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.

53 AverageComments™:

Atypicalwhiteguy said...

Got a different twist on this for you. After all the worlds a big place, the issues aren't just black and white (or the shades in between).

My fiancee is Hawaiian,german,portugeese. She is literally descended from Hawaiian Royalty, her great-great-great something, essentialy was responsible for teaching the king how to be the king.

She is completely built like a polynesian- larger frame (Polynesians and particularly Hawaiians are big people), roundish nose, kinky hair (she could grow a mean afro if the humidity is right), and "luau feet". Her coloration on the other hand is caucasian in appearance, very very fair and prone to sunburn.

When she first went to college she was going to be a Hawaiian language teacher, till she got sick of other girls calling her haole (a hawaiian word referring to whites, frequently used as a perjorative, though it is denotatively neutral).

I am completely convinced that while cross-racial or cross-ethinic hatred can be vile, no body can hate quite as well as when they are hating on their own people.

Monie said...

I think a lot of the stuff people say online is due to them being able to say crazy stuff and get away with it. So a lot of the comments surrounding light vs. dark are just people trying to be provocative.

Mainly though I think that people have had bad experiences regarding this issue and like to project their bitterness/ hurt at celebs.

Regarding Amber: I don't think it's that she's a role model I think she just carries herself with what appears to be confidence. Plus she's hot and part Black (Cape Verdean).

Sum Black Dude said...

IDK?? It seems that LSLH women get all the "good" things that many brownskinned women dont get. Many brownskinned women dont hate them but its always an "us vs them" thing. Some Brownskinned women feel like their losing all the "good" black men to lightskinned women.

For example if you see a nba player with a lightskinned chick, smwhere some brownskinned chick is sayin "Weak nigga he only got that bitch because she lightskinned. (IOW), Sometimes,Brownskinned women have a underdog mentality towards lightskinned women. This is why its "OK "for some to hate on LSLH because they seem to always win and the brothers who get brownskinned chick are "keepin it real".

Its sad but black men like myself are to blame because we always want a LSLH and some never give the brown skinned sista a chance. "Neva will be Black-White unity unless their is black unity"

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this while reading about Caster, and had to comment because I was talking (crying) to a friend about this today.
I don't date black (African American) men anymore because the hostility from African American women has just gotten intolerable. And people can say what they want or call it an excuse, thats bullshit. I've never been with ANYTHING but a black man. My stepfather is BLACK, my half brother is BLACK. I've dated a ton of guys who looked like Wesley or even Bow Legged Lou,lol. I think Bryce from Groove Theory is the finest thing alive.
But spending time in the deep south, just looking like I do means I get flak and the loyalty questions and tests. People dont consider me 100% down simply because of how I LOOK. And Im at the age now where I simply refuse to deal with hostility.

That black women actually hate this much has taken me by surprise and sometimes I think I am imagining it.Its so extreme as to be unreal to me, I wasn't raised this way. I was never prepared to be treated by black women as if I were a white woman stealing their men, but thats how many react when they see me with a brother. ESPECIALLY a dark one.

The thought of having to deal with the hostility just for dating a guy, I cant take it.It would be one thing if it were white people doing the hating, thats expected. But when I imagine a life married to a man and the reaction from his mother, sisters, cousins, in laws etc- nope. Not me.Not spending my life dodging the shank eye at family gatherings.

And of course, not dating black men means that people will say "See, thats how they are" as if it were my choice and not my way of protecting myself from the unwarranted hostility I have faced since I was 8 years old.

I look, actually, similar to Amber Rose except I have hair.

MissJay said...

@Anon 2:00 and OneChele

I'm with yall. I'm a LSLH (I just cut my hair) and on top of that I have light eyes. I used to be told to my face I was mixed, not asked, TOLD. I've never had anyone hate on me because of who I date though. It's not right. I don't hate no one for dating whoever, to each his/her own.

ch555x said...

Just some more silliness added to the silly bin of human relations...

DCBred said...

Not all of us brown-skin women are haters. And it goes both ways! I grew up with people calling me all sorts of names because of my dark skin. I even had light-skin girls I met at camp try to reassure me that things would be ok--my skin would lighten up in the winter! lol

I don't know much about this hating on black men in the media thing because I don't spend much time thinking about black men I don't know and the women they're dating. But the rift between light-skin and black skin women is not new. It surprises me how much black men are ignorant of it because they're a big part of the problem. Black men, esp. the ones you see in the media the most, help perpetuate the idea that to be beautiful you need light-skin and long hair. And not by the women they date IMO but by the songs, music videos, etc. But maybe the frustration many brown skin women have with not seeing themselves reflected in the media is projected onto the black men and the women they are seen with in the spotlight.

