Dark Skin Girls Documentary: A Review

On Sunday night, Oprah played a documentary on her television network OWN, titled “Dark Girls”. The documentary was to tell the trials and tribulations that the darker skinned girl had to face here in America. I would like to just say that I applaud Oprah for publicly shedding light on this subject. It is definitely a major issue in the black community, in all aspects.

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I am a dark skinned female so it was nice to see how others shared their stories of complexion issues. Did I feel moved, liberated, or free from the ignorance of my peers? Absolutely not. I would have loved to see the documentary get more “real”! What was said by the interviewee’s barely scratched the surface of the deep rooted issues in our community when it comes to the hues of our black kings and queens. It gave me about 80% of rawness, when I was hoping to see 100%. Most of the street interviews were extremely ignorant, although I know first hand that that is exactly how most think, it still didn’t answer my question of WHY do people think like this? Where do these thoughts stem from?

In my opinion it starts at home…mannerisms are often taught & learned at a young age. If a child is taught at a young age that a lighter complexion brings about superiority they will carry that with them for life until corrected. Many people love to place blame on media telling us whats beautiful and whats not, but I have to tell you that WE control the media. We have the authority to filter what we view and what we do not. I’m not saying that the media is out of the blame pool but it is not completely at fault. Many black women place their complexion issues on our black men. Are they really the ones to blame? Unfortunately I refuse to touch on this subject in this piece but I will say this: Is it unfortunate that I cannot look to my fellow black brother for liberation in my dark skin beauty? Should I feel the need to be liberated by them?

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As black people I often feel that we seldom take blame for our own actions. Black people love to pass the buck. While we sit and try to figure out whose fault it is that we have hash tags on twitter like #TeamDarkskin & #TeamLightskin everyone else has already came to the conclusion, Its self hatred. Everybody wants to be black except black people. Other races legit think that its cool to be black, except for black people. Whether they tan, or they try to copy our mannerisms, they still want to be just like us. Meanwhile our own people are doing everything that they can so that they can fit in with them! How backwards are we? Don’t get me wrong other races do struggle with complexion issues within their own communities and the documentary did touch on it slightly, but thats not the point. I’m black so my focus is on my own community and how I can make it better. This documentary was not created to put down black people, nor was it created to demean lighter skin women and to praise the darker skin ones, but it was created to bring about equality. Although we cannot expect to see great change because of the documentary, it definitely got people talking and that it what is most important. Twitter was buzzing, and it gave people a chance to talk about the situation and understand exactly how some people think.

At the end of the day we must remember that we are not our skin, but simply the SOUL that lives within. Color is a social construct. How you look physically has no meaning until humans place social variations on them.
 Stay black and Beautiful Kings and Queens.

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-Jasmin Voyd 

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