Thursday, October 18, 2018

Brown skin isn’t for everybody.

November 4, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Sista Talk, Weekly Columns

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( Hands up who’s tired of black women arguing about hair?  Now I’ll put it out there from the get go, and admit that I am a lifelong natural and proud of it. I don’t think relaxers are the greatest thing going, but I have respect for woman doing what they want to do with their hair. I’m not the follicular police force, and it’s not my job to arrest woman who have relaxed hair and revoke their ‘black’ card. Thankfully, that’s not anyone’s job. I get it. Natural hair isn’t for everybody. It’s the same way I feel about brown skin.

Some people just can’t handle it, me included. I mean, I tried for a few years, but it just became too much. Constantly having to  moisturise when you came out of the shower looking ashy, was just so much more time consuming than  when I had paler skin. Plus, it just didn’t really suit my general vibe. I’m not really into the whole ‘Kunta Kinte’ look.

Not to mention the fact that I work in a corporate environment, and I just felt that brown skin wasn’t appropriate. It’s not my place to make a statement all the time. I mean, I appreciate those who wear their brown skin proudly, and if it suits their style, then more power to them, but I don’t work in the arts, and brown skin doesn’t fit in. Plus, I’m not convinced that it looks professional. How seriously would you take a CEO of a major corporation walking in to a boardroom with dark brown skin? It doesn’t give off an air of competence, and projects that you’re treating your employment with a casual attitude.  It’s not prejudiced, it’s just life – we’re judged by our appearances, and we change our clothes according to the setting, so why not our skin?

When our ancestors were in Africa brown skin was necessary for coping with the  climate and was acceptable for the majority of people living there, but now that we’re in a different climate and a different era, it’s important for us to adapt. Integration is about give and take, and the exchange and interchange of cultural practices and even physical features between races. I don’t see why bleaching brown skin is any different – sure it’s a bit of a dangerous chemical, but so is everything nowadays. If you get the right skin care specialist and the right brand, you can have perfectly healthy bleached skin. I do, and I know plenty of other woman who do too. So let’s stop acting that women with brown skin have the monopoly on healthy skin. I’m fed up of women who prefer brown skin being self righteous and acting like everyone has to choose to look like they do. Just because that’s how I am naturally doesn’t mean I can’t switch it up sometimes.

I think everyone should be free to be themselves without being made to feel they are race-traitors, Uncle Toms, or self hating, just because they want a change of skin tone now and again. Black women are always having to live up to others expectations, and skin is simply just that – skin. Nothing more, nothing less.

Does this remind you of anything?

Staff Writer; Shade Henry

To find out more about this talented sister, feel free to visit; ThatGirlwiththeFro



26 Responses to “Brown skin isn’t for everybody.”
  1. Eleanie says:

    Sister when I the first paragraphs I was like “what?” You had me going for a second. I love your sarcasm. Your writing style I get it. Your message I get it.

  2. Deeone says:

    For the first time, in the longest time; I’m actually speechless! I seriously never thought anyone would actually write, what MJ was thinking. I don’t know what’s more shocking to me; the fact that the author is actually owning up to bleaching their skin on a black catered website, or the fact that it was written as though nothing is wrong with it.

    Being a darkly-packed brother myself, I was one that had my own hangups about the way I looked when I was younger. I didn’t really care for my skin complexion back then because other members of my race (mostly peers) teased me for being darker than they were. It didn’t matter that most of them were not that far off from being my shade; I think they were simply happy that they weren’t being the butt of the joke.

    As an adult I now realize that they were only acting out because of their own insecurities; they wanted me to hate myself because they themselves hated who they were.

    I’m also involved with someone outside of my race. I wouldn’t change myself for them, or anyone else in the world. I’m definitely at peace with this lovely shade of brown skin; the darker, the better.

    I have learned that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, and the way that I am, who I am, how I look; is how my Maker intended for it to be. I would seriously recommend the author of this post to consult someone for some serious counseling…. Immediately!

  3. Pat says:

    Shame on you to write an article like that! Yeah, right your article is about sarcasm! For the third anniversary of President Obama’s election, you should have written something much more uplifting for Black America! This is really not smart from your part!

