I ponder at the thought of society, the media and many others trying to put the message out there, in hope that it will stay in everyone’s mind that black is beautiful, that black is anything but ugly and unacceptable. When I say black I don’t mean the race Black and this is where it might confuse others. Here, I am talking about complexion, being Black and not having light skin. There are different shades of Black that people feel are acceptable. There is ‘black complexion’ and there is ‘light-Black’ also known as ‘light brown’. See images below for an example of this:
But how can society, the media and many others put the message out there hoping it will stay, when the negativities that comes with having ‘black complexion’ and not ‘light brown’ have been deeply planted in the roots of our ancestors’ minds which as continued to grow and spread in the minds of our fellow relatives and friends unknowingly. I am one to watch and notice things, and have realised that this issue will take awhile to get rid of completely as it’s coming from so far and have already spread vigorously. Because of this, our fellow relatives and friends tend to say things unwittingly, that will only help to grow and spread the negativities of having a ‘black complexion’. For example, I was sat down with my legs on show, and my friend complimented me and saying “Oh Christal, you’re legs are so BROWN and pretty.” Now, I know my friend mean BROWN as in ‘light brown’ as my legs are one of the lightest parts of my body. Nothing is wrong with complimenting my ‘light-brown legs’, but I have other parts of my body on show a lot more of the times than my legs. Many could argue my point by saying my friend might have only found my legs ‘pretty’ and nothing else. But I know my friend and if she did found a part of my body ‘pretty’ like she found my legs, the compliment would have been very different if my complexion there was ‘black’ rather than ‘light- brown’.
Then there was another time, where I was watching television with my friend. On the programme we were watching, there were several different young children, all of whom were of Black Race. Every now and again, one of them would stand up and face the rest of the crowd and do a talent. My friend complimented each of these children saying things like: “arw she is pretty”,” Christal look at her, so cute.” Then, after a while, one of these children walked on to do a talent, she was light brown,had long hair and was also pretty. I knew what was coming next and it did. My friend tone of voice and facial expression changed immediately. My friend said “ohhh my!, look at this one Christal, Look! she is soo beautiful” and she said this a few times.
Yes, my friend loves every complexion and accept that black is beautiful, but unknowingly she portrays a message that said ‘black is beautiful, but not as beautiful as being light brown. I know my friend doesn’t know she is portraying this message with things as simple as her tone of voice and her facial expression and this is because the negativity that comes with having ‘black complexion’ and not ‘light brown’ has already spread in our follow relatives and friends’ minds. A blind person with no sight of what is going on, would be able to tell from my friend’s tone of voice that there was something different about the child she cheered on so loudly and different to everyone else even though they were all from one race, and that difference is the child shade of black, her complexion of being light.
I trust, I believe and I have hope that one day having ‘black complexion’ will be fully accepted as beautiful just like the lighter shades of Black. Thanks to people like Lupita Nyongo’s who has put positive messages out there about the complexion ‘black’, that I believe, will one day out grow as the negativities that comes with it.