For as long as I can remember, dark skinned girls seemed to have always received shade from the light skinned girls. They were classified as the pretty ones while we were classified as well “The Dark Ones”. They got the good grades, the good guys and the free passes into bliss, while it seemed like the dark skinned girl was left out in the cold to fend for herself. No passes were given, no free rides and dark skinned girls had to work two times harder than her counterpart – the light skinned girl. A glimpse of this can be seen in the 1988 Spike Lee classic School Dayz where the light skinned girls squared off with the dark skinned girls and even though it’s not that serious today, people still have a way of making “skin tone” an issue. Chika Okoro is a dark-skinned girl whom according to praisedc.hellobeautiful was always told: “You’re so pretty for a dark skinned girl” but still failed to meet the expectations of her rival, the light skinned girl. Okoro whom is a 2nd year MBA student at Stanford Graduate School of Business recently gave a speech titled Confessions of a D Girl: Colorism and Global Standards of Beauty.
Okoro began her talk discussing a casting call for the Oscar nominated movie Straight Outta Compton in which she details how the casting call ranked for women by the alphabets A-D. Medium to darker skinned ladies were ranked as D and if a lady was of a lighter tone she was ranked under A in which stood for the Beyoncé types. Okoro stated that when she read the information, she felt betrayed.
I felt betrayed that when even in these small circles where I’m allowed to feel beautiful, I’m still shoved aside for those with more “Favorable” features: Light skin, light eyes, long soft real hair. Chika Okoro
In past years there have only been a handful of movies that represent women of color in general and if you’re like me, those are the movies that I pay to go see; just so I can support our women of color and hopefully raise the standards of us being in more quality, decent films than ones that call for us to be crazy, angry or a prostitute. I mean after all, there are some talented and well gifted women of color whom can grace the screen just like Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep, whom are talented in their own right. But the opportunities for a black woman are still slim to none. Okoro stressed the fact that it’s OK for us to stand up against what society tells us is acceptable or beautiful according to their standards.
Check out Chika Okoro’s video as see hits the hammer on the nail regarding “colorism” in our society. Have you felt neglected, pushed aside or withdrawn because you’re dark skinned? Or maybe you’re light skinned and have felt some shade from dark skinned women or society, sound off in the comments and let’s talk about it.
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