Skin Deep

This short film, A Girl Like Me, is a must-see for anyone who has influence in the life of an African American child. In less than ten minutes, the telling documentary illustrates how far we still have to go in regards to our self-image. Seventeen-year-old director, Kiri Davis should be commended. And given a free-ride to Spelman.

I cried watching this as I considered how each of my beautiful daughters – who differ from each other in both skin tone and hair texture – might internalize similar feelings to the ones expressed in this piece. I hate to think that they will, but what black woman hasn't...at least to some degree?

It's past time for this chain to be broken. But where do we even begin?


nbevilaqua said...

This is a wonderful blog. It's nice to see a well-written, funny, insightful blog with an actual raison d'etre, as opposed to most of the other "random musings" that one finds when hitting "Next Blog"! (How snotty does THAT sound?!)

auntphilly said...

The peice on self-image of young black children is powerful.The re-enactment of the doll research, espcially so. Have we not made even the least little bit of progress since then? The hardest to listen to was the messages that these young women were getting from their mothers! I guess that all we can do is to affirm all of our beautiful children as often as we can.

Saige said...

Wow. She should be given some kind of scholarship or something. What a great movie for such a young person!
My friend Deidra told me the story of her grandmother who was a "dark-skinned" little girl not getting treated as well as the "light-skinned" siblings. I believe she said that there were 8 or more children in her family, and that half of them were "light" and the other half were "dark". She said that her grandmother turned the tables when she got older and always treated her darker grandkids better. I think I remember Deidra saying she was dark enough to be treated as one of the favored grandkids. Until she told me that story several years ago, I didn't realize that variation in skin color was an issue. But as soon as she opened my eyes, I began to notice commercials, tv shows, everything that pushed the message that light skin is more beautiful. Its so detremental to a young girl's self esteem. Like a "big-boned" girl seeing all the skin-and-bones girls on tv. A girl can't change her bone structure; a girl can't change her skin color(without bleaching cream, as that one young lady mentioned).
Just recently, I saw a picture of Destiny's Child and I looked at the other two girls (I'm sorry, I don't know their names) standing there with Beyonce and I thought, they are so pretty. And I don't know if it is because she is a solo artist and we see more of her, or if its because she is presented as,"this is what is pretty", or what, but the other two girls are just so pretty in my opinion.

dburt said...

I devoted two entries to Kiri's film short a few months ago and I had a different take on this....I was angry because this is a problem that has stuck with us since the last "doll test" dating back to the 40s. I just think that many of us have dropped the ball in not providing the appropriate imagery and information that our children need in order to address their empowerment and self-esteem issues.
Maybe I'm off the mark on this subject but it's just tiring...I think our people have to draw the proverbial "line in the sand" in determining what kind of person do you want to be....Gerald Levert is dead at 40 from what seems to be obesity....many of our sisters are worshiping the concept of being "big boned" when there is no evidence that someones "bones" are bigger than the next persons....our diets are poor, our habits our poor and we mire in superficiality with hair talk and weaves.....it's madness. Maybe I have it wrong...this is what I wrote on this:




Mrs. J said...

Thanks for the links, dburt...
I agree with you that we still have a lot of work to do on our self image. But knowing where to begin is the hard part. There were a few children in the short who chose the brown doll (as I'm sure my pre-schooler would do if she took the test today). Their parents are probably on the right track. But as far as the rest (that lil boy broke my heart too), I think the overwhelming notion it presents is that we still have a load of internalized racism to erase, and knowing how to go about it is still a question.