Untold Beauty : A response to “DARK GIRLS”

natural hair rules_thumb[3]        This past Sunday the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) aired a documentary, by Bill Duke, titled “Dark Girls”. Being a woman of deep toned skin I was both concerned and optimistic about this documentary. Concerned with questions about if our story will be told correctly from the eyes of a male and how will his own personal views on the black woman and her beauty affect the editing of this documentary. Optimistic because I believed it would bring light to how women are treated because of their skin and that racial issues still exist, even within our community. With all this being said… I don’t think I was represented at all in this film.

I hoped that it would show proud BLACK women – of all cultures and backgrounds standing firm in SELF LOVE… it did not. After watching this twice the night it aired I found myself really disappointed. I do not wish to take anything from this film. I can fully appreciate the exploring of how the misperceptions of what beauty entails affects people who do not fit that standard. I definitely appreciate this discussion being brought out on a global scale from the living rooms and dining tables of every nation to the forefront. For that I am grateful. It is no secret that slavery on this continent has been the major factor that has caused this defined line of color discrimination.

Original Goddess    The oppression of Africans in America with unnatural false set of beliefs enforced by Westerners and its media has thrown the largest jab at the BLACK community across the globe. Especially to those who have more melanin. In this short documentary there was a lot of preference talk from men. (For me) This was not helpful to hear their responses when it came to skin color. It made no sense. Of course all black men don’t like the deepest toned women the same as all white men don’t like the palest of skin. Interracial dating is not going anywhere and more people are marrying outside of their cultures. This information was pointless and was just another way to send global negativity of the “dark girl”.

The major problem that I had with this film is that our beauty was confirmed by everyone else except the black women themselves! Which I found retarded and unrealistic. Most of these woman appeared to still have baggage of childhood memories. They displayed them on their sleeves as if those thoughts still effects their current lives. And even when some said that it no longer mattered they were not proud black women, but merely content with who they were. Bill Duke did not show us any strong black women in this short documentary, which saddens me because he himself is a dark man. I feel that his views, shaped by the western world, has had a total effect on his editing.

There was minimal positivity toward the black woman. The highest point was a snippet of an Ethiopian woman who claimed that dark skin in some parts of East African was still a badge of honor, but soon was over and followed up by sad faced crying women. Again I can appreciate the discussion being brought out to the table, but (in my eyes) it was a fail. A pity party. Black Woman

My argument for this documentary is a simple one. What angle of the “Dark Girls”, which should have been titled dark WOMEN, were you trying to show? Is there no deep toned women who feel that their dark skin has no effect on their relationships – personal or business? Is there no dark skin women who know that their skin is actually a badge of honor? Where are the women who have been taught from birth that they are beautiful? Has no one ever taught a dark skin woman to have self love??

I am completely unsure of the underlying effect this documentary wanted to have on its viewers, but I am sure that to empower our young dark skin women was no one of them. To try and cover all the dimensions of this type of conversation I feel that this should have been a series told by the black woman herself. This documentary is just that… just another.

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