This post is in NO way a bashing of other races of women. Point blank.

Every so often, when I have nothing else to do (which is often) I look at music videos on YouTube and VEVO. Since R&B and Hip-Hop are at the top of my favorite genre’s of music, those are the music videos I watch the most. I have noticed from the early videos in the late 80s and 90s, the lead female love interests or video girls were almost always African American. But as the years pass I see the use of more and more multi-racial and exotic models for their videos. Black women are used less and less in these videos.

Ok, I imagine you are wondering what in the world my point is. Through observation I have noticed the divide between women of color. The split between lighter skin and darker skin. It seems that the media pushed the idea of lighter skin being preferred over dark skin. This is prevalent in not only music videos, but magazines and the fashion industry. Black celebrities, on certain magazines like maybe Vogue, are airbrushed to the point where they could be passable as another race. Like for instance, Beyoncé looks almost Caucasian in this photo.

"Looks extra light on the left doesn't she?"

I’ve watched several behind the scenes of music videos and have heard a artist say they want the exotic women in their videos, especially Hispanic women. The preference of exotic and lighter skinned women further fuels the big problem of the low self esteem of African American women, mainly women of brown or darker skin. I, myself am light skinned, but I was brought up to believe that all shades of women are beautiful. Unfortunately I have observed many women who don’t feel the same.

I have heard anywhere from “Dark skinned women are ugly and unattractive,” to “Light skinned women think they are better than us.” I think it’s absolutely disgusting the way some people think. I even notice the way children of different skin tones act around and toward one another. But they can’t help it. Evidently they grew up or came accustomed to these ideas, even more so they can get it from the community or even their household (siblings with different skin tones).

Take a look at this video:

This has been a big problem in recent years, and as a action against it BET launched a “My Black is Beautiful” commitment and television special. A little bit about their purpose:

Our extraordinary new initiative, My Black is Beautiful, celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African-American women and nurtures black self-esteem. The movement encourages black women to define and promote our own beauty standard — one that is an authentic reflection of our indomitable spirit.

Recognizing that beauty and self-confidence are intrinsically linked, My Black is Beautiful is designed to ignite black pride and support a sustained national conversation by, for and about black women — the way we are reflected in popular culture and how we serve as the catalyst for a movement that effects positive change.

This is just one of the many forces in the movement to change the negative perspectives of women of color and it seems that this is a push in the right direction.



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7 Responses to “Senorita”

  1. jerzy says:

    I love them all lolll great piece though

  2. j0gilm01 says:

    Tiara this is such a great blog about the complexion issue I talk about this all the time and it’s ridiculous!

  3. David Boyd (no Relation...lol) says:

    This debate is an age-old one. The media did not create the “Dark-skinded vs. Light -Skinded” argument. African Americans have been known in their own circles to rate and judge based on skin complexion since the 19th century. If you ever get a chance, you should read the book, “Passing” by Nella Larsen, which explores the relationships between appearance and reality, deception and unmasking, manipulation and imaginative management, aggression and self-defense. The novel’s epigraph from Countee Cullen’s poem “Heritage” encourages one to read Passing as another in the genre that explores the ambiguity and contestations inherent in prevailing constructions of race. When it was first published, many reviewers referred to the novel as a “tragedy,” alluding to both its shocking ending and to its obvious similarities to the tragic mulatto, but i want to say that racial “passing”, even now, is still inherently in the subconscious of american culture. We might as well still do the paper bag test: darker than a paper bag, you fail; lighter than a paper bag, you ‘pass’… good read, Tiara!

    • Tiara says:

      if i did i didnt mean to, but i wasnt trying to say that the media created it entirely. i was more so saying that they are advocating it and making the issue worse. we reading about “passing” in my introductory PAS class and it was an eye opener for sure. thanks for the insight mr boyd

      • David Boyd (no Relation...lol) says:

        Of course. I know the media didn’t create it, but you are right; they did and do perpetuate it everyday. The stereotypes and the whitewashing of ethnocentric features further inclines young girls to believe that straight hair and fair skin are what’s in.

  4. Gio says:

    love it!! deep, well worded. SO TRUE! GREAT!

  5. Brian campbell says:

    Ah the age old colorstruck phenomenon that plague minority communities the world over. The black light vs dark is aligned with the Latin brown vs pale or the Asian yellow vs pale. The latter shade being preferential and directly related to purity,cleanliness and socioeconomics.
    the rappers have grown up learning this and, amid their boasting, lighter women are just another symbol of success. We as humans tend to value the scarse and these traits tend to be just that in the minority communities. A blond Italian or puerto rican girl would be valued in Jersey as much as a tall geisha-white Asian would be in San Fran.

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