How can I unlearn this toxic lesson when it’s so deeply embedded in our everyday lives?
For the record, seriously claiming any sort of team in the social media space is beyond idiotic, but, for all intents and purposes, the image I see in the mirror every morning delegates me to #TeamDarkSkin. (And I'm A-OK with it.) But I don't feel a need to pick sides -- I’m fucking #TeamBlack. And if I’m to believe what society says about the odds (regarding our love lives and our livelihoods) being stacked against us as Black females no matter our skin tones, then clearly we should stick together, right?
Apparently not. According to random tweets I’ve come across on Twitter, all is good in the hood if you’re light, bright and damn near White.
Maybe I’m overthinking it. Granted, the majority of Twitter users claiming membership to the seemingly elite #TeamLightSkin club are in their early twenties (with pictures of their duck lips and B-cup boobs in a too small push-up bra as their avatar, natch), so hopefully they’ll start to realize the ignorant, divisive error of their colorism ways before they hit their supposedly-much-more-aware thirties.
But then again, why would they? Even the media is in on it. Think about it -- how often are dark-skinned Black women celebrated in popular culture? Rappers go out of their way to praise the beauty of light-skinned women visually in their videos and verbally in their songs. How many times have you heard the word "redbone" on the radio today? And every television commercial I see (on this side of the pond and the other) that features a happy-and-in-love-and-buying-a-house-or-a-car Black couple -- she’s light-skinned and he’s not. On the other hand, if she’s pissed off and yelling at her boyfriend or just got approved for a high-interest $500 quick loan? You already know where this is going.
But I digress.
In my opinion, the Black race has much bigger fish to fry than whether or not your natural skin tone is lighter than a brown paper bag. With that said -- I can't help but wonder if I’d feel any differently if I were born with lighter skin. Is the grass really greener? Like so green that you feel the need to proclaim that you’re so lucky that you were born with a certain complexion? I mean, if this were 1863, I’d definitely be a field slave, but being that it’s 2012, I’m not sure that a different skin tone would better my life in any way. Quick question for all of my light-skin readers -- do you feel lucky to have been born with lighter skin? Has your lighter complexion made your life any easier in any way in comparison to others? It would be interesting to know what I’m missing out on because my mother chose to marry and procreate with a handsome dark-skinned man.
Then again, maybe not. I can't imagine there’s anything any of you could say that would ever make me wish I were born on any other team.
Feel free to follow India-Jewel on Twitter at @IndiaJewelJax