Leave The Light Skin Versus Dark Skin Debate In 2015

Leave The Light Skin Versus Dark Skin Debate In 2015

Even though it should have been left in the 1800s

Log on to Instagram or Twitter and prepare to see posts like “light skins do it better” or “dark girls are winning.” Next you will probably stumble upon memes stereotyping one skin tone compared to another. It is time for our generation to realize these memes are not harmless jokes anymore. This highly discussed debate needs to end. Enough is enough.

Where did this all begin? Rewind to times of slavery. There was the stereotype that light skinned slaves were given less strenuous tasks and allowed to work in the house while dark skinned slaves were sent to toil in the field. This created a sense of envy based on skin tones. However, skin tone was not the only factor deciding what tasks the slaves were to complete since dark skinned slaves worked in the master’s house as well as light skinned slaves working in the fields.

Fast forward 200 years to present day where social media has a great impact on how we see ourselves and others. Our race has perpetuated a division based on skin tone. Why did this happen? I believe it is because each skin tone became tired of the belittling of each other. Present stereotypes are that light skinned men are weaker and more feminine than dark skinned men. Light skinned women are deemed as uptight and believed to not text people back. These seem semi-harmless, but it is apart of a bigger picture. Darker skinned people for years have tried to take light skinned people’s blackness away from them. For example, it is believed that light skinned people do not experience as much racial oppression compared to dark skinned African Americans. Dark skin stereotypes include being less attractive than light skinned African Americans and have ‘bad hair.’ Across the world, dark skinned Africans have tried dangerous methods to lighten their skin including bleaching which has detrimental facts to their health. And all for what? To be accepted by a community that should already embrace them?

This issue is so prevalent in the African American community, there have been two prominent documentaries created to show the harmful effects of this stereotype. "Dark Girls" premiered in 2011 and highlights the self esteem issues many dark skinned women face. "Light Girls" premiered in 2015 and centers on the prejudices light skinned women often face.

As a light skinned African American, I have heard it all. I have had a guy friend of mine come up to me and say "Meghan, you're light skinned. Why don't you have a boyfriend?" I've heard people say to my dearest friends, "You're really pretty for a dark skinned girl." I have always been raised to be humble and not judge someone on their outward appearance, especially not their skin tone. It broke my heart when I heard a dear friend of mine say her life would be easier if she was just a few shades lighter. I have also heard people call me white because of my lighter skin. It hurts being told I am not the identity I claim, even though I try to shrug off the hurtful comments. The stereotypes given to light skins are not always true. I have faced racial discrimination because I am black. It does not matter how light or dark one is; you will still be seen as black to whites.

Words hurt. Stereotypes hurt. At the end of the day, we are all African American no matter the concentration of melanin in our skin. We share a common history of enslavement, torture, rebellion, and courageousness as generations before us fought for the equality African Americans deserve. Here we are in 2016, tearing each other down. We must stand united now more than ever as police brutality against African Americans is too high. There is too much oppression against us to try and divide our race. African American brothers and sisters it is time to start the healing process after years of belittling each other in order to stand as one united race to tackle on issues as one.

Cover Image Credit: Hghrlearning

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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