For many years dark skinned women have been considered ugly. American society has always favored lighter complexion women. The separation of complexions can be traced back to the slave era. Terms like House Nigger and Field Nigger came before Team Lightskinned and Team Darkskinned. However, the terms House Nigger and Field Nigger wasn’t anything to be joyous about.
The “House Nigger” was usually a lighter complexion Black woman or male. The “Field Nigger” was a darker complexion Black woman or male. Black people were separated this way because lighter skinned was more acceptable because it resembled White. In addition, slave masters used to rape their slaves. Slaves masters may have prefered to rape lighter complexion Black women because the didn’t want to be seen as having sex with something unnatural: Black people. Light skin was used as a loophole so that White people didn’t have to feel guilty about loving or having sex with someone who was seen as an animal.
In the 21st century, the terms have manifested into phrase that supposedly define the characteristic of a individual. Example: Light skinned Black men are cry babies. Dark skinned Black females are hidden and unworthy to be loved. Society has glorified the fact that a culture is destroying itself within and has made sure it is amplified throughout the media. Visual media has been the main source in educating society on what defines a beautiful Black woman.
Women who have Beyonce’s complexion have been the ideal beauty for ages. Men fawn over women who look like her. However, what they are seeing isn’t the woman, they are seeing the definition of what her complexion is perceived to be: beauty.
Dark complexion women are usually cast as sidekicks to lighter complexion Black women in visual media. Shows like Martin and Living Single depict darker complexion Black women as being the best friend to a lighter complexion Black woman. They are also shown as being the center of a joke, negative attitudes and independent women (but they are never the ones in love or the center of a man’s attention). For these women, it seems hard for them to find someone to date and be in a stable relationship with. However, this year, fashion designers as well as American society are praising the Darker complexion Black woman.
There has always been beautiful dark skinned women in the world. It has just been extremely hard for people to notice them. For example, Gabby Douglas, Gabrielle Union, and Tika Sumpter are all beautiful and each have defeated numerous of odds and may have even found love. There is no definition to what a dark skinned woman can do and what see deserves. Everyone deserves happiness and love. Who are people to say that “dark skinned is ugly.”
Recently, Erykah Badu has been named the face of Givenchy clothing line. Usually this clothing line has blonde hair, blue eyes, stick figure type of women models. However, the line needed a change and a new face to illuminate a new era of beauty and acceptance.
One woman who has shown the world that dark is beautiful is Lupita Nyong’o. In case you don’t know who she is, she was won awards for Best Supporting Actress in the film 12 Year’s a Slave. People have praised her for her flawless beauty and impeccable style. In addition, she has been featured on many magazine covers.
American society seems to be opening their eyes to new ideas of beauty. Hopefully, they have now realized that there is no single standard to beauty, there are many. One complexion shouldn’t be praised, they all should because beauty is only skin deep.