Another day, another problematic moment in celebrity-dom.
Philly’s very own, model and entrepreneur, Amber Rose is currently being DRAGGED on the internet regarding a recent post she shared picturing her and Mariah Carey together.
“When you’re both light skinned, bright skinned multiracial goddesses but one is talented and the other one is a h-e,” she wrote.” Love you MiMi! Last night was Amazing!
Amber is white and Cape Verdean, while Carey’s heritage is Black, Afro-Venezuelan and white.
We were hoping Amber would stay away from making comments like this because it wasn’t too long ago when we had to come collect her over the argument she made about growing up with the girls in her Philadelphia neighborhood, where she argued that they weren’t “traditionally attractive.”
“I don’t know how I can say this without sounding [expletive] up, but a lot of the people where I’m from aren’t traditionally attractive people,” she said. “For me, being blessed with beauty, as beautiful women know, is a blessing and a curse. To grow up in such an area and be blessed with beauty, it was very difficult for me.”
Amber’s familial history is wrought with complexities. In a 2015 documentary called Light Girls, the model expressed that her household was more comfortable in assimilating/passing as white while she was growing up.
Now, let’s be clear. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with women, Black women in particular, celebrating their shade. Black people are nuanced and come in a variety of shapes and sizes which deserve celebration.
But, as we also know, colorism, a tool of white supremacy, continues to exist. And many dark-skinned Black women are the victims of this frame of thinking which seeks to de-value their worth based on other identifiers including features and hair texture. Being dark-skinned could afford you lesser pay at your place of employment, higher disciplinary actions in school, and even a harsher prison sentence in the criminal justice system.
A thread from Twitter user @vale_ayanna perfectly lays out why we can’t “All Lives Matter” the harsh effects that colorism has on darker skinned Black women.
Most of the internet was tired and rightfully came to check Ms. Rose over her comments. Hopefully she will re-think her positioning and invest in why she defaults to touting herself because of her features.
So while we should wholeheartedly celebrate our Blackness, we must also reckon with the truth of who gets to live and thrive based on their complexion, versus who gets to die.