Chew On this: Tameka Raymond is “Pretty For a Dark-Skinned Girl”


Loyal reader BabyRo passed this article over to me last week so I’ve been meaning to post it. It is actually a very good read. Tameka Raymound exhibits some very mature, articulate writing in this article/blog post that explains how she views the light-skin vs. dark-skin stereotypes black people place on ourselves and the stigmas that result from it. She admits that she has be called, “Pretty, for a dark-skinned girl” as if it it rare for beauty to exist in a darker-skinned Black woman. According to Tameka, “dark-skinned women are considered mean, domineering and standoffish” as opposed to their lighter counterparts and are also “deemed ‘less desirable’ “. Upon reading the article, I agreed with many of Tameka’s points, including where she mentions that black people tend to suffer from self-hate and loathing that causes us to demean each other in ways other races would never bother to. As a darker-skinned ChokLit lady, I thankfully cannot attest to being highly discriminated against since I was fortunate to grow up in a part of Canada where black people were more scarce and if you were black, you were just black. As I moved to areas with higher Black populations, I began to see more differences and prejudices amoung my own people.  Still, I can imagine it is still not as disruptive as the situation in the United States where the Slave mentality of light-skin vs. dark-skin has been instilled for hundreds of years. Needless to say, it is a good read. Check out a snippet below.

There is an adage “hurt people, hurt people”. If this is true then we must examine the root of negative words and judgments that are passed on people. Unfortunately, we have internal stereotypes based off of skin color and facial features that stem from years of programming, dating back to the “Willie Lynch” method for creating a slave. In this infamous formula, one of the main factors in separating and creating division was placing the lighter skinned blacks in a higher position in the house, while those with darker skin were made to stay in the fields and deemed “less desirable”. Much like the Caste System in India. No matter what strides we make as a people, these issues continue to plague and rot our souls, causing significant decay to a portion of our population and truly hindering our progress. Perhaps we show progress in our wallets and lifestyles but not in our mind set.

Reading magazines, social media sites, watching our music videos, and television shows feed our appetites for all things ‘beauty”. Rarely, however do I see depictions of grace and elegance in the form of dark complexioned women. I Googled one of the more ethnic models, Alek Wek and I was saddened by the tone of what the bloggers wrote in reference to her complexion, features and hair texture. Ms. Wek’s escape from Sudan, her journey, philanthropy, and groundbreaking success as a supermodel in America is not only beautiful, but it displays her tenacity and character. African-Americans seemed to have lost their eye for character. These comments are evidence of the confusion that lies within many black people. It’s the cruelty and prejudice that has spilled into the fabric of our everyday lives. It makes me wonder what have we collectively lost as a people? Our Minds.

Read in the article in full here. What do you all think?

Published in: on August 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. I read this article last week and I agree that the article was very well written. Also I agree with a lot of the points that Tameka mentioned. I am also considered a “dark skinned” black girl, however I’ve heard the remark pretty for a dark skinned girl directed at me. There def is the issue of dark skinned vs light skinned girls especially in the music industry.

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