Friday, August 21, 2009

The LightSkinnded/DarkSkinnded Paradox.

[Editor's Note: To all my white readers, be forewarned. This is gonna sound like "inside baseball" to ya'll. You might just wanna watch this one from the sidelines. And before you ask, yeah, we've already touched on this subject before. Chime in anyway.]

I will freely admit that I read "black gossip" blogs. No shame in my game. I like the momentary escape of belittling another person's life to make me feel momentarily better about mine just as much as the next (wo)man. And let's face it, anyone who partakes in (quasi)celebrity culture in any way, shape, or form (ie: reality TV, tabloids, blogs, generally greasy talk) is essentially admitting the same, whether they use the same words or not. There's isn't necessarily anything wrong with that, as we just discussed here yesterday.

[PM Update: Sandra Rose (whose posts I quote in this article) apparently knows how to Google her own name. Yippie, great for her! This post is now being discussed over there as well. Her comments are closed to outsiders, so I can't say what I'd really like to say. Bummer.]

One interesting pattern I always see develop on black gossip blogs is when a black guy with some level of fame is seen out with a black woman. If the woman is lightskinned, with long hair (a term so common it even has an accepted acronym: LSLH), the guy will inevitably be pelted with all sorts of insults in the comments section about how he dislikes "real" black women, and probably wants a white girl anyway.[1] On the other hand, a black man seen with a brownskinned woman (a term that doesn't have an acronym of its own), he'll usually get commended for "keepin' it real" and "staying true".[2] For an example of this paradox, just Google the terms "NBA player's wife" and "Denzel Washington's wife".

How a man's character (or a woman's, I've seen the same happen in reverse, albeit not as frequently) can be called into question simply because of the skin tone of his mate/spouse is beyond me. Why this sort of thing is tolerated, and considered an acceptable norm in 2009 is downright ludicrous. It's been roundly agreed upon (even here) that Michelle Obama's skintone is what helped make Barack more endeared to black America. And it's equally sad that many Negroes openly admit that without her, he'd lack quite a bit of "street cred".

I don't want to get into some overblown discussion about the light/darkskinned "conflict" in black America, and I sure as hell don't want to go all the way back to slavery and discuss the origins of the tension. That's not necessary. Let's stick to the here and now.

Why is is acceptable to question a man's integrity because he dates a LSLH woman, yet give him props for dating a "real Black woman" if his mate looks like D. Woods?[3]

And for the record (and the inevitable haters), my wife is brownskinned (I am too for that matter), longhaired (when she isn't busy cutting it) and baaadd than a muv. So this has absolutely nothing to do with any personal hangups. It's just something that continually bugs me, and darnit, I'd like an explanation.

Question: Why is it ok to hate on lightskinned, longhaired women, yet brownskinned sistas are "keepin' it real"?

[1] Notable exception: Kayne's girlfriend Amber Rose, who oddly seems to be a role model of sorts to some women. Go freakin' figure.

[2] Notable exception: Usher's now-ex wife. Man, black women will not cut that sista a damn break. I got my theories on why, but what are yours?

[3] Whom I think is incredibly beautiful. Not that you asked.

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