  4. @_aprilbyrd says:

    @Shade OK. I guess I didn’t understand it the way you meant it. I seriously agree with you there. It is the way we were born and whether you choose to chemically alter it or not has nothing to do with a profession or lifestyle, it’s just a choice. I understand you now. Like I said, in essence I do like the article and have become somewhat of a fan. I’m actually following your blog. Good one!

  5. Shade says:

    @aprilbyrd..I don’t ‘work’ in the arts really, I’m a medical student who just happens to like writing as well, but I guess you could say I’m an ‘artist’ in some sense. This article was meant to be satirical, maybe I didn’t make that clear enough. So I agree with the points you’re making, it’s precisely what I was trying to reiterate – that having natural hair isn’t for artsy
    /rootsy/concious folks only, but is for ALL black people because that’s how we were made. Whether you’re a CEO or a painter.

  6. Shade says:

    @ Rochelle. I understand and hear your point. I’m not saying that any woman who relaxes her hair hates herself on a conscious level. What I am saying is that relaxing your hair on the premise ‘natural hair doesn’t suit me’, is utterly illogical, and that when we use the same argument as applied to skin tone, it proves it to be ludicrous.

  7. MsV says:

    Wow!I so get it.Now,I can honestly say that the only thing that I really have to do in this world is eventually die one day…staying black is now really optional.Seriously, I get the reference,and the article was hilarious.It really does remind one of the article and of the blogs,vlogs, and natural hair care forums promoting natural hair, but with an interesting twist.Instead of targeting hair,as many of us do, you have chosen to target skin,which is what most of the grandmothers did with the paper bag technique. At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed it!Thanks for the laugh and have a great day!

  8. Rochelle says:

    People don’t understand satire–I see where the writer is coming from & enjoyed the piece. However, I still don’t entirely agree with the writer’s argument that changes in appearances, even the aspects of the appearance that associated with racial identity, are always equivalent to self-hate. I’m brown-skinned but I sunbathe and spend more time in the sun in the summer, but don’t do so in the winter. Does this mean I become a self-hating black person in the winter? Also, I’ve been natural for more than 15 years, but I get my hair flat-ironed a 2-3 times a year. So, for 3 years out of 52, do I dislike my hair texture?

    I’ll leave with this: Coretta Scott King wore a press and curl but Clarence Thomas is natural. Which of the two has done more to support the black community? (In other words, if you’re my sister, you’re my sister, natural, relaxed, dark, light, big, or thin.)

  9. Amanda says:

    What an upsetting article full of self-hate. If this was meant to be satirical it was very poorly done.

  10. @_aprilbyrd says:

    appreciate your opinion and your right you are most entitled to it. I actually love your writing style on this. but some of the analogies you use are just plain dumb and kinda offensive “I DON’T WORK IN THE ARTS AND BROWN SKIN DOESN’T FIT IN?” Artistic creativity and ingenuity does not cater to a certain skin tone. Art is in every aspect of life, including business.

    And the very fact that you have written an ARTICLE shows that you (do work) in the arts. next time you write something please don’t use this type of profiling. Because I’m not even so much offended to be brown skinned. the offense is that you have stereotyped an entire group of people: Artists. Shows how you really think!

  11. Eleanie says:

    Interesting points taken. All I have to say is “do you”, “love you” and “be you”.

  12. Roots2011 says:

    Wow. Read the entire article and then read the last line. I was shocked whtn I first started to read this then compelled to finish it. I get it. I have relaxed hair because “I” like the way it looks… not for anyone else. Be as individual as you would like to be!!! Go natural, straight, curly, even bald but remember brown skin is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  13. Shade says:

    Hey guys, I’m the writer of this article! It was meant to be a satirical piece making people think about the phrase ‘natural hair isn’t for everybody’, but I guess it was so satirical that not everybody got that…so yes, I am brown skinned and I LOVE my skin and think every skin tone God made is beautiful. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  14. nige says:

    Mildred, skin IS interchangeable.. just ask Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson.. “it’s just at a certain cost” just like with relaxers & texturizers.. Anything from what God gives you naturally is really just damaging yourself.. but i feel you tho..

