Friday, May 27, 2011

Dark Girls: Preview

I came across this clip from an upcoming documentary "exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color." I found it particularly moving.

I know this isn't a new issue, but I think it's really important because of the direct impact young children experience when they believe they aren't pretty or smart just because of the color of their skin.

The film is said to be coming out in the fall/winter of this year. You can "like" the Dark Girls page on facebook to receive updates.


  1. I don't think this is a race issue.
    Every woman in America is bombarded every day with an endless torrent of media and commercialism telling her that she doesn't look as good as she CAN look. Light skinned women tan themselves, dark skinned women wish for lighter skin, women with curly hair straighten it, women with straight hair curl it. Women change everything from their eye color to hair color to skin color and have face lifts, breast augmentations, botox injections, go on diets, are too skinny, not skinny enough... the list goes on and on. Why?
    It is because women-- white and black-- are unable to look in the mirror and see themselves unclouded by the ideals that society and history have placed upon them. It is their responsibility to look at everything that the consumer market and sexual attraction and historical prejudices and everything that has been built up to hold women back to fulfill the needs of the financially, sexually, and power ravenous, and be bold enough to say "That is all a load of crap and I will not stand for it."

  2. I agree with your comment overall, but to dismiss the racial aspect...well it kind of misses the overall realities of race and beauty in pop culture today and historically. The "black is beautiful" is one example of pushback against the very idea that being black (or having features that black people specifically have) is ugly. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand what you're saying. I think any fat woman is keenly aware of how simply existing is seen as a form of opposition, but it's important to see how racism and sexism intersect with this issue. Psychology Today even had a recent post saying people simply found black women less attractive.

    Here are some interesting links on the subject:
    Not woman enough
    Light Skin Vs Dark Skin
    Emulated through Images: The Globalization of Misconstructed African American Beauty and Hip-Hop Culture
    Dispatches from Nappyville: What is “good hair,” anyway?
    African Women & Beauty Standards (about the psych today article)
    Blackface, and the Violence of Revulsion

  3. Oh and we always have to be careful we aren't denying these women their lived experiences with the effects of racism on their self-image.

  4. I think that what I was trying to say is that women are stronger than the stereotypes and prejudices and racism and "ideal imagery" that they are subjected to. People have a need to feel powerful, so they use these tools to put down women and steal their strength. But we are all responsible for our own actions. It is very difficult (not impossible, mind you) to make a racist stop being a racist, because we have no control over what people think and say and do. What women DO have control of is how they let things affect them. Women have to know their own beauty, since racism and the power-lust of the American media will perhaps never subside. The only thing that can force it all to dissipate is not having a receptive audience.

  5. Ooh, looks like a good film! Can't wait for it to come out!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I have tears in my eyes. It must be so hard to deal with that, especially since it's being perpetuated within their own communities.


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