All Articles Tagged "color complex"
Dark Girls is a documentary by Bill Dukes with the intended goal of exploring and raising awareness around “the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color particularly dark skinned women.” The eye-opening film originally debuted back in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival and has been creating quite a buzz ever since.
During an interview with The Root last year, Duke revealed that witnessing the pain endured by little Black girls who wished they look like someone else is what really inspired him to put the project together.
“From observing the unfortunate pain that friends of mine’s children are still going through. Just yesterday we were at the Links. A beautiful dark-skinned woman was at the desk, and she said to me, ‘I’m so glad you’re making this film.’ I said, ‘Thank you.’ She said: ‘You don’t understand. A few days ago, my daughter, who’s as dark as me, came home crying that they were calling her ‘blackie’ and all of these names at the playground at her school.’This is not something that happened 50 years ago; this is happening now.”
Duke went on to say that he hopes his documentary will bring about healing.
“[I hope] to create a discussion, because in discussion there’s healing, and in silence there is suffering. Somehow if you can speak it and get it out, healing starts.”
“I think the deepest part is we learned our own prejudices and we learned our own indoctrinations. We learned where our own standards of beauty came from, what were our preferences and why were we making those decisions in terms of women.”
“You know you think your conscious is right; as you dig deeper in to the core of these issues, it’s a self-discovery process as well. And when you start facing those issues, they are not painless, let’s put it that way. And so this self-discovery process was part of it.”
It was officially announced yesterday that Dark Girls will make its television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network in June.
Check out a preview of Dark Girls below. Let us know what you think.
Women of color come in so many beautiful shades. Unfortunately, there is a color complex that plagues the Black community. A complex that impacts both men and women, placing negative stigmas on darker toned skin. CNikky.com recently caught up with “Ice” singer, Kelly Rowland at ESSENCE’s Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon. During the interview, the former Destiny’s Child star got indubitably candid about one particular struggle that she dealt with regarding her self-image, and that was her beautiful brown skin.
“You know what I had great women in my life to help me overcome that. I remember I went through a period where I didn’t embrace my ‘chocolatiness.’ I don’t know if that’s a word, but I didn’t embrace my chocolate lifestyle. Just being a chocolate, lovely brown skin girl and being proud of that. I remember Tina Knowles, Bey’s mom and I remember being out in the sun and I was trying to shield myself from the sun and she said, ‘Are you crazy?’ She said ‘You are absolutely gorgeous’ and she just told me how beautiful I was and how rare chocolate is and how gorgeous the skin is, all of this stuff. And I was just like ‘Yeah!’ Like a light went off and so with that and my mother and me sitting out in the sun a little more, just to be a little more chocolate,” she revealed.
Kelly also had a word of advice to offer to women who may be struggling with insecurities in their own lives.
“You just embrace it. You embrace everything that you are as a woman, even your flaws too. And those things that you want to fix too and you work at making them better.”
Kelly Rowland is such a beautiful person, on the inside and out. It is very admirable that she is comfortable enough to speak candidly about an issue that people are generally so hush-hush about. Hopefully her transparency will be helpful to another young woman who may be struggling with similar insecurities.
What do you think of Kelly’s revelation?
I always thought the comments about light-skinned dudes coming back in style were just light-hearted jokes that really went out of style when the men did back in the 80s. From my perspective, tall, dark-skinned, and handsome has long been viewed as a black (or any other) woman’s dream. Yeah, Shemar Moore had his run and lots of women love Michael Ealy, but the fanfare doesn’t compare to the admiration for Idris Elba (praise ‘em), Morris Chestnut (yes lord), or Tyson Beckford (let the church say Amen).
Taye Diggs is another actor who has been admired for his chocolaty goodness—particularly after his debut in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” although I personally enjoyed him most in “Brown Sugar.” But despite the love the mocha-skinned author of Chocolate Me, a children’s book encouraging kids to accept themselves as they are, has received over the years, he says it took him a long time to become comfortable in his own dark skin.
“When I got into high school I started to hear, just from the black community, everybody is more attracted to the light skin girls and the light skin dudes with the light eyes. And from within the race the light skin black people and lighter brown people would make fun of the darker people. So then it was a completely different kind of struggle, Taye told MyBrownBaby.Com.
“And then funnily enough it was when dark skinned men, and this was just from my perspective, there seemed to be a shift where all of a sudden we saw Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Tyson Beckford. I’m still trying to figure out how this came to be. For me, when I saw Tyson Beckford hailed as this beautiful man by all people, that caused a shift in my being. And I remember literally waking up and walking the streets feeling a little bit more proud. And then after the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” when I had my own personal moments of weakness, I just had to remind myself of all the people that really enjoyed that movie and just kind of lean on that.
I was surprised by Taye’s comments; sort of in the same way it’s shocking to find out a beautiful woman has low self-esteem. You wonder, how could he not see himself as gorgeous when 99% of those around him do, but you realize self-confidence is strictly an internal mindset not based on external compliments and men struggle with self-esteem issues just like women. Still, I’d thought if black men had any sort of color complex, it was related to how they choose women, not so much how they felt about themselves. But maybe it’s all connected. Do dark-skinned men favor light-skinned women because by being with a lighter skinned woman, it somehow makes them more attractive or socially acceptable in their minds? A friend of mine always says she thinks black men’s propensity to date outside their race has to do with self-hatred. Maybe being with a white woman gives some dark-skinned men a boost of esteem that’s even greater than being with a light-skinned black woman. If so, Taye Diggs could certainly fit the bill.
