"...because I eat alot of vegetables, It don't have nothing to do with you and your new friend"~ Erykah Badu.
....Sure it doesn't. And I am sure that your Beyonce length-weave doesn't either. But lets get real.
Sorry Erykah. While I know that your lyrics are sarcastically misguided; it's a microcosm of what's wrong with society. Having spent over 2 decades nesting inside the body of a sort black girl whose heels and hair alone add about 4 inches to her actual height (for some reason the refuse to let me list that on my Drivers License); It was only recently that I could stand that tall-no pun intended. Why? Because of the insecurity that has plagued me. Yes, at some point, many points in my youth, I was tripping (figuratively) over the girls with straight weaves and contacts that made their eyes light. Over a decade later, I actually feel sorry for those people. Because in reality, most of those people wake up every morning faced with crippling insecurity. A number of us would blame that on society, but far fewer of us would blame that on themselves. Which begs the questions, where does insecurity come from? And what's the proper remedy? An impenetrable outer shell of self-awareness? Or a life built solely on overcompensation? Finally, how do we recognize overcompensation before it turns into self-deception? I'm sure there's the meaning of life formula wedged somewhere in these answers.
Being the "dark skinned black girl" has been something that I have been conscious of, or made conscious off for quite sometime. It's has been too long to tell. "You must be smarter because you are darker." "You must do better, be better, because, well, the world hates you." Seriously, I've heard these things. I think that such thinking can poison a healthy sense of self-confidence all while trying to build self-awareness. The entire identity and self-worth of a child who is told these things can be built on a sense of overcompensation instead of a drive for natural excellence. Is excellence natural anyway? (Beside the point :-/)
I'm really tired of being the angry dark-skinned girl. I'm tired of my life (the world for that matter) looking like movie School Days. If you haven't seen that movie, it's full of stereotypically angry dark-skinned people. I'm tired of thinking that the world is against me when in reality, most of our own insecurity comes from what we are told and what we believe.Finally, I'm tired of overcompensating. It's tiring. Besides, everyone doesn't hate us. According to the bible, we even have fans:
"How right they are to adore you! Dark, I am, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon. Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am by the sun" ~ Song of Songs 1:5 & 6
In the words of Kanye (no biblical likening or reference). Take that! ... Haters....:-)
But still, I cannot get away from my infatuation with the "dark girl" mentality. Frankly, dark skin folks have, for a long time, been a relegated faction of the race. That explains alot. Even amidst the lighter skinned folks who claim that they see no difference, I don't really believe them. That explains the rest, I guess. I've been told on numerous occasions that I am pretty....for a dark-skinned girl. I've had cousins who have wanted to get out of the sun so that they don't get "black." I've heard people say "I mean, she's nice and she doesn't have to be" (In reference to some person who has light skin and long hair). My only response (without seeming like the angry dark-skinned girl) is "Really??" Since when did the human decency associated with the expression of kindness become an option for those whose who are good looking? Recently? I'm guessing not. Usually, I would completely disregard such an absurd comment, but it has been said, in my presence, one too many times.
So, with that rant, I'm through. Or, finished, I should say. I'm tired of this inferiority induced overcompensation and people talking about it with no real remedy or intention to fix it. I'm tired of people having to rant via blogs like this one or Spoken word night about the plight of girls darker than a brown paper bag. JUST BE! Stop bleaching your skin, stop avoiding the sun, stop refusing to cut you split ends because you are afraid of have having short hair, stop changing your eye color in the name of prescription lenses. Just stop. Because, if anyone, you are only fooling yourself. Self-deception is just that, it doesn't matter if it comes from the words of your mother or your own paranoia. Instead, find richness in your very being. I know that there is a collective suffering shared by ALL black people. Noticing the difference in social positioning and authority based on shade doesn't make us any more divided, the actualization of the theory is what does us in. At the end of the day, it makes us more aware of the distance we still have to travel in the "struggle."
"Pharaoh, O' Pharaoh, let my people go."