PS-- who exactly "agreed" that Michelle's skin tone helped Barack win?

Paul said...

Interesting topic. I went to Asia a few years back and experienced a similar complex. The lighter you are the more attractive you are.

cjames30082 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cjames30082 said...

This debate is FAR deeper than an African-American. If you want to server up some real hate and discrimination over light-skin and dark-skin then go to India. Good grief.
It's a problem and I can't say I haven't contributed to the problem from time to time. I have been partial to LSLH my whole life. I don't know why.

When I was little, 8 or 9, one of the worst things you call another person was a African Booty Scratcher. Basically issues with complexion stems from child hood images of what's cute and desirable and what's not.

We as people always like to compliment a "Good grade of hair" or Good hair. Light skin and good hair is just a plus. It is what it is.

Antonio said...

I don't get why people can't just let others be. Didn't MLK say we should be judged not by the color of our skin, but the content of our character? Why doesn't that apply to the people we choose to date?

Probably the biggest incident that sticks out in my mind is when I saw Michael Jordan's wife on TV and my brown-skinned aunt said "Uh oh she's light-skinned she just wants him for his money" while my own light-skinned mother (her sister) was sitting right next to her! I was only nine at the time, but I had to call her out for that.

Even my own mother pressured me to settle down with a black woman (until I told her I was gay) and every time she did it made me want to do it less.

Sasha said...

sometimes i think it goes back to how you're raised and whats "acceptable" and actually being comfortable in your own skin. being a woman that looks like the posterchild for interracial women everywhere, ive heard all kinds of comments towards me about things that i have absolutely no control over.

at my job, i have had different women stop and ask me or tell me that they want me or someone similar to me to date/marry their sons so they wont have dark grandbabies. so i definately think it goes back to the upbringing or at least childhood and being teased about their skin color and really is acceptable in society or whats "cool" amongst your peers.

as far as the good hair thing. i detest that term. i dont like it that it insinuates that my hair is better than yours and i feel like thats why little girls get confused and think their hair isnt acceptable. i dont think it's better, just different, which is ok. said...

@ OneChele

Have no idea where D. Woods is. I didn't even know she was on that reality show. I just saw her on some blog.

@ Atypical

Interesting. Very interesting.

Is there a white folks equivalent to this LS/DS thing?

@ Monie

I agree that Amber Rose carries herself with confidence. But dayum, you'd think she was Michelle Obama is you read some of the comments. Let's face it, she's only well known for showing her ass and boobs. Why is this something to be celebrated on ANY level?

@ SumBlkDude

It's amazing to me how the dating habits of a handful of famous men are somehow projected onto black men as a whole as some indictment of character. Again, we're only talking about a few 100 brothers at once.

When I hear terms like "when Black men get some success, they want a LSLH trophy", I wonder exactly what black men they're talking about. An NBA player? Isn't the guy who works at IBM also successful? Why paint him with a broad brush when all you really mean is NBA players.

@ Anonymous (who looks like Amber Rose with hair)

I really, really, really hope you give brothers a chance. Don't rule us all out because you've met a handful of jerks.

@ DCBred

I totally and completely agree that a lot of black men in positions of media power help perpetuate some of this foolishness. The question is, why are black women still supporting clowns like Diddy, Yung Berg, and Ne-Yo, given some of their outlandishly stupid comments about brownskinned women. How silly is it that some folks were giving Flo-Rida props for having a brownskinned woman as the lead in his recent video, when all his other videos had the typical LSLH models? I mean, come on, just be consistent if nothing else.

I ran a couple of posts about Michelle-O's street cred and how it helped Obama. I'll have to search for them.

@ Paul

Interesting also. Didn't know that. I'm aware of similar things in India and the Carribbean, but had no idea about Asians.

@ CJames

But you're married to a BSLH woman. Tell me how all this adds up?

Agree that "good hair" is a dumb concept. Anyone who's balding knows any hair is good hair. Not that I'm balding or anything.

@ Antonio

Wow, that's pretty trife/funny. Amazing how to treat our own family members sometimes.

@ Sasha

The whole "don't marry darker" thing. Arggh. A remnant of another generation that I really wish would just die already.

Marbles said...

I get so angry hearing this stuff and I'm not even black. I guess it's because I've experienced heartless hate as a kid, so hearing about it in any form just reminds me all over again of what it's like.
What amazes me is that so many people assume, without much reason, that some other group has things better than them. They dehumanize them before they ever even insult them, simply by having the idea that they don't have human problems and human struggles. Do the black women who hate this way really imagine that the LSLHs don't actually have to struggle for anything?
It's emotional laziness.

