One of the things my fiance wrote to me on my Christmas card was that she thought I would never date her because she figured I would think that she’s fat, too dark, or too tall. I know my fiancé isn’t alone. Many women have insecurities about their weight, and if you’re not a model or basketball player, then you’re probably insecure about your height too. But, one thing many Black women have insecurities on is having dark skin.
I’m not pulling the race card when I say I blame white men for dark skin women insecurities because it is the truth. White people fill the media with white women, and the only Black women who have the most media exposure are those of light brown skin or multiracial Black women.
To be honest, my fiancé doesn’t look like the girl of my dreams. I never thought much about my future wife having dark skin. The reason many Black men don’t see dark skin women as the default of beauty is that white people influenced our perception of beauty from a very young age.
Remember back in the day when JcPenny catalogs were popular? My mom bought them for every season. I only read the Christmas catalogs so I could get some ideas of what I wanted for Christmas. I also remember seeing nothing but white models in the catalog and the Black women they featured were light skin with long curly hair.
Even in my home, there were no celebrations of dark skin beauty. My sister played with white Barbie dolls and the only Black Barbie dolls I remember her having were Brandy dolls, the popular RnB singer from the 90s, and she wasn’t dark skin. The blackest beauty in our home was a Black Santa Clause and Black angels during Christmas.
I remember as a teen watching MTV featuring mostly white musicians and other shows featuring predominately white people. BET was of no help. They never celebrated the beauty of dark skin women or Black women at all. TV shows that tried to help the Black community like The Cosby Show showed the importance of the Black family, but they didn’t really touch on celebrating Black beauty. Bill Cosby’s wife was lighter skin than him like the majority of Black families: the wife usually has lighter skin than the husband. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had a Black wife that was darker than her husband, but when she left the show she got replaced with a Black wife as light skin as the husband. Albeit, some of Will Smith’s girlfriends in the show were dark skin women. The daughters in the show had two different skin tones, and I was more attracted to Hilary than Ashley.
Many dark skin women have heard this saying, “You’re pretty for a dark skin woman” and thats stupid. No one ever says you’re pretty for a white girl, or you’re bad for a redbone because Black men believe these women are naturally pretty. My fiancé rarely wears makeup because she doesn’t need it. Her dark skin is powerful. My woman is Bad&Boujee…In the name of Beyonce: Bow Down Bitches.