The Other Side of The Color Complex

Posted by on Jul 16, 2012

The complexion battle among brown people is nothing new but most documentaries, articles, books and studies about the color complex address the perspective of darker-skinned individuals, and with good reason.

From the separation of house and field slaves during slavery to the numerous bleaching creams that are marketed around the world, dark skin has traditionally been regarded as “inferior” by society and light skin and European features have been put on a pedestal.

I have always loved my brown skin and quite frankly never had a desire to be lighter. I did however grow up with my sister who is light-skinned. For years, she was praised for her beauty and her fair skin.

It was clear though that my sister was never really happy being light-skinned. She didn’t feel she had won the genetic lottery or was superior because of her complexion. I was motivated to ask her more about this and was surprised to learn how deep her angst about her complexion went.

“I wish I was darker,” she explained. “People automatically think I’m stuck up and that I can get anything I want because I’m light-skinned and its so annoying because it isn’t true. When I am around some black women, I get a vibe that they think that I am not “black enough.”

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