Ann said...

I wasn't raised to think about that, and there wasn't much of a rift in skin tone that I noticed when I was growing up. Everyone in my family is middle of the road brown. It was more about who's hair was "better". But boy when I got to FAMU, it was a constant battle, sometimes silent (like the dirty looks) and sometimes outspoken (like one sista calling someone else "piss-colored" or a "jungle bunny"). Horrible.

I don't perceive it as straight up hate, but more hostility. Hostility towards the few known Black male celebrities/atheletes who are only seem with LDLH woman. Hostililty towards videos when LSLH woman get the treated better in general, while the darker skin girls can only resorted being portrayed and she-monsters and beasts, like for Drakes's "The Best I Ever Had", etc.
Or the contrast in LL Cool J's videos from 20 yrs ago to now.

Ann said...

@ AB. The white person's equivalent to LS/LD would be blonde vs brunette. Right?

I only read Sandra Rose for about two weeks before I started noticing her hatred towards anyone lighter than her. Reading some of her entries made me think she has self-esteem issues reflected on others. said...

@ Ann

I am willing to give Drake the benefit of the doubt. That video was nothing more than Kanye's fantasies in video form (he directed it). Listen to Drake in interviews, and you get the impression he's a lot smarter than that and knows his target audience well enough to not piss them off (again). We'll see.

Re: LL Cool J, anyone remember how he got into all that trouble for not putting anything but LSLH women in his videos?

He was almost "forced" to do this...

He was given a lot of credit for casting this darkskinned model, but should he have been? He only did it to get black women off his back.

Shady_Grady said...

It's not acceptable to question anyone's integrity based solely on the skin tone or skin color of the man or woman they are dating or married to.

That said humans do it anyway. That's life.

People are jealous, petty, competitive-no matter what gender or race they are.

As a poster upstream said whites have the whole blonde hair thing-which is sorta equivalent to this in some aspects.

Calling out someone else for the skin tone of their wife is just a way of putting them on the defensive or a sop to someone's own ego. I don't think it's that big of a deal in the big scheme of things. But the dehumanization part of it is ugly , whether it be dark skinned or light skinned.

Denise said...

I agree about the blonde/brunette stuff, Ann. A couple of recent commercials are prime examples:

(1) the GEICO one where the cute blonde, curly locks gets a real pony while the brunette child gets a plastic pony doll;

(2) the AXE leather commercial where all the brunette cave women go nuts over the guy who then picks a blonde trophy to floss with on his mastodon. LOL

Everybody knows about these social games because everyone has their version of it.

Aprill said...

I have no clue (well yeah I do) why there is such hated spewing from Sandra Rose's ears about her LSLH problems....

Men have preferences...some love and cannot resist a dark skinned woman..and on the other hand...some love light skinned women. I see a fair mixture of dark skinned and light skinned women with a man where I live...I dont see the dark skinned ladies sleeping in cardboard boxes and eating out of cans behind a dumpster while I eat caviar and sip champagne with all the brothers....not the case.

What are we gonna do when the men with small penises start this revolution of hating on men with larger penises? You shake your head and say 'how stupid', that's what you do. And that's how I feel about this whole LSLH debate. Its stupid.

You cannot help what you are, you cannot help what is attracted to you. You cannot help who you are attracted to.

Denise said...

correction: the pony commercial is from Ally, not GEICO

Serafina said...

Indians are Asians.

That being said, I've always wondered if anyone else questioned why light skinned women were made out to be the devil by darker toned women.

I visit a website and if a famous man/woman have a light skinned spouse and some adorable kids to boot, they're called sell outs, told that they dont want ugly nappy headed kids, want to change the face of black America.

My whole thing is, what skin tone is a REAL black person supposed to have? I doubt any of these people have seen women from Ethopia or Somalia, who can have a fine grade of hair and very light skin.

I've seen countless blacks talk about how they love chocolate men/women, only date someone brown skinned, but let someone say they only date exotic or light skinned women/men and all hell will break loose.

Why is that? Are those of us with a less dark skin tone not supposed to be happy because someone with a darker skin tone don't love themselves enough to know that the hate doesnt start with us, but with themselves.

I've always believed that when a dark skinned person spews hate, its because they dont like what they see when they look in the mirror, more so than anything else making them inferior.

There are many types of hate in the black community. Whether a bi-racial person is to be only considered black. Whether its ok to say you like dark toned blacks, but not light skinned blacks.

It's all crazy. Stupid. And really not worthy of writing one more sentence about.

Marbles said...

