Black Girl – White Face
The Super comes from a family that likes their offspring, light, bright and every shade south of being ebony. Our origins, if we traced them, come way of the mysterious Middle East. Now, although the present day generation is in every way chocolaty, there are still pockets of the family tree that long for our light-skinned past. Don’t get me wrong, the Super herself is no activist. Back in the 80′s, to my shame, my ideal man was described as, “light skinned with good hair.” Yes, I know, just slap me already. In the day, sadly my future spouse had no characteristics beyond being café au lait with abundance of non-kinky curls. As I thought about my mindset way back when, I realized that as backward as my thinking was in the time of acid wash jeans, even now people exist that haven’t evolved past the plantation. I present to the court of public opinion, exhibit A: the use and abuse of bleaching cream. Forget black don’t crack and the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice, for some, the only adage that resonates is white is right. Don’t misunderstand, I’m all for beauty enhancement products and fashion, but going from cocoa to cream, to me, is not like buying a new dress, getting a perm or going from a B cup to a D. If you’re born beige, brown or tan that’s one thing, but I’m against using bleach cream as a weapon. To my mind, there is no reason beyond self-hatred to kill, murder and annihilate all that is ebony. Pigment is not the enemy. For the millions who make hydroquinone related products the #1 seller in the beauty store, in the vast majority of the cases, the lightening of the skin detracted instead of enhanced their looks. Instead of an array of colors and complexions that make black people attractive, we have an assortment of men and women walking around looking like bottles of mustard. Unnatural hues and the telltale light face and brown hand isn’t sexy.
What’s wrong with us as black people that we deny our own flesh? We tell ourselves its fashion, style and a desire for change, but when we risk cancer and other ailments for a creamier complexion, our troubles are deeply psychological. I know the media and society has much to answer for in making us believe that black, brown and any shade of the night is unattractive. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we must love and accept what the mirror sees. Don’t fall prey to the colonialist ideology that there is no beauty in black. White-wash the mind; it is only the misconception of our true beauty that is unappealing and murky.
Black girl in white face? Is it right for women of color to bleach away their black?