10 April 2012

I is for India

The media and colonization and self-hatred have caused people to really believe that lighter skin is better and prettier and the "fairer" skin to have.

There are people using bleach on their skin, staying inside to prevent any darkening, and calling people incredibly derogatory names - these still happen in 2012!!!

Why are people so influenced by outside forces?  Why do I still have students who feel it is the ultimate dis to call some one "black as ______"?  Why do I have to really work to make girls believe that their darker skin is beautiful?  Why do I have to hear people say that "she's pretty, but she's too dark", or "she'd be cuter if she wasn't so dark", or "he's cute for a dark-skinned guy"?  Why is calling someone "nappy" such an insult?  Why do many brown people not realize that their hair would be a similar texture if they didn't put chemicals on it to permanently straighten it?

I is for India.  Not the country, the person.


She is an artist who speaks so much wisdom in her words, and gives an awesome live performance.

The song that stands out to me right now is "Brown Skin".  I'm not trying to push any black power on you or anything; beauty and seeing beauty where others don't is something that transcends all colors, genders, nationalities, etc.

From the Dark Girls website
There is a new documentary, "Dark Girls", out (if you are lucky enough to have it show in your town) that highlights the perpetuated biases that occur in homes of people of color.  I have only seen previews and snippets since it is not playing in my town, but, I believe this film focuses on African Americans.  This same belief that lighter is better can be seen in the Caribbean, in South America, in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America... it's a shame.

We really need to work on this.  It needs to come from all angles.

Brown people need to stop putting down people based only on their color.

White people (and brown people) need to not compliment people on their skin color or only identify the "lighter" brown people as being attractive.

The media needs to show people of various shades in all mediums.

And we all need to be able to boost our self-esteem so that we don't have to put down others for their genetics and so we don't think the photoshopped images we see are the norm.

We need to really embrace our beauty, just as India Arie does in this song, "I Am Not My Hair".


  1. I do agree with you. I don't understand why the skin color is any different than the eye color or the shade of the hair. We're all people. A writing partner and I have weitten a series of four books about future earth after a catastrophe. Wind over Troubled Waters will be published in May by Double Dragon Publishing. Most of the people have drak skin of various shades becuase they're the storng ones who survive. Blog on!


    1. It is crazy that skin is seen so different from eye color. Though, many people of color try to change those as well. I'll check out your series of books. They sound interesting.

  2. I love her. I've never heard this song before, but I love it. "I'm the soul within..." Love it. Thank you for speaking up about this and sharing.

    1. She is so great! So many powerful lyrics, right?! I think we all need to start speaking up on so many issues that abound and that people shy away from. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. One of the many Nasties of today's world :( I agree with you that everyone should work on their self-esteem, so as not to feel the need to put down others for some sense of gratification (or whatever reason they do it for). Everyone will always have insecurities about one thing or another until the issue of self-worth is addressed properly.

    1. It is truly one of the Nasties of the world! If everyone felt more sure of themselves, maybe they would not feel the need to talk bad about others. And if all felt better about themselves, maybe they would not feel like a certain look was better than any other look.

  4. This is a phenomenon I sincerely do not understand.

    1. It really doesn't make sense except looking at it as the victim trying to adopt views of the oppressor. Throughout history European colonizers have used the thought that the more 'European-looking' people would be the ones they put in charge in direct or indirect rule situations.
      People have, unfortunately, kept this mindset even decades after colonization. Even in places that were not colonized.

      Add to that the media portrayals of what is beautiful and you get a lot of self-hatred against people with darker skin, coarser hair, larger lips, wider noses, etc.

      It is really horrible!!

      Thanks for commenting. I wish it was something we didn't have to talk about (because it was over).


I share my thoughts and would love to read your thoughts, too.