Nastassia Davis' Blog

“You’re pretty for a darkskin girl.”

with 7 comments

Two Sides selfie turned into a meme about beauty in the black race.

“Don’t tell her she’s pretty for a darkskin girl.”

Nastassia Davis

Original Self Portrait by Nastassia Davis

The image of mine “Two Sides To Every Story” was just recently turned into a meme. The text combined with my selfie pic has created a lot of dialogue raising some important questions on race and beauty. To see some of the comments from people all over the country, click on the top photo.

Here are some of my favorites:

“Ignorance at it’s finest.”-Nikki Brown-Byrant.

“I’m proud that God made me dark skin.”-Taneshia N.Wynn

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are beautiful women in all races of people and some not so attractive in all races. If everyone looked the same, the world would be a boring place.” – Brenda Bethune

“I hear it all too often…you are pretty to be black (dark skinned) girl!! But the people that say it doesn’t even realize that this stigma stems back all the way to slavery…when our ancestor had children by slave owners.” – April Lucas

Do we know that true beauty is determined by the content of one’s character and not his or her skintone? Too often, I see our youth using this ignorant way of thinking and it’s very upsetting, to say the least. I’ve been working mainly as a sub teacher in the public school district lately, and I see where some students hashtag #teamlightskin #teamdarkskin in their instagram and twitter bios. They don’t even realize they’re perpetuating the same ideals of Willie Lynch, that was intended to hurt our race for generations to come. And when I try to talk to them about it, many of them just shrug it off, make a joke and go to the next simple thing to talk about. THAT’S THE SCARY PART…

How do I get through to them?

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Written by Nastassia Davis

March 14, 2013 at 3:06 am

7 Responses

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  1. I would always ask them why they use such terms. Same way I ask why they call each other nigga when they are so much beautiful uplifting terms of endearment. Unfortunately for many you can say what you want but until they have a true sense of self love they will still use the term. As a Dad I have already explained to my girls not to accept such foolish comments or be engaged in dialogue like this that is beneath them.

    David McQueen

    March 14, 2013 at 3:42 am

    • Lexa, Lee & David, thank you for your responses. Agreed David on why people still use “nigga” and claim it’s an endearing term. Man, why not just use “Brother”. That term, nigga, just can’t seem to die. And I applaud you for talking to your daughters. It’s men like YOU who truly deserve the title, “FATHER”. Not all men can do that. Children are heavily influenced by the adults around them. Being like sponges, it’s so easy for them to absorb and mold to the ideas presented to them growing up. It takes a very special child to recognize ignorant ways of thinking and decide to debunk it. It also greatly helps to have adults around to correct them, as Lexa said.

      ALL shades are beautiful and should be celebrated. I believe true beauty shouldn’t only be valued after “looks” either. Having one highlighted more than others is when it begins to take a prejudice turn. Darker skin women shouldn’t be celebrated more than lighter skin women and vice versa.

      Thank you again for your responses!! I appreciate your participation on this topic!

      Nastassia Davis

      March 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm

  2. Remind them/reveal to them that the reason that there are so many shades of Black throughout the diaspora, is because of the varying degree of racial intermixing, starting with the enforced racial mixing of Black female slaves being raped by their white slave masters. if you are really ‘proud to be Black’ then you should never glorify light skin over dark skin, or support the good hair/bad hair dichotomy. By celebrating the light skin and good hair of those Black people of a lighter shade, we are really celebrating the mixing of other races in their blood line, and so denigrating our own race.

    leepinkerton

    March 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

    • Lexa, Lee & David, thank you for your responses. I do believe that children are heavily influenced by the adults around them. Being like sponges, it’s so easy for them to absorb and mold to the ideas presented to them growing up. It takes a very special child to recognize certain ways of thinking are wrong and decide to debunk ignorance. It helps greatly to have adults around to correct them, like @Lexa stated.

      ALL shades are beautiful and should be celebrated. True beauty shouldn’t only be valued by “looks”. It’s only when one is highlighted more than others when it begins to take a prejudice turn. Darker skin women shouldn’t be celebrated more than lighter skin women and vice versa.

      Thank you again for your responses. I appreciate your thoughts on this topic!

      Nastassia Davis

      March 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

  3. Continue to do what you do. At a very young age, children take their cues and learn from adults. Early on we have to educate our children and celebrate the beauty in all images and shades WITH them. For us sistas especially, we have to be careful… Suttle actions such as buying magazines that mainly feature European “looking” women sends the wrong message to both genders. Women of color have to support, encourage, and compliment each other in the presence of our children. We also have to consistently address the negative comments when we hear them. By the way, I love your positive response at seeing your work circulating the Internet. Great post!

    lexa

    March 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    • Lexa, Lee & David, thank you for your responses. I do believe that children are heavily influenced by the adults around them. Being like sponges, it’s so easy for them to absorb and mold to the ideas presented to them growing up. It takes a very special child to recognize certain ways of thinking are wrong and decide to debunk ignorance. It helps greatly to have adults around to correct them, like @Lexa stated.

      ALL shades are beautiful and should be celebrated. True beauty shouldn’t only be valued by “looks”. It’s only when one is highlighted more than others when it begins to take a prejudice turn. Darker skin women shouldn’t be celebrated more than lighter skin women and vice versa.

      Thank you again for your responses. I appreciate your thoughts on this topic!

      Nastassia Davis

      March 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

  4. Lexa, Lee & David, thank you for your responses. I do believe that children are heavily influenced by the adults around them. Being like sponges, it’s so easy for them to absorb and mold to the ideas presented to them growing up. It takes a very special child to recognize certain ways of thinking are wrong and decide to debunk ignorance. It helps greatly to have adults around to correct them, like @Lexa stated.

    ALL shades are beautiful and should be celebrated. True beauty shouldn’t only be valued by “looks”. It’s only when one is highlighted more than others when it begins to take a prejudice turn. Darker skin women shouldn’t be celebrated more than lighter skin women and vice versa.

    Thank you again for your responses. I appreciate your thoughts on this topic!

    Nastassia Davis

    March 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm


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