As promised, this post will talk about the role that skin tone plays amongst males and their point of view on the issue in relation to women.
Before I get into the black community, I want everyone reading this to think about the relationship between black men and white women that so many black women have problems with; claiming that white women steal their good black men, and that black man are trying to run away from who they are. Now, just think about how much hate certain women have for black men who are with white women and imagine that applied within the black community.
Now I have several black male friends, but surprisingly enough they all have the same mentality. “She can’t be darker than me.” So, when they look at girls they do not take the same approach as women in that they don’t automatically go for one specific skin tone, but find their own first and see if they like. Then they look at a lighter shade, or vice versa. But most of them when they meet girls that are darker than them they immediately put them as friends or just try not to talk to them so that those girls will not get the idea that those men are interested in.
In the black community when dealing with relationships about dating, there are two types of significant others: you can be a hit and go/booty-call (which most of Western society utilizes) or you are wifey material. If you’re wifey material that means that someone wants to be committed to you and that you are just that beautiful of a person that they are willing to change their ways of hit and go. So, wifey material is basically the epitome of respect, especially for a woman (the word is applied to anyone’s significant other).
A lot of black men tend to go to the light skinned women when they are looking for wifey material, and the dark skinned girls for the booty-call. That’s one of the things that really weakens the dark skinned girl’s self-esteem. But it also shows that black men are attracted to dark skinned girls, but care too much about appearance to be with them.
Those friends of mine that choose to date girls their skin tone and lighter, it usually stems from how they look with the girl. But another factor is the skin tone of their mother. Yes their mothers. Black males tend to have mothers who are lighter than them (most likely because their fathers did the same thing they did by marrying a light skinned woman) and from growing up with that they like to date girls who are around their mother’s skins tones and that just continues the cycle.
I appreciate everyone’s comments on the previous post; the input from everyone had me thinking about certain aspects of the skin tone issue that I did not address—such as the comment about how skin tone does play a role in beauty.
But on another note, I previously said I would address the black male perspective on the issue of light skinned vs. dark skinned and what they are attracted to. But, one person’s about the same skin color issue in the Indian culture, and I just really wanted to address that; because this blog is supposed to be about race and its relation to gender, so I think I should start covering a larger range of race issues.
When I read freemyeyes’ comment about light skin being preferred in the Indian culture, I immediately think of this lighten cream that my mom constantly tries to get me to use-don’t think she’s got a problem with my skin tone or anything, she just wants me to even out my skin tone. But the cream is called Fair and Lovely, you can actually see it in the video from Aljazeera. It’s a lightning cream used most often in Asian countries like Indonesia, India, Thailand, the Middle East, and several countries in North and East Africa. All of my extended family uses it; they buy it by the cartons, it’s a bit OD.
So in short, I looked up some videos dealing with skin tone in India and how much substance it has in the hierarchy of Indian society. The video I found is kind of long so feel free to stop short, but if you would really like to be enlightened, watch the whole thing and put your two cents in.
The video is from Aljazeera so it’s pretty legit. They are one of the best news networks that deliver news with as little bias as possible. Thanks freemyeyes!
In my senior year of high school we somehow ended up talking about race in my English class and I began to talk about the pedestal that light skinned black women are placed on compared to darker skinned black women in the black community, and I was sincerely surprised at my classmates’ reactions; they had no idea.
They all began to ask me questions as to why, and the only thing I could offer them was that throughout history the idea of being closer to white, which has been portrayed and perceived as superior in all senses, makes them better. In the black community the saying goes, “light is right.” It is not unusual that a light skinned person marries another light skinned person in order to maintain that skin tone for the future generations of their family.
Here’s something crazy; Howard University—which is a Historically Black College/ University (HBCU), meaning it is a school that specifically prioritizes for a high black student enrollment —but even into the late 60’s early 70’s they required applicants to send a picture of themselves which the school board then compared to a brown paper bag and if the applicant’s skin tone was darker than the brown paper bag they were immediately rejected!
The black community at large knows and accepts the fact that these light skinned individuals’ genes come from the times of slavery; sometimes a white man chose to have a relationship with a slave or as time went on a black woman, or as is most often the case the white slave owner raped his slaves. Even with this negative attachment of being a light skinned black person, many light skinned individuals insist on the idea that they are superior to darker skinned individuals.
Bringing it back to present day life, the only other black girl on my floor is dark skinned but she is a beauty, no exaggeration. Since we’ve been at school so many black guys have told her she is pretty, for a dark skinned girl. Why can’t she just be pretty?! It makes no sense. Anytime a light skinned girl walks into the room, without even seeing her face, black males are programmed to call her cute. I’m sorry but looking good has nothing to do with the color of your skin, you may not be the most beautiful person in the world (in term of society’s definition) —I’m not going to call someone ugly, because everyone is beautiful in their own way— but changing your skin tone will definitely not make you attain that status, by any means.
I know this is a lot to take in but watch the video for an episode on Tyra that shows the true mentality of certain people and you may get a better understanding. I have not really addressed the dark skinned girls’ mentality in this post or the issue of skin tone when it comes to males but those topics are for another post. Please feel free to ask any questions or comment for/against my thoughts.
Thinking about the issues I will address in this blog I’m getting the ball rolling with certain women’s issues I have always wanted to address. But reading my peers’ ideas in class the other day made me think about addressing issues that I see occur in front of me daily. There is just so much to choose from; granted I know I want to focus on women due to the fact that I am a female and understand that perspective on a much higher level than I do males; however within women’s issues there are still several different spheres.
Sitting in my gender studies class the other day we got to talking about race and I started to look around the room and came to the quickly saw that I was the only black student in the class. Of course I was not surprised because I’m used to it, but I in my mind I knew what I had to do; step up and present the perspective of the black female. I originally wanted to focus on women in third-world countries seeing as how I am a foreigner, but the aspect of race cannot be ignored, it’s just right in front of you.
Before I go into the blog I must establish that race is an important factor in day-to-day relationships between people around the world because you can see it. You can see hair texture. You can see eye color. These physical features are just that, physical, and seen by the naked eye; no analysis necessary because what you see is what it is. If this foundation does not sit properly with anyone reading this post, please feel free to add or produce another reason as to why race is so important in our daily lives.
As a black female many readers might think I have the right to talk about racism and gender roles, but that doesn’t mean a white male cannot talk about it. What I am trying to get at is that I want everyone to be able to talk about gender roles in relation to race without worrying about their right (because they are white or of fair skin) to talk about true racism in gender roles.
I have yet to start thinking about the issues I will address in this blog, but as of now I’m getting the ball rolling. There is just so much to choose from; granted I know I want to focus on women due to the fact that I am a female and understand that perspective on a much higher level than I do males.This blog could talk about women in third world countries and all of the different struggles they face, or women in the work world and the everyday battles they endure to hold their own, or women who continue to break stereotypes in sports, oh so much to choose from. Whatever the topic may be it will examine gender roles and how they are changing through media, social networks, music, politics, etc.
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