Talk Back

The Beauty of the Black Woman

As a proud Black woman, it concerns me that some Black women are using bleaching creams to lighten their skin. Yes it is your choice, but you are beautiful just the way you are.  Realize that you are blessed and were made to be who you are.  You are unique and one of a kind. Be proud of our heritage, because there is nothing to be ashamed of.

The light-skinned versus dark-skinned issue is prominent in the Black community, and may be one of the reasons why bleaching creams are used. I have friends of all skin tones who have shared their experiences with me. They’ve been called “Darkie” all their lives and grew up thinking something was wrong with them because of the color of their skin. I have friends who would sit in the sun because they were told they were too “light bright.” Because they had lighter colored eyes they would wear shades or glasses to hide them because they were embarrassed that their eyes were lighter than everyone else’s.  When I hear these stories it saddens me. We are all beautiful no matter what shade you are or what color eyes you have.

This takes me back to the Clark Doll Experiment that was done years ago. Black children were asked which doll was prettier, nicer, good, etc. The Black children chose the White doll each and every time.  It was sad and enlightening to see how young Black children were already brainwashed into thinking they were ugly and bad. The color Black has always been associated with bad, evil, or negative things. We must turn this negativity into something positive.

It is imperative that we do not pass this self-hatred to our young children. Tell them how beautiful they are. We have to get rid of the mind frame that being lighter is more beautiful. Being black and loving the skin you are in is what is beautiful.  That’s the pride I have and no one will ever take that away from me.

Dr. Fenner is an elementary principal, TV host of “Let’s Talk with Dr. Shanessa Fenner,” radio personality, and writer.