I don't think the blonde v. brunette thing is anywhere near equivalent to this. Apart from the unfair stereotype of the dumb blonde airhead, I don't think there's much tension. Blondes get dumped on because of the bimbo beach bunny image, and I guess some people are shallow enough to size up a girl's character by the lightness of her locks, but I don't think it compares to what you guys are talking about.

@ Denise:

I LOOOOVE that commercial. It's so adorable and so hilariously cruel at the same time.

Atypicalwhiteguy said...

@AB Sure look at The Girls Next Door, and any number of young women. I don't think its neccessarily as heated as the Creamy Mocha vs Dark Coffe debate, but its there. Blonde is Beautiful, Blondes have more fun etc. Now we obviously have some competing imagery.

Red headed freckled kids get punked too, in England "theres gingers", etc.

I'm going to attempt to phrase some of this very carefuly, because no offense or malice is intended. I think people develop a notion of authenticity. A Real American, A Real Hero, A Real Brother, A Real Beautiful Woman. Normative standards if you will.

That notion is informed by collective opinion, trend, and by the omnipresent media. If collectively black people determine that the "dark coffee" complexion is authentic, then on of the black icons (leader, actor, athlete) chooses the a woman with lighter skin it causes some cognitive dissonance. Is he rejecting black beauty? Has he been programmed by the media to appreciate a whiter version of beauty? Theres all kinds of questions it suggests to people I think , and a lot of the questions are perhaps uglier than the answers.

Atypicalwhiteguy said...

My sister and law shared this with me on Facebook sort of another aspect of this -

Monie said...


Have you been over to Sandra Rose? Lol She's responding to your post over there. said...

@ Monie

I updated the post with a link to that story. I don't particularly like how Sandra Rose takes my "white folks watch from the sidelines" comment out of context and slams me for something she doesn't even understand, but the comments of her readers are interesting to say the least.

Anonymous said...

The ugliness continues because black folks sometimes like to say mean things to each other. Really. I know that this blog may be filled with fair skinned women who are loving and nice, but I've seen some not nice things come out of a light skinned woman's mouth about and to a dark skinned woman - especially if she feels threatened. This is true for all women, if we feel threatened the likelihood of something ugly coming out of our mouths goes up.

I'm a very middle-of-the-road brown, which has spared me from a lot of the flack that truly dark skinned kids of both genders had to go through in elementary school. Somewhere around h.s. the dark chocolate men got really (really) good looking to the girls. Light skinned girls tended to get preferential treatment from jump street.

But let's stop pretending that light skinned women are the innocent victims of mean dark skinned women with low self esteem. That there haven't been some butt-ugly light skinned women given a pass on their faces because of skin tone. That light skinned women with wack attitudes will say that other women hate on them because of their skin tone, when really other women don't like them because they're mean and have an over-inflated ego. My cousin is a prime example: she'll relay her war stories from 2nd grade and justify calling women in the club "darkie haters" in a heartbeat. She even tried to tell me to watch my man around light skinned women, because every man wants one. BTW, she's almost 40 and has no man. This is what I mean when I talk about a woman who feels threatened.

Ugly exists on both sides of the issue. Some dark women really have bad self images and are mean to light skinned women. Again, threatened. Some women are haters no matter what color they are. And some women just go about their business not worrying about it at all. The only women I know - light or dark - who go on and on about it are single, because they can't focus on anything else.

It's time for women to embrace each other and stop looking for reasons to not like one another.

We need hugs, not mean mugs.

Atypicalwhiteguy said...

@AB You might just wanna watch this one from the sidelines.

I totally got where you were coming from on this one. Didn't feel any weird vibes whatever. A lot of white people might not have anything useful to add or to really have given it a moments thought.

It's a concept that you almost have to horse in the race to appreciate.

If I wrote a post on Irish (mostly my own flavor of caucasian, with a little anglo and french to add a broader spectrum of vanilla) oppression by the English, and how that affected my ancestors in America, it might be hard for some people to find an entry point in that equation.

Monie said...


"...I don't particularly like how Sandra Rose takes my "white folks watch from the sidelines" comment out of context ..."

That's just who SR is and how she does business. Everything over there is out of context.

Atypicalwhiteguy said...

@AB Gotta give SR two thumbs down, for implying a slight on your behalf, that wasn't intended or percieved. I can't speak for the rest of the resident crackers but no offense taken here.

MeChan76 said...

I'm a chocolate sister and I do not hate on my light skinned sisters because I know I look good. However, I DO have a problem when dudes hollr at a light chick in my face who looks like sh__. Why else wouldn't I think it's b/c of her color. I have had some dudes come with some classically ignorant responses when I bring these issues up. One of the most memorable is "I don't want my kids to be dark skinned." WTF? Did I miss something? And I hate being told I am "pretty to be dark skinned" as if it's a disability and I should be proud to be one of the ones they decided to bless with a compliment.

