What do artists like Mya, Faith Evans, Eve, Mariah Carey and Beyonce all have in common? Yes they are all women and yes they all can sing, but there is something else——-they’re all light skin. When I was growing up in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, these women were extremely popular and in my mind it was because they were lighter skinned than me. Now rewind back to when I was younger, like five years old, I was in kindergarten and my first friend was mixed with black and white; she was cute, smart, and had nice hair. I had a crush on this boy, (I was 5, don’t judge), and I would stare at him but never speak because I was SOOOOO SHY, but I would see him talk to my friend. Either he liked her or spoke to her “just because.” At the time I didn’t think it was because she was light skin or not but as I grew up, I would start connecting dots.
Fast Forward to the 5th grade, I had a small crush on a guy. I had liked him since the 3rd grade. We had small talk but I think he was eyeing my friend–the SAME friend from Kindergarten. How do I know? Well he grabbed her booty on a school field trip. I was shocked and kind of mad but she said she didn’t like him, so I guess he was just being a guy. Moving along to the 6th grade, I had a crush on a different guy, he was perfect brown skin, nice, perfect height. We would chit chat but I guess he only saw me as the “homegirl.” Any who, he had a crush on my friend AGAIN, the SAME friend from kindergarten. Well him and my friend ended up kissing each other, it was a dare I suppose. I was pissed yet again, but mind you, no one ever knew I had crushes on these boys, not even my friend, so how would she had known anyway? I guess she had the juice, besides her being super smart and pretty, she was a nice person. By that time I had already connected those dots and realized that light-skin girls get all the guys. How can you blame me, she had been winning since kindergarten.
So around that elementary/middle school time period, I was attracted to light skinned guys for the most part like my the 3rd grade crush, artist like Ginuwine, and my all-time favorite, Lil Fizz from B2k, he was “bae.” Any who, I was never told that my skin color, brown skin, was beautiful. One artist who I can truly remember, who was HOT even though she wasn’t light skin was Aaliyah (some what debatable), and she didn’t have to try hard. She was idolized even after her death in 2001. She had long hair, brown skin, perfect shape, and of course a beautiful voice. She was noticed nationwide. Artists like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, who were beautiful as well and had eccentric views, started falling out of the limelight after a while. They were rare perfect images of celebrity brown skin women, especially since they had an Afrocentric Style, like head wraps, Afros and natural Locs hair. The music industry has given us, the viewers, the perception that only light skin women or women of a mixed race, are beautiful–especially in music videos.
( Sorry for my long background story lol)
It took me awhile, probably until late high school or early college to realize that all black is beautiful. When I was younger, around the age of 9 or 10, I use to wish I was light skin because of all the praise and attention that I would see of the skin tone. It sounds crazy but it was the truth. Besides having insecurities about my lanky body, big feet and long head, I also had skin complexion issues. Hearing sayings like “she cute for a dark skin girl” didn’t make it any better.
I’m at the age now where I’m content with my complexion and this whole dark skin vs. light skin war doesn’t phase me. We are who we are and everyone is different. Albino is beautiful. White is beautiful. Light skin is beautiful. Dark skin is beautiful. CHARCOAL BLACK SKIN is beautiful.
Featured Image photo credit: nakedconvos.com