But I’m not as interested in men’s interracial dating choices as I am how their color affects their sense of self-worth. After all, light-skinned men date outside their race too and are obsessed with redbones just like everyone else, and lord knows some think they are God’s gift to women just because they have a little less melanin. I guess it isn’t so hard to see how a dark-skinned man could feel the exact opposite. Still, this is an issue that’s mostly been limited to black women’s experience, most recently in the documentary “Dark Girls,” because there is so much pressure put on all women to fit a very narrow standard of beauty, and black women especially struggle with being accepted outside of that realm. Taye’s remarks remind us that men can be insecure too, and although a lot of women may see a handsome, chocolate man as an Adonis, he might not see himself in that same light at all.
What do you think about Taye Diggs’ comments? Do you think dark-skinned men struggle with feeling accepted aesthetically as much as darker skinned black women? Do you think this issue has any bearing on who they date?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Let’s Be Real: Things in Life You Need to Blame Yourself For From Time to Time
- Color on Campus: What It Really Feels Like to Be the Only Black Girl
- The Most Painful Things A Woman Can Say To A Man
- 10 Artists That Blew Up…But Shouldn’t Have
- We Are Family: Shocking Celebrity Relatives!
- Vitamin B(eautiful): Nutrients To Help You Stay Healthy and Gorgeous
by Ramona X
When someone always brings something up, you know it’s a sore spot. Like your friend who is sensitive about other people mentioning their ivy league degrees. Yeah, you know she’s always bringing it up for a reason. On another somewhat related note, I don’t trust rappers who make a point of making a song about the beauty of dark women (ahem, ahem Mos Def). The point is if it’s not an issue, why talk about it all the time? Although differences in shade is a sensitive subject in the Black community, the way to get over it is to be conscious of keeping an open mind to all people. Right?
While the following celebrities may be coping with their hangups by talking about their sensitivity to colorism, we think they’re trying to communicate something different.
by Charing Ball
So over the weekend, I re-watched Lee Daniel’s Precious, with the expectation that perhaps I would feel differently about it than the first time I saw the movie.
The first time I saw the movie was at a local film festival in which Lee Daniels and a still unknown Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe were in attendance. I remember vividly the people around me laughing and making fun of the main character, especially at the part when Clarice Precious Jones steals a bucket of fried chicken from the soul food joint and the part of the film when crazy Mary curses out Precious with the line, “You better go down to the welfare.” That would instantly become the signature catch phrase from the movie.
The first time I saw it, I just felt that whatever redeeming, moralistic value the film had would be lost in the sheer sensationalism of Precious. Anyway, that was two years ago and there is no need in rehashing that debate again. Everyone has pretty much moved on – well almost.
Gabby Sidibe sure has. Despite the “concern” from those, who felt that Hollywood, with its fixations of petite starlets, wouldn’t make room for a woman that defies conventional standards of beauty, Sidibe has landed various roles in movies and television including Yelling To The Sky and The Big C. And most recently, she played a wisecracking, money-jacking Jamaican maid in the new Eddie Murphy comedy Tower Heist. Yet despite her ability to crave a way for her in tinsel town, folk just can’t seem to get over her roots. Like, how on Friday, I was driving in to work, listening to the radio and caught the end of a Gabby Sidibe interview on the radio, in which she was promoting the Tower Heist movie. After the interview, The DJ said, ”okay, I wanna thank Precious for calling in today…” Now that’s just messed up.
And unfortunately, it is not an isolated incident. Everyone calls that girl Precious like it’s her real name. In fact a typical conversation around Sidibe goes something like this: Me: “So have you heard about Gabby Sidibe’s new role?” Random Person: “Nuh-uh. Who is that?” Me: *eye rolls* “Precious.” Random Person: “Ooh yeah. Precious. Why didn’t you just say Precious?” Because that’s not her damn name everyone. I mean no one ever confuses Halle Berry for Catwoman or Angela Bassett for Tina Turner. So why can’t folks seem to separate Sidibe, the person, from the bleak character in which she played in the film?
Okay, I sort of get it and in some ways, the confusion is understandable: Just like the hero in Precious the film, Sidibe is an obese dark-skinned woman. And that is pretty much where the parallels end. In real life, Sidibe is the completely opposite. A woman, who comes from a loving home and has not, as far as we know, suffered any childhood trauma such as rape, abuse and incest as what was experienced by her character. Yet Sidibe finds herself in the awkward position of correcting people who have and continue to confuse the movie as some sort of documentary of her life.
Honestly I think that folks do this because she represents the two things that Americans, but more specifically Black folks, loathe the most: being fat and being dark-skinned. Whether we like to admit it or not, people subconsciously relate very negative traits and stereotypes to both of those clusters of people. Dark skinned people are ugly while fat people are lazy. Part of the reason is how society defines beauty and worth, which tends to hinge on being lighter and having thinner aesthetic.
And although we are a country of fatties and most folks in the Black community probably have skin-tones and facial features closer to Sidibe, we don’t feel very much sympathy to characters, who go against the grain of what is suppose to be normal. Therefore, it is much more easier to redefine Sidibe as Precious, the abused, downtrodden character worthy of our pity, or more accurately, our ridicule, than to see her as the bubbly and fun-loving, sexual, comfortable-in-her-skin, woman that she truly is. And yeah, that kind of sucks.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
More on Madame Noire!
- Sliding Off: Celebs Who Left the Stripper Pole for Stardom
- 7 Questions To Ask Yourself After A Breakup
- The 5 Best Black Fashion Tumblrs
- Heatless Ways You Can Achieve Luscious Curls
- Statement Earrings: The Crazy, The Hot, and The Cool
- They’re How Old? Celebrity Gals Who Look Much Older Than Their “Real Age”
- The ‘Before I Get Married’ Bucket List