  15. Joypatbunny says:

    Simply brilliant commentary on the issue between natural hair and relaxed hair. Please read it again if you felt offended because she is clearly making a strong statement for self acceptance and self love for all aspects of being an African American woman.

  16. Katrina says:

    I get the sarcasm of this article but I think its up to us to show the world that we love our skin and our hair. If we continue to express how much we wished our hair was straight and our skin was lighter they will continue to use this to make us feel inferior. Its the same when someone says your mama is a this… and you say yes my mama is and what? The joke stops. I think alot of black people have not been raised with the self esteem that we need to navigate society. I love my brown skin and when I was in Italy going natural with all the wrong products, an Italian child came up to me and my fro and said Que Bella! I’m sure it looked beautiful 😉 but also the way I carry myself speaks volumes about my professionalism and how I feel about myself, K.

  17. Siobhan says:

    “..the whole ‘Kunta Kinte’ look.” I mean really… It’s 2011 and you seem to still be under the spell. My dear, it’s apparent that your dislike for your natural image has resulted in an equal response from those you encounter, personal or professionally. You’re getting what you give… negativity. This appears to be about much much more than a statement of preference. Perhaps you might want to research those successful women of african descent who remain natural and are doing extremely well for themselves in the corporate arena and their communities. And while you’re at it, try a few intense psychology courses to understand the effects of the african slave trades and slavery in america have had on african americans of today. I think you may be quite surprised to find how you too have been convinced that black is bad. Peace and balance to you.

  18. plush says:

    where she mentions brown skin replace it with natural hair. She is just trying to show people how ridiculous they sound when trying to justify relaxed hair.

  19. MrsAshB says:

    Ok so…I only understood this after reading the whole article twice & then reading the other comments because I was ready to get on my little soap box about why my brown skin is beautiful no matter what. I think I need a little more of a blatant CLUE that this is a satire on people who are so anti-straight hair & pro natural hair or you die. lol. I guess when you’ve experienced negativity towards your own brown skin, upon 1st read of this article that’s what it immediately seems like. Clue me in a little sooner that’s all

  20. TheNappyGirl says:

    I get it and I LOVE the satire!

  21. Cynika says:

    i read it and i get the point- doesnt mean i have to agree. ur job shouldnt be that influential where u would like to change as a person. ure there just to keep making the same rich ppl richer- they couldnt care less about how u look. only some of the lower level ppl that u see everyday do, bc they dont have anything else better to do.

  22. Michelle says:

    Her comment was a satire on the whole idea of saying wearing your hair natural is a crime against the professional world. She is basically trying to get us to think outside the box. Admit that we have accepted the idea that being anything other than relaxed is wrong. I hear her saying sisters wake up and wear your hair the way you want to wear your hair. Why mess with perfection! Wear your hair however you want!

  23. KC says:

    I have read the comments and I think that you all missed the point. Read her last line and then THINK about the answer.

  24. Priscilla says:

    This whole story shows how ignorant the writer is. One just because you have light skin doesn’t change the whites you work with opinion of you. They still think you are ignorant; more so because you ignorant enough to let someone tell you that should not be proud of the skin color that God gave you.

    Is she also trying to live up to some else expectation by bleaching her skin; because whites told her she had to be light to be accepted. Lets be honest the whole light is better was a way for whites to keep a wedge between black slaves; so the light skin black would think they were better then the dark skin black. Because if Black every truely united they wouldn’t be so easy to control.

    As for brown skin should be proud because they love themselves enough to love what God gave them. God is the only one you really need approval from.

  25. Giosincere says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this opinion
    should not even be expressed or muttered.

    I agree with Mildred. Our skin is a gift given from God.
    Why alter it?

  26. Mildred says:

    First off skin is not interchangeable it is part of who we are God gave us our color why on earth would anyone want to put a chemical on it to change it. The same goes for tanning parlors. This society is so mixed up many white people hate blacks yet they sit for hours every week trying to get blacker. Many dark skinned people now trying to bleach their skin white when they sit and complain about how much they hate white people. All I know is love the skin your in! You do not know what harm you are doing to your body long term with either approach! Be who you are!

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