I am now married to a light skinned man and have a "light skinned, long hair" daughter and cannot tell you how many LIGHT SKINNED chicks look at me twice as if they can't believe this dude chose me over them. I've even had one chick tell me to my face with my husband that "light skinned was in" and asked why he wasn't with a light skinned female. She said it jokingly but I didn't find it funny. Had I not been pregnant, the story might have ended differently...

It's a mess, but I do agree that this is not unique to the black race.

Seattle Slim said...

Wow! This is powerful. I may have to think and formulate my thoughts in my own blog because I might ramble here lol.

I will summarize to the best of my ability. Was I irritated when I saw the Drake vid? Yes. Why? Because it gets old. You and I know that women are beautiful, regardless of race or skin tone. At the same token, it is just a rap video. It was campy and it's free pr0n. It just gets old.

Do I make comments about ballers/high profile guys with LSLH? Nope. I don't care. I'm in an IR myself and I hate when people comment on my relationship negatively assuming things that aren't further from the truth.

I'm too busy loving myself to hate on LSLH women. We're all gorgeous. I'm just trying to be happy, you dig? I am not focusing on these things.

I am breaking the molds. It starts with each and every one of us. It starts with introspection. When I was younger (in my teens with a low self-esteem) I PROJECTED that onto a LSLH girl in my 9th grade class. How stupid, but I've learned. When I worked on myself, and realized she was not a BARRIER to me being happy and being loved, I moved on.

Are LSLH women glorified? Yes. Rihanna and Beyonce come to mind, but it's cool. I'm baaaaad as a muv (lol) so if someone doesn't like me because of my skin, I can guaranteed there are plenty of others who do. Their loss. Not mine.

My grandmother was LS. My grandfather is dark but has the bluest eyes you will ever see. My great grandmother was LS and most of my grandaunts were light as well. I love them dearly. How can I love them and hate other LSLH women?

Finally, I think BW need to love themselves more. Get rid of all the freakin' chems, stop chasing a beauty aesthetic that makes it easier for our sons and daughters to say, "Well if momma and auntie wanted to look like this, hell... I'll just go for the ideal and cut the bullsh*t."

I will have to write more later... Very thought provoking!

vanilla latte said...

My first college roommate was "red boned" or "yellow"--as she referred to herself! The men/boys used to go crazy for her. (She became a "little siter" for a fraternity...why, is beyond me because Greeks treat their "little sisters" like servants.)

Anyhoo, where I grew up in southern MD the light-skinned black folks were mixes of white/black or Native American/black. And they took great pride in their light skin.
I got the general feeling from the lightskinned folks down there that they did, in fact, consider themselves better than the darker skin AA's. And the Native/Black mixes called themselves "Indian"...and would tell you there were "not black".
Obviously, some folks had issues.

There's no equivalent for white folks that I know of...blond vs. brunette doesn't really count. That's more of a humorous thing.
Hey, the drapes could be blonde...the carpet could be brunette.

No point hating on anyone. And when I referrred to Amber Rose as a sista in another post someone told me she was white...hello, I know a light-skinned sister when I see one...She's very attractive...she just needs to cover her tit-tays.

thundacat said...

i have to put my 2 sense in *tossing pennies*

im a white gurl, raised in the actually white and native american, i resemble a hispanic person, my father is darker than Chris Brown, we dealt with alot of racism growing up, not one thing i have never even let bother me is the white girl/black guy thing...i have never dated anyone other than a black man....and i mean not even a light skinned dude, *i have a "type"* lol...but i never noticed the hate of light vs dark...contemplating it seems absolutely RETARDED to me!!! everyone has a preference..thats all it boils down to!! i HATE Sandra Rose and her narrow minded, switch out ass self!! you cant help who you are attracted to! its simple pontificate the "reason" someone chose a light skinned girl as oppose to a dark skinned girl is STUPID!!! we love who we love!! everyone has certain things that attract us to the opposite (or same) sex, who the hell are we to judge!?? i mean it could range to soooo many things...i had a boyfriend that went with white girls/hispanics because he liked pulling hair and we generally have more. had nothing to do with the color of skin...i think first of all the whole issue revolves around women, and women are critical, judgemental, and just plain rude!! love is love, love!!! to each their own and leave it the fuck alone!!!

Ed The Sports Fan said...

This is why I created the Light Skinned Coalition. We have to be the NAACP for Lite-Skinned folks.


Anonymous said...

wow that hair video up there was mean now i see where all this stuff in america v each other stem from

The Janitor said...

