Black Women Making A Difference via Blogging: For Brown Girls’ Karyn Washington

March 23, 2012  |  

Has your site ever gotten any hate mail?

I wouldn’t say the site has received any “hate mail” per say, but a question I have gotten quite a few times is why it’s only for girls with darker complexions, excluding lighter skin as if FBG is some sort of clique. At times, it is frustrating only because I feel that my efforts can be taken in the wrong context. My purpose is to build others up, not to bring anyone down. My answer to them is just that- and that “for” also means “in support of.” Anyone, no matter age, shade or gender is welcome to view and share on the blog. I’m sure most are aware of colorism and I know it can affect those who are light in complexion too, but I can only relate from my experience, and that has been being a girl with a darker skin complexion. Also, there are instances of people thinking I don’t want to claim being a black girl by calling myself brown. In calling myself and others “brown girls” I am only referring to our complexion. I’ve also received submissions from girls on the blog sharing their experiences and have found some extremely heartbreaking. This further motivates me to help them change their perception of themselves and claim their beauty. What is also very encouraging are the positive comments I’ve received from young ladies, and a few times guys, thanking me for creating the blog and sharing how it is helping them. I’ve gotten positive feedback on the site and blog from men and women all ages and shades.

Do you think colorisim in the black community will eventually come to an end?

I am really not sure but am extremely hopeful. The only way to stop this cycle of self-hatred is for people to really believe that all shades are equally beautiful. The media and the home are the two biggest influencers, in my opinion, on young girls self -esteem.

Who do you considered a ‘FBG’? Some people classified brown or darker hue people/women differently, are there qualifications to being showcased on your website?

My site is for girls whose shade of brown is on the darker side of the color spectrum. For those who have been made to feel less beautiful because of the color of their skin. There has been a bit of confusion because there are light shades of brown as well but I really loved the name ‘For Brown Girls’ because even if a girl is darker skinned she is still a shade of brown. It’s like “ok she’s dark,what?” It’s funny because some people call me “brown skinned” and some people call me “dark skinned.” I used to prefer being called brown skinned over the latter, but now I can truly say I love my complexion and I don’t mind either one. I also didn’t want to use the name ‘For Dark Girls’ for fear of people getting my project confused with the documentary by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry of the same name. Some still do. I got the privilege of seeing the documentary when it came to Baltimore. It was excellent! I recommend that everyone go see it when it comes to their city!

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