Dear Light Skinned Sisters,
I would like to offer a sincere apology to all of my beautiful light skinned sisters.
I’ve always hated discrimination. I think to classify and treat people differently because of race, gender, or sexual orientation is ignorance at its best. Most people would agree.
What most people won’t admit is when they are the perpetrator of prejudice.
I don’t consider myself to be racist at all. However, I am guilty of being prejudiced towards my own people. As a darker skinned black woman, most would expect me to have horror stories of how I was mistreated because of my skin color. While I do have some stories of discrimination, I can’t omit the fact that I have held unfavorable beliefs about women of a lighter persuasion.
For years I have hated you and treated you differently simply because your skin was lighter than mine. As a child, I would cry to my mom that I was too black, my hair was too nappy and my lips were too big. I didn’t consider myself pretty.
Therefore, more often than not, I judged you unfairly. I believed that you were seen as having flawless skin, the best hair and prettier features. I assumed that because some people put you on a pedestal, you too would automatically think that you were better than me.
Therefore, before even giving us a chance to form any type of relationship, I already had my guard up. Growing up I had two token light-skinned friends. However for the most part, a light-skinned woman would make me see red and I don’t mean red-bone.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I even prayed that she wouldn’t come out light. I didn’t want to run the risk of being jealous of my own flesh and blood.
I saw you as my enemy because I felt you were my greatest competition. Any male that I was attracted to would probably overlook me to see you. I hated myself because I wasn’t you.
For that reason, I hated you even more.
If I could cheat with your man, I would. If I could steal your job, I would. Any time I had the opportunity to outshine the brightness of your skin, I took it.
In my mind those were just some of the ways I could pay you back on behalf of all my dark skinned sisters who had ever felt slighted. Even as I write this, I realize how completely ridiculous this was.
I didn’t want to be judged by my skin color but by my character. I didn’t realize then that my warped perception was indeed a character FLAW.
There was no exact event that caused a shift in my thinking. I guess I finally realized that we as women have more commonalities than differences. Life experiences don’t discriminate based on skin color. It’s through these life experiences that I’ve formed genuine bonds that weren’t based on shade.
Perhaps the more I began to love myself, the less room there was for the hatred of others.
When complexion conversations arise, I may joke that I believe darker berries are sweeter. However, on a more serious note I totally believe that regardless of shade, we are all from the same tree!
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About Shemeka Michelle: “I was that chick. Gave it all up, all of it. I put all my eggs in one basket. Didn’t have a plan B ‘cause I believed in plan A. Then one day, all of it came to an end. All I could do was take it. I’m a survivor with three kids I HAD to make it! So instead of dying from pain and hiding in shame, I’ve decided to get NAKED.” www.nakedgirlzblog.com