Tonight, the documentary Dark Girls will premiere on OWN at 10 PM Eastern. Dark Girls explores the bias in the black community against women with darker skin. For my husband (who is white), colorism is a concept that is difficult to grasp. To him, any black woman - whether light hued, dark or in between - is simply black! The tone of her skin doesn't matter. It doesn't speak of the character of the person. Certainly, not their level of attractiveness. As a dark-skinned black woman, I understand the pain that stems from colorism. Growing up, I knew I could be anything, with hard work and good grades! Anything that is, but beautiful, attractive, desirable. Pretty was not the domain of girls like me. While there should be more to a girl's life than her looks, we all know a certain degree of a young girl's self esteem comes from validation of the external. For me, it took moving away from familial circles and into more diverse environments to find a space where my dark skin (and even my weight) were not a mark against me. And, more importantly personal healing and self acceptance.
It saddens me in this day and time, when we have a gorgeous, dark-skinned woman as First Lady, there are still little girls feeling and experiencing the hurt of colorism. That don't want to exist in the beautiful, brown skin that God so wonderfully made them in.