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

Bro, you're not gonna get a for real answer to this question unless we talk about history, and since we're not talking about history then our answers are gonna be limited.

That being said, in my limited answer form I'd like to throw something out there that may be controversial so before anybody gets bent out of shape, let me put the disclaimer out there that these are not the official views of The Janitor.

Why is it ok to talk about light skinned women? Because light skinned long haired women in America are perceived to have "the most $hit." (In other words, perceived to be the standard of beauty)

To quote Chris Rock's latest "Kill the Messenger" on why it is ok to talk about those who we perceive to be "on top" (aka LSLH):

"Sometimes, the people with the most sh*t have to shut up and let the other people talk sh*t about them.

That's how life works!
That's right, sometimes the people with the most sh*t, get to say the least sh*t, and the people with the least sh*t, get to say the most sh*t.

So if you wanna say more sh*t, get rid of some of your sh*t!

That's how the world works, man.
Some people get to talk about other people, and that's just how it goes, man.

For instance, like, fat girls could say whatever they want to about skinny girls.
Fat girls could talk about skinny girls ALL DAY LONG


But skinny girls can't talk about fat girls!
That's just mean!"

Again, I don't think LSLH women are "on top" any more than dark sinned sisters. I love all of 'em damnit. I'm just saying that if we accept for the sake of argument that LSLH women have been the drug of choice for black men (and non-black men alike) then it stands to reason that, per Chris Rock, some sisters may feel there's an acceptable level of sh*t talking that is allowed towards LSLH women.


Monie said...


"hello, I know a light-skinned sister when I see one.."

Lmao! That's cute. :-)


"Indians are Asians."

Actually they are South Asian.

vanilla latte said...

@ Monie

Hmmm. That sentence by itself is a little awkward. LOL

Where I grew up there was every shade of AA in my town...from albinos (two of them) to "wesley snipes" dark. Folks had kinky hair/blue or hazel eyes. They could have been light skinned with straight hair and blue/green eyes...I mean there was every shade in the spectrum so it gets kinda easy to recognize it.

I'm just surprised so many people thought Amber Rose was white...not that it's a big deal but I could tell immediately she wasn't. I've seen every shade and there are always beautiful women in the's not limited. Although the one female albino was a pretty angry individual. :-o

On the topic of white folks...

I just thought of something. The chicks who tend to tan (fake 'n bake or lay out) think they're more attractive than the pasty white girls. Now, if you're at the beach and you see one of us in a bikini--chances are good that the tanned chick looks better.

ON THE OTHER HAND...the risk of melanoma is amazingly high in people that tan. One of my peers who is my age has tanned all of her adult life. If she and I stood next to each other I'd be the pasty white one...but I swear to God I look at least 10 years younger than her.

So, when you see the tanned women they usually scoff at those of us who wear a hat or sunscreen. LOL

Monie said...


I hope you didn't think I took offense. I didn't. Like I said it was just cute. :-)

And I get what you mean.

Greg Dragon said...

Brown skin people should play the sidelines too. Afterall being in the middle of the road has rarely led you to notice this stupidity that is the mother of self-hate and low self-image within our race.

Here's a fact that only changed recently: Dark Skinned Chicks don't date Dark Skinned Guys.

Go ahead and refute that ladies, I'm sure I can say you're full of ish and be right about it.

My personal story: I am a "dark skinned brotha" that has does fairly well for myself in the attraction department (I guess I'm not ugly) but growing up in the deep south I still hold scars from childhood on this very topic. AB isn't this airing out our dirty laundry? Shame on you! Just kidding... anyway it goes through phases, thats what I'm getting at. A lot of these dark skinned chicks are bitter because in school, like myself, a lot of dumb ass kids made their life hell about the pigment. Growing up under a militant black flag (you know the one with the half moon) my stepfather drilled me daily about being prideful as a "real blackman", this in it's own twisted way helped me stay on the straight and narrow as a child to where I actually felt sorry for the little "red" kids cracking jokes and dissing me when I asked the girls out (many of you LS chicks were guilty of this as kids too yet conveniently forget).

I recall the days when.. damn I hate this phrase since it demeans everyone but, I remember when "light skin brothers were in" and a Wesley Snipes looking cat had to either be smooth as all hell or be paid. It is part of our ugly, self-hating history in this country and it is still as strong as ever. As someone said before me, it is how we're raised. I was raised by a NOI stepfather so I saw black as beautiful, to many other kids they only saw LSLH as beautiful. In contrast as the years past and I grew into a man, the scales tipped in our favor and all of a sudden dark men are being touted as sexy. Now a lot of the angry kids who were picked on in school are taking this opportunity to bark back (can you blame them). The sad thing is that now they are adults so it looks pathetic. The scars are THAT deep.

