Now, I always like reading and responding to readers. Makes me feel like there is dialogue and that I’m accessible. However, do not come here like this:
Wanna get me viper fast? Come in here promoting something so offensive to my race and skin color. I don’t stand for racism so I definitely don’t care for its little brat sibling, colorism/shadism, and can’t stand those who promote it. I don’t care if this is spam or not, I don’t like it.
I’m Black, been Black, gonna be Black and forever gonna stay Black. I’m not gonna act like my skin tone and my racial make-up is the worst part of me because it is not. But my reciprocal vindictiveness is and this stuff definitely brings those traits out in full effect. Don’t like it? Drink skin lightener.
Skin lightener is disgusting and the mindset that greenlights it is highly disturbed. It’s internalized racism because you are actively believing the bullsh*t our Eurocentric culture pushes to the point you’re willing to put caustic chemicals on your skin to achieve it as if it’s gonna buy you a ticket out of the woes of the Negro. It won’t and never will.
Lemm’ tell you a story ’bout a Black girl I met who was ashamed to be Black. She wasn’t light enough to pass but definitely enough to get confused for another ethnicity like Greek by folks who are too dumb to tell the difference. She just didn’t like who she was because she didn’t see positive Black representations and already felt to be a fish out of water because she didn’t like activities and behaviors that are constantly aligned with “Blackness”. If anything, she liked Eastern alternative culture and was a J-Fashion enthusiast. She just wanted to be someone else and preferably not Black because she felt her Blackness, from her features to what she saw in her community, was holding her back. If anything, she wanted to be White because she believed the ads on tv, in the magazines, in the movies, on the internet, that if she was White, she would be easier loved, easier desired, clothes would fit her better, her whole life would be better. She internalized the subtle “White is Right” thinking that so pervades our culture from literature to moving media to the digital world.
I never was angry at her for thinking the way she did, she was a nice person. She wouldn’t hate on others for being Black or being darker, she just wanted to be White because she felt she couldn’t be pretty otherwise. If anything, I tried to help her figure out that being Black doesn’t mean you are ugly or stupid or have to like crappy hip hop (or hip hop at all, for that matter). She told me about how people in alternative fashions would pass over her because of her skin, she wouldn’t be respected as much as her White counterparts and that she would be so much better off if she was lighter, not Black, skinner, all these things that she just internalized. She told me a White lolita had thrown coffee on her dress because of her weight and race. She told me about how she just wanted life to be easier because being Black was weighing heavy on her self-esteem.
See, even though the girl didn’t irritate me, the thinking sure did because it is really common for Black kids in alternative culture. I never felt like being White was going to make my life better (Glad too, I like the fact I don’t peel like an onion when exposed to sunlight for longer than an hour), but I do understand the aching feeling of displacement from Black culture and the idea of Blackness. Commonly, Black kids who break the mold start to feel like they’re the broken rejects of their culture because they didn’t follow along the usual narrative somehow. They don’t fit in with the alternative kids always because they’re Black and they don’t fit in with the other Black kids because they’re alternative. This is how the girl I knew felt, but with the added idea that if she were White, people would like her more and respect her more. That’s not good. At all.
That’s why I don’t like people like the commenter up there because they capitalize on such a painful and unhealthy thinking. And then on top of that, they come to a site that is painfully pro-Blackness trying to peddle that crap. What? Did they expect I would just think, “Eh, that’s just who they are. They simply asked a harmless name even though their website is problematic”? Yah, no. That earns nothing but disrespect from me and rightfully so. If their site was about the physical and psychological dangers of skin lightening, I’d be fine because we could definitely use sites like that around. It’s absolutely disrespectful to me that someone would think I would be okay with it. I’m not going to see it as someone’s different life choice. I’m not going to respect it as a “different folks, different strokes” kind of thing. It is just trying to aspire to Whiteness, regardless of whether that is done for intrinsic or extrinsic reasons.
It took me a long time, as well as with the help of other Black lolitas, for this girl to actually be okay with being Black and learn that there’s nothing wrong with being Black and different from the crowd, it doesn’t affect your Blackness. She’s actually starting to like herself. She not walking about letting out her inner Janelle Monae but she’s getting there. Getting a little more confident everyