade? Nonetheless, I believe the beauty of our people and splendor of every individual is reflected in our varying features and hues.

Often dark-skinned women are considered mean, domineering and standoffish and it was these very labels that followed Michelle Obama during the campaign for her husband's presidency and which she has had to work tirelessly to combat. I was appalled when I heard a Black woman refer to Michelle Obama as unattractive. The conversation turned into why President Obama picked her as his mate. No one in the witch-hunt made reference to the possibility that Michelle Obama was smart, funny, caring, a good person, highly accomplished or brilliant. Nor did they mention that she previously was President Obama's supervisor. If she were fair skinned, petite with long straight or wavy hair, would the same opinions be linked to her? I seriously doubt it. It is believed that for the dark skinned, dreams are less obtainable.

In fact, I have read similar comments about myself that I am "dark, aggressive, bossy and bitchy." It has been stated that my husband should have been with a "younger, more beautiful" woman. Astoundingly, the majority of the remarks come from African-American women and are mimicked by others. Sadly enough, I don't know nor have I met 99% of those making these assertions. Funny, how we can judge another without having personally seen, interacted with or experienced a person's character. "
I don't know ladies, but I think she has a lot of very valid points here. But you can read the whole essay and let me know what you think.
9 Responses:

It is funny because black women always complain about being discriminated by black men or men of other races but are quick to spew huesim at other black women.

Black people need to stop embracing huesim, their is no need at all to describe someone by their skin tone. Or base assumptions about them by skin tone.


She does have a point.

It's time to open our minds and let go of these things that have been impressed upon us from slavery to Jim Crow times to the media images. It is definitely time to fight these negative, false and unproductive thoughts and embrace our own and eachother's beauty regardless of something like hue, hair texture, size or anything else that is ridiculously insignificant to one's true beauty.


Hi,
can you post a link to this essay?
thanks :)


I completely understand the deal behind hueism, as it should be something of the past. However, I've come to the realization that she doesn't exactly deserve the sympathy.

First, she married a pop star. Simple as that. Also, she's been doing everything under the sun to change her appearance and now she wants to complain about American beauty standards? Wait, didn't she encounter a near-death experience getting lipo or some sort of body augmentation in Brazil? Nah, I'm not buying the "self-love" deal, because obviously she feels in competition with other women.

Second, Usher was with two other well-known women who weren't dark-skinned by any means. So she shouldn't feel so dejected due to her skin color. She should be happy (and glad) he chose her as his wife. After all, she's married, so why should she care what anyone else thinks? This here means she apparently does care...

She may have a few points, but it's just ironic coming from her...nevertheless hueism is bad, but it's not like she's not also perpetuating European beauty standards.

She's doing exactly what she's against. Good try, but I'm not biting.


Completely agree with CO, this topic has come up so much over the net this week and it drives me batty when it's viewed as a non-issue. If no action is taken to kill cancer it will continue to grow. This is a cancer that some of us refuse to see exist and therefore it lives on. If we get at these issues individually, we can truly love ourselves and recognize the beauty of all people without placing them in some box.


I have to read the rest of this but also felt she (Tameka) makes some very valid points and wrote out her thoughts wisely.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tameka-foster-raymond/shes-pretty-for-a-dark-sk_b_256784.html


1st of all, she and our First Lady are beautiful! The excerpt was excellent. I can't wait to read the article in entirety, as it seems she has totally hit the nail on the head (prior to this, I didn't feel one way or another about her...knew nothing of her).
@T: how is lipo and breast augmentation altering her African phenotype? That's what this excerpt is about... colorism/ "African-ness" and the personality traits associated with different hues (by blacks and other). Big boobs and a tight waist have nothing to do with what she's addressing.


i personally have never heard anyone criticize her when it's comes to the hue of her skin.

there has been criticism, however, as to her purported masculine features and her seemingly bossy personality which i think has nothing to do with her color.


I don't find anything wrong with what she said...I just want to know who is her ghost writer, because I fail to believe she wrote that word for word.


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