I love dark skinned women, I always have. Have I dated many dark skinned women? Not before I came an adult, no. This goes back to the preference thing, I have been shot down by more dark skinned women than I can count and I know it's because of the same reason they diss LSLH women. It's a color thing. At my HCBU, I dated many LSLH women not because of preference, but because they were open to the idea of a dark skinned dude, if I hollared and she spat back, I wasn't going to say no over some skin tone bs. What made it even funnier is that while I walked, danced and hung with these women, the haters (who didn't want to date in the first place) were shooting us units and talking ish about it.

Some of these chicks are permanently scarred and bitter in their poor self-image. My lady right now is LS with a natural, women still shoot her units... but its okay. We both had hard childhoods perpetuated by other black folks so we just feel sorry for them.

Click my name for all the LSLH women you can manage lol.

Jennifer said...

The Janitor, you just made yourself a new fan. :)

Lady M said...

Unfortunately this is why bleaching creams are so prevalent in African countries. There is this perceived advantage to being "lighter," that all of a sudden being a lighter shade of brown will get you places that being darker wouldn't.

With the light skinned chicks supposedly getting all the good looking black men... you know, honestly, I just don't give a damn. The way I see it, if a black man wants to date a light skinned woman, or a white woman, or an Asian woman or whatever, so what? The fact that the fine brother down the street has his arm around a light skinned woman is no concern of mine. He is a stranger to me, and I am not involved in his personal affairs, nor do I care to be. I'm only concerned about myself and getting my own man, because somewhere out in the world there are black men who prefer darker skinned women, just as how there are black men that prefer lighter skinned women. I don't hate on my lighter sisters, because at the end of the day, we're all black folk. What would be the point? It's counterproductive to be projecting negative thoughts/ feelings towards anybody else. I could be using that energy to better myself.

Also, I think that any black woman who carries herself with pride and confidence, no matter what color she is, is much more likely to attract men than a moody, spiteful woman angry at the world, and angry at "all them light skinned bitches." Having a nasty attitude will get you nowhere, don't matter if you a redbone or blue-black.

Just my thoughts.

Minnie said...

I can't say that seeing successful black men with dark skinned women on television or otherwise, dosen't make me happy. Because the men on TV are the ones that many of our children take notice of. And they are affected by what they see. LSLH women are the standard of beauty in our community and it has an effect on how young dark skinned women see themselves. And it has an effect on how black men view dark skinned women.

Sometimes I think I was lucky to have attended schools with whites (Italians) when I listen to people talk about the lightskin/ darkskin, good hair/bad hair thing. I never had to deal with it because everything about me was different but cool because I was black, including my hair. As a matter of fact it's been my own brothers who have ridiculed me for my dark skin. And they have been the ones to tell me that they don't like dark skinned women. It's sad really. But it hasn't had much of an impact on me because I've always had my father telling me I was beautiful because I'm dark. But I don't hold any ill will towards light skin women because of it.

Oddly enough, there are plenty of white men who seem love dark skinned women. I've always had the option of dating white men and I've turned plenty of them down.

I don't think Michelle has given Obama "street cred" because of her color. I see them as a family that we easily see in our everyday lives. And they are easy to identify with. said...

If Obama dated a white lady he would not get elected. Black Americans wouldn't vote for him...
It's unfortunate but true.

Scipio Africanus said...

Haven't read any of the comments yet, so I don't know if this has been posted already, but Amber Rose is actually black. She's like a flyer Envyi (of Shawty Swing My Way fame) in that reagrd.

crshark said...

As a Latino/Mexican American, I can tell you that there's a similar dichotomy amongst my compadres, both here in the U.S. and in Mexico, although it's stronger in Mexico. The darker-skinned folks are commonly called "indio" and it's usually said in a condescending/pejorative tone. Although here in the U.S., many activist latinos hold their indigenous heritage in high-esteem and try to deny their European heritage; i.e., being "indio" is seen as giving someone more street cred. While in Mexico, both "gueros" (lighter-skinned people) and "indios" both seem to harbor this lighter-skin prejudice and are very open and matter-of-fact about it. Although in Mexico, the upper classes are almost exclusively lighter-skinned, so I think class consciousness contributes a lot towards this phenomenon.

On the other hand, very few of the light-skinned Mexicans would pass for white in the U.S. (think Salma Hayek). That's because our "white" ancestry comes almost exclusively from Spanish people, and by the time the Spaniards began colonizing Mexico, they had been living with and reproducing with the Moors (North Africans) for over 700 years. So the conquistadors coming over to Mexico (not to mention all the African and Moorish slaves they brought with them) weren't all that "white" to begin with.

