Your Skin Doesn’t Define You

“Wow, you’re really pretty for a dark skinned girl.” “She’s one of the dark skinned girls that don’t actually look dirty.” “If your skin wasn’t so dark all that acne wouldn’t look so bad.” “ You should try a skin lightener so your skin isn’t so dark.” For centuries dark skinned women have been the described as the opposite of beautiful. They have even been shamed by other African American men and women that are shades lighter. To be shamed by other races along with your race makes dark-skinned women feel as though they don’t have a place and that there is no place for them because of their skin. There are 2 types of melanin produced --pheomelanin, which is red to yellow in color, and eumelanin, which is dark brown to black.  People with light complexioned skin mostly produce pheomelanin, while those with dark colored skin mostly produce eumelanin also some people differ in the number and size of melanin particles that they have. Why should someone be alienated because they have more of something? Dark skinned women are looked down upon because of the society that we’ve grown into.

On December 31st, 1996 Khoudia Diop was born into the world. Khoudia is a Senegalese model, one of the darkest models in the world.Khoudia was teased as a child because of her dark skin tone by her classmates, friends, and family. Khoudia had to constantly tell herself that she was beautiful and there would be many of times where she would lock herself in her room just because she didn’t wanna hear what all the kids at school had to say about her. On “” Khoudia shared her story in an article called “I Want To Show Girls It’s Not Bad to Be Dark- Different is Beautiful”.  In her interview, she said that while growing up in Senegal more than 25 percent of dark skinned girls would bleach their skin and that she never tried it but she did crave the desire to be lighter as did those other girls. When Khoudia was 15 she went to Milan and on the street, one day she looked into a huge mirror then looked at all of the light skinned people around her and the realized how her skin was pooping and that's the reason why people look at her. She said every morning she looks into the mirror and tells herself “ Look at your skin. Look at your teeth and your smile. You are beautiful.” After this trip to Milan, she went to Paris and that is when photographers and modeling agencies noticed what she noticed and exposed her beauty to the rest of the world. Khoudia joined Instagram and named herself “Melaniin.goddess” to show girls that it’s not something bad to be dark and that different is beautiful.    

However, not every dark skinned woman will go on the same journey that Khoudia went. Growing up close to the equator it was normal for people to be as dark as Khoudia so she wasn't so often shamed as a girl in Brooklyn New York would be or a girl in California would. When people see something new they gravitate to it to judge it and point out the flaws instead of the positive things about whatever the person place or thing may be. That is what has been being done all around the world. Germans and Jews, White folks and Black people, North and South Koreans, and even down to name brand foods and the generic versions of those foods. Women that that are light skinned don’t understand so when they try to convince dark skinned women the skin color isn’t that big of a deal they are downplaying it and not understanding because they don't go through the struggles of dark skinned women.

There was talk about how rapper ASAP Rocky makes a comment in an interview with “The Coveteur” that dark skinned girls shouldn’t wear red lipstick. Dark skinned women who heard of what he said were furious. They asked him what were his thoughts on women wearing makeup and he gave an honest opinion which was that he prefers someone who goes naturally. Then he carried on and said “But for real, for me, I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on the pair of complexion. I’m just being for real. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that. Just like if you were to wear like—f*cking for instance, what do dark skin girls have that you know fair skinned girls can't do… Purple lipstick? Naw, that looks stupid on all girls! Purple lipstick, guys! Like, what the f*ck…” A woman should never be told what she ca and can’t do. There is a hue of red for every woman out in the world. ASAP may not have said it to intentionally said that to down anyone but those are the kinds of things that can bring a Dark skinned woman's self-esteem down.For most men and women the grew up in a society where being “fair skinned” is the right skin but that is not true. Social media and the entertainment industry is brainwashing everyone's mind into thinking that you have to look a certain way to look beautiful when in reality you only have to look like yourself.

All around the world dark skinned women are reminded that their skin is what blocks them from being who they really are because society doesn’t accept what the what to do, say, and or wear. For a dark skinned women to go to a makeup store and be told by a light skinned woman or a white woman that they don’t carry the shade of foundation for their skin or the nude lipstick that would look appealing on their skin is alienating them because of the European beauty standards that were set for all women. On “”  they allow dark skinned women to share the things that they have had said to them because of their skin. One thing that was said by an anonymous user what that a man said to her “I don’t date dark women.” People also shared comments like “ The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice”, “Ooh girl, I'm getting dark”, “You should put on a hat before you go out in the sun”, and also “ Do tattoos show up on your skin?” The questioning and commenting leaves dark skinned women wanting to change themselves to please others when they should mainly try to please themselves. Some o to the extreme such as taking bleach baths after coming out from the and depigmentation procedures and spending loads of money on skin lightening creams.

Dark skinned women need to realize that it never gets easy and that building a foundation to protect themselves from the outside world criticism is what’s best. Tearing each other down will never fix anything and neither will extreme skin treatments. People who tear others down are too insecure in their own skin so they boost themselves off of another's insecurities to feel confident.


"Skin Color Adaptation." Human Biological Adaptability: Skin Color as an Adaptation. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.

Wilson, Julee. "ASAP Rocky's Misguided Beauty Advice, Rapper Says Dark Skin Girls Shouldn't Wear Red Lipstick." The Huffington Post., 08 Apr. 2013. Web. 01 May 2017.

Gharib, Malaka. "How Khoudia Diop Learned To Love Her Dark Skin." NPR. NPR, 20 Nov. 2016. Web. 01 May 2017.

Butler, Meg. "15 Things Women With Dark Skin Are Tired of Hearing." MadameNoire. N.p., 25 Apr. 2017. Web. 01 May 2017.

This is the best possible 2fer that I have ever written because I know that I only write about things that I deeply care about. When I write about things that I take interest I tend to do lots of research and I dig deeper than what the sources tell me. This topic is something that I care about so I have payed lots of attention to the things that I wrote.  In some of the other 2fers that I have written it was noticed that some phrases become repetitive and I also over explain. In this 2fer I’ve tried to to straight to the point while still explaining the problematic problems that dark skinned women have faced and are still facing.