I desperately need a new CD player, and am forced (ok, maybe not forced 🙂 to tune into commercial radio if I want to hear R&B and rap. As of late, I cannot help but notice the barrage of tracks filled with adoration for lighter skinned Afro-American women. Did I just retreat to a time when the paper bag test, often performed by affluent Afro-Americans during the 20th century, reigned as the barometer of all things beautiful?
Where is the outcry from women of color when song after song insists our beauty lies in only a few shades? Chris Brown, that veritable object of teenage lust sings on the recently released “Look at Me Now”: “Yellow bottle sipping, yellow model chick, yellow Lamborghini…” as if taste and style are synonymous with light skin. Ten or twenty years from now, or even earlier, will brown girls the color of copper and mahogany embrace skin lighteners as past generations have done, convinced the path to love, acceptance and joy rests with light skin?
While we face a seemingly insurmountable battle against corporate media, internalized racism and ever-present images which deny the diverse beauty of all women of color, we must articulate a different language redefining beautiful in our terms. What will you tell your own daughter or niece with gleaming and curious ebony eyes as she looks up at you? I will say “your beauty defies categorization” each time she cries, or suggests she is not good enough. Who says it’s easy, but I am up for the challenge. Are you?
Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / communications consultant, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.Follow the inspiration on Instagram: @liveincolorblog
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