Anyway, thank you for such a fascinating post. It's just one more reason why I think Latinos and African Americans have a hell of a lot more in common than we have differences. When we become the majority of the population in 2050, we'll have a righteous "third world" community already worked out and ready to start running things.

j said...

It's odd, but I've noticed that as a LSLH, it seems I get hit on by everyone but light-skinned or brown-skinned men. I tend to attract a lot of dark-skinned African or Caribbean men, a few dark-skinned black men, Latinos who assume I'm one of them, and the occasional white guy (usually Italian-American).

The African guys almost always remark that I'm so quiet and well-mannered. I guess they've ingrained the stereotype of the loud, neck-swiveling, "sista with an attitude" or something, but that's for a whole 'nother post.

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely nothing against brothers, have dated them my entire life and married 2. What I am NOT willing to deal with anymore is hatred and dirty looks from my own kind. When I meet one whose sisters, mother, friends and coworkers dont have the shitty attitude, who don't give the dirty looks and the knowing "only reason he is with her..." comments, cool. But I'm not holding my breath or going to sit around lonely waiting.

fair skinned said...

I am soo sick of dark skinned black women hating on fairskinned mixed women calling them whit women. I am engaged to a dark skinned man from the south side of houston more women from his neighborhood spend more time calling me white girl all in my family tree trying to sleep with my man telling him he needs to keep it real or I mest be giving him money because "white women do that" mind you Im mixed grey/green eyes curly thick hair but yes very fair I am creole/jewish and spanish none of the above are caucasion Why do black women do this to mixed women you dont think we have it hard enough being stared at like a zoo exibit constantly

MeChan76 said...

Fair-skinned, please don't kid yourself. Based on your username alone, that shows the value you place on your complexion. It's not cool to think that all dark-skinned women hate on you just because of your complexion. Are you actually hearing them call you a white girl or just assuming? And if it is, indeed, hate, I can assure you that it is reciprocated from our light skinned sisters as well. I don't like to stereotype, but since you did, I feel it's appropriate. I can't begin to tell you many times I've had light females give me the up and down look as if my dark complexion does not make me worthy of a light skinned husband. Or are in shock when I say the fair skinned two year old is mine. Imagine being told by your sister-in-law that your mother in law dislikes you because of skin color. So I know how shallow it is, but the reason I said I didn't want to stereotype is because what if those fair sisters giving the up n down looks were not focused on my complexion but rather something else? The reason that I AM willing to assume is that in a few instances, I've actually had someone say that to me.

I've also had a lot of men so they like white and light, damn near white chicks because they are weak. I think that'sa dumb assumption and stereotype too, but as long as we have people to perpetuate those stereotypes, who can stop them? But as far as women against women, I wish we could all just get along because we have enough problem with SOME (not all) degrading us, so why should we add to the mix?

Also, if your husband DID marry you because of your complexion, maybe you should be concerned. Just like I'd be concerned if I found out my husband only married me because I looked good or my big butt and that's all he thought about. There'd be little respect for that person.

In any case, I hope you aren't suffering from the bliss of ignorance and assuming that people dislike you because of your complexion. Perhaps it's your attitude. Based on what you are saying here, sounds like you might unknowingly be on defense mode when you come across dark skinned women anyway, so maybe you are looking too hard for problems to validate your ego or maybe you're just getting back the energy you put out.


Nefertti said...

Ok let me just say I'm sick of people trying to make light skinned girls little sweet, innocent, precious, angels who just don't understand why dark skinned girls hate on them. Hate to break it to you guys but all light skinned girls don't get hated on and all dark skinned women aren't mean, evil, bitter black women. I know plenty of light skinned women who are snobby and stuck up because they let society get to their head. Not all but a lot. And O personally think dark skinned women get hated on by light skinned women a lot. Because light skinned women expect to get all the attention whenever a dark skinned women gets more attnetion than them or look better than them they get jealous. It's almost as if they can't fathom a dark skinned sista looking better than them. A lot of light skinned girls get told their nice looking even if they're very average or ugly as sin. A lot of light skinned girls get overrated too just because they're light skinned. Trust me I've seen it happen. And it's dumb, ignorant that men that mostly overrate them. We all know it stems back from slavery. Any black person or person of color no matter how light or dark should be ashamed that they have a slave mentality. O yea and by the way anyone who thinks I'm a evil, jealous, bitter dark skinned sista hating on light skinned girls hate to break it to you but I'm am light skinned. I'm just a light skinned sista keeping it real.

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