Culture

OPEN LETTER: Dark Skin And Racial Fetishism

Makeup_Tips_for_Very_Dark_Skin1 from beautyfrizz website accessed on 01 April 2016 at 12pm

Model in editorial shoot. Retrieved April 3, 2016 from pinterest.com

Dear me,

Racial fetishism.

Defined, the term ‘Racial fetishism’ involves a fetish for a person or culture belonging to a race or ethnic group that is not one’s own—therefore it involves racial/ ethnic stereotyping and objectifying those bodies who are stereotyped, and at times their cultural practices.

In my opinion, I have come to see that in the real world it is possible for those within a particular racial group to have a fetish for different tones within their race. Do the hashtags TeamYellowBone and TeamDarkSkin ring a bell?

In my effort to prove how progressive I have become and how accepting I am of dark models, actresses and Instagrammers have I regressed?

Am I now in the position where I will only applaud black beauties because they have flawless skin, a ‘perfect figure’ and can wear their makeup well? Have I sexualized the idea that in order to be considered as beautiful EVEN THOUGH you first have to meet certain requirements?

I mean if I have to be honest with myself when was the last time (if ever) I have liked a post where a dark lady had problem skin? What about if she were a plus plus size model?

This is all pretty ironic because I am not light skinned, I have problem skin and I am plus plus size.

Why am I reposting pictures of dark-skinned celebrities and overlooking ‘Y’ next door who is just as beautiful? Surprisingly this is similar to the natural hair movement where certain natural hair is more desirable than other textures within the community.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT WHILE THE MEDIA ENCOURAGES US TO PRAISE DARK SKINNED BEAUTY WE HAVE ALSO BEEN TOLD WHO WITHIN THOSE RANKS CAN BE CELEBRATED AND WHO CANNOT. YES TO THE LUPITA’S BUT NO TO ‘Y’ BECAUSE SHE IS A ‘PLAIN JANE’.

So being aware of the fact that I am fetishizing a very specific type of dark women I challenge myself to do better.

Love,

Me

Hulisani the Intersectional Feminist. Hopeless Romantic. Lover of life. Blog: http://thatoneabout.weebly.com/ ther earth.

Written By: Hulisani Khorombi, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad

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