Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Well, Does Being Light-Skinned or White Make a Bad Woman Appear to be a Good One?

October 31, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) A woman reached out to me on my Facebook page and asked an interesting question.  She asked me if dark-skinned women are “frowned upon.”   I wasn’t sure what to think about the question, but it certainly gave me a moment of pause.  She said that she has a daughter with dark skin and was concerned with all the male celebrities who seem to think that lighter is better.  I felt bad to hear the words “frowned upon” being used, as if a person is choosing to have darker skin and breaking some law because of it.dark-skin-vs-light-skin

She also made an interesting point about men who will pass over intelligent, high-quality black women for a lighter skinned or white woman who doesn’t bring nearly as much to the table.  One shining example might be Kanye West, the son of a brilliant black female professor who chose to marry an untalented, twice-divorced reality TV star who got her start with a sexx tape.

Here is how the conversation went down:


Hi Boyce, there’s a trend amongst the black celebrity men that seems to be for them to date/marry white or racially ambiguous women. It doesn’t seem to be any particular intelligence or personality requirement, just color– well, maybe their body too. I compiled a list of black men that fit this description (below). Why do you think darker black women are generally frowned upon?


Big Sean

Jay Z

John legend

Michael Jackson

Kobe Bryant


Bow wow

Lil Wayne

Eddie Murphy

Jamie foxx

Arsenio hall

Ralph tresvant 

Lamar Odom

Blair Underwood


Martin Lawrence

Chris Rock

Dave Chappelle


Rev run

Russell Simmons

I never thought that skin complexion was something that could be subject to fads, like hairstyles or new shoes.  At the same time, I did notice in the 1990s when being a dark-skinned black man suddenly went from being a source of shame to the hottest thing on the planet.  I grew up in a family filled with lights-skinned people, and I noticed the difference in the way some people react to a person with fair complexion relative to the darker person next to them.

Does black America have a color complex or is that a thing of the past? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  I honestly don’t have much else to say. 

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit http://BoyceWatkins.com.



10 Responses to “Well, Does Being Light-Skinned or White Make a Bad Woman Appear to be a Good One?”
  1. toomanygrandkids says:

    Dark skin people who should be frowned upon are the ones who bring misery upon others. But I could say that about any person no matter what shade they are. However, dark skin people who are angry and bitter because of their own color are mad at others everyday. It’s not as though light/brown skin people don’t like/respect dark skin people. It’s the hatred dark skin people express toward others. I have never hated anyone dark skin because of their skin color. Personally, it’s the bad attitude and disrespect they have and how they talk about others. When I was younger, I heard all black people express in some way or another that “white was right,” or “white is better.” If dark skin folks felt that way back then, I see why they’ve been filled with hatred all these years. I don’t even wanna imagine what dark skin children have to endure if they are being raised by parents who are also dark skin.

  2. D.A.R.K.S.K.I.N. IS IN says:

    U wanna know what else is “FROWNED UPON”?

  3. D.A.R.K.S.K.I.N. IS IN says:

    S.T.E.A.L.I.N.G. somebodys IDEAS before they even have a chance to unveil it themselves is HIGHLY “FROWNED UPON”

  4. D.A.R.K.S.K.I.N. IS IN says:


  5. D.A.R.K.S.K.I.N. IS IN says:

    Still hiding behind GARBAGE CANS “ARE WE”?
    You CARE TO MUCH about OTHER PEOPLES “R.E.A.C.T.I.O.N” too much. Who the fuck CARES about how a SNOB reacts to ANYBODY..their S.H.I.T. “SHIT STINKS” 2 boo. Once again. WHO GIVES A “FLIYING FUCK”
    about some got-damn IDIOTS!!?? I ask u?

  6. toomanygrandkids says:

    There are dark-skinned women married/in relationships with lighter skinned/white men. Some feel as though light skin/white skin is more attractive until that man betrays them. Then they’ll find out just how ugly light/white skin can be.

  7. This type of self hatred goes all the way back to slavery, and the reason why it’s so hard to work together, which is why I continue to say, the slave mind is still in effect. Until we start to deal with the psychological affects of slavery, we’ll continue to suffer as a community.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  8. Julie says:

    I am “light skinned” and so far I only dated “dark skinned” man. I am attracted to them. I think Obama is giving a big lesson to many of our brothers because too many among them are stupid to believe they have to marry someone much lighter or white to move up the ladder! Well, our President showed us that being with a smart “dark-skinned” woman was not an “handicap” to end up in the White House. I like to use the word “handicap” because this is how Chris Rock described Michele Obama to Rolling Stones Magazine in 2008 when Obama was running for the presidency. I was enraged when I read that and I lost my respect for him!

  9. Dia W says:

    There can be any combination of reasons why a black man chooses to be with a light-skinned or white woman. I think in some instances it has more to do with a woman’s body than complexion. (Mike Epps…”it’s not your beauty; it’s your booty!”) Maybe, just maybe, he liked her personality. They get along well or have a lot in common. We never really know what draws two people together. Nothing could be more true in “hollyweird.” So why we look to them as examples is beyond me!

    In the case of the person that posed the question, I think we find what we look for. Though maybe not celebrated, I cannot say with 100% certainty that darker women are “frowned upon.” There are celebrity examples to the opposite of her point. Morris Chestnut is married to a brown-skin sister and so is Anthony Hamilton. Diddy’s main baby mama, Kim Porter, is dark-skinned. Denzel & Pauletta, Samuel L. Jackson & LaTanya, Barack and Michelle…I’m sure there are other black celebrity men that love dark skinned women too. Just look for them like she looked for the ones with light-skinned women.

    Not that she was trying to do this… But in the end, instead of trying to force/shame black men to love dark-skinned women or even black women for that matter, maybe black women should step out of the box, see who takes an interest, and regardless of race love who loves them! I think black men are a little passe about black women because for the most part we are very hesitant to date other races. It is amazing how much more attentive men become when they see other men paying attention to you.

  10. toomanygrandkids says:

    “Are dark skinned women frowned upon?”

    In many ways, dark skinned people frown upon other shades of black people. Some of them display pure hatred and jealousy towards lighter skinned just because of their skin color. Would that be considered reverse racism? I’ll have more to say about this subject.

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