As a chocolate sista, I can honestly say that there is not one time in my life where my skin color has ever made me feel self-conscious or insecure in any way. In fact, it has been a source of pride and has always made me feel unique and beautiful. I was really taken aback the other day when I caught an episode of The Tyra Banks Show, which featured a panel of several dark-skinned women who admitted to hating their skin color and bleaching it to achieve a fairer complexion. Discrimination, negative remarks from family and friends, teasing, and even being ostracized by other Blacks have led these woman to feel ashamed about their complexions. It didn't matter that the featured medical physician on the show warned of the dangers of bleaching (some formulas contain toxic ingredients such as mercury and arsenic). The woman were still determined and willing to go through hell and high water just to achieve what they prize as lighter, whiter skin.
One woman described how she even used the same bleaching products on her 3 young sons. This troubled me most. In order to have a fighting chance in this world, it's imperative that we instill within our children a strong sense of self-love and self-worth from jump street. Being force fed this ignorance, those babies don't have a fighting chance. This woman is doing her children a great disservice and I am saddened by this. The audience was very angry at the panel. Instead of judgement, I honestly felt sorry for them. While it's hard to understand what could bring a human being to a place of such self-loathing, we can't pretend like our community doesn't have some deeply rooted issues that would facilitate this type of thinking. Anyway, in case you missed the show, you can check the video above. Big up to Tyra for bringing light to important issues like this on her show!