[Video] Rise Dark Girls!
I absolutely bawled watching this. Seeing and hearing the pain I feel being a “dark girl” in the eyes and voices of these women is soul shattering. Constantly being told you’re not pretty, you’re not as good, to be seen as exotic and only worthy of someone’s company in secret…it shapes your very existence. It’s taken me years to undo that damage…and yet I still have SO far to go.
Countless times I’ve been told I was “pretty…for a dark skinned girl” or more recently since cutting my hair that I’m “exotic”. Both those comments sting like having alcohol poured in an open wound. A wound that has been there for almost as long as I can remember and no matter how hard I try, no matter how many times I look at myself in mirror and say ‘You’re beautiful’, not matter how many verses of India Arie’s Brown Skin I memorize…the wound just won’t heal!
That wound makes you feel broken. It makes you feel dirty. Infected. Unworthy. Who wants to love someone who’s diseased? And since no one else loves me, why should I love myself? Why should I love the skin that makes me ugly? You accept it, you believe it. There’s no way all of these people are lying to you. GET OVER IT…YOU’RE UGLY!
I hated myself for a long time, and sadly, it was only once I started to replace that self-hate with hate for the people who had what I wanted–light skin (specifically women)–did I begin to feel better. Or so I thought.
I thought, “If I hate them back, it won’t hurt as bad.” “If I tell them THEY’RE ugly, maybe they’ll feel the pain I feel.” and “I’ll be damned if I date one of them [men]. Their men don’t want us so why should I give them the satisfaction of me wanting them.”
Us vs. Them?
When you take the time to take the pain and hurt from these statements, it seems utterly ridiculous that a person could feel this way. Especially considering how much I hate racism. If a white person said these comments to me [about black people], I would be furious and would waste no time informing them of their ignorance. But for whatever reason…perhaps my own ignorance…it felt right to feel this way about “them”. “They” deserved it. “They” were doing it to me…I should do it back.
But that hate was just a front. It did nothing to alleviate the pain I felt. Any time I was amongst a group of light skinned girls, my presence would shrink. I wished that I was invisible, because I felt that no one was looking at me anyways. I hated that all they had to do was simply exist and men would sell their souls just to sniff these girls wasted carbon dioxide. While I on the other hand, I had better have something to offer if I wanted to be worth their time. No long hair? Forget it. No sex? Why are you still here!
When you want people to want you sooo bad, it’s easy to let people use you. It’s taken a lot of tears–and a lot of therapy–to work through those feelings of wanting to be wanted and wanting to feel worthy. I’m not superwoman, and thus I still feel pain. And although I no longer wish that I were light skinned, I do still wish people thought I was equally as beautiful. However, the difference now is that I think I’m beautiful. I’ve learned that I validate me. NO ONE ELSE! I love the skin I’m in…and learning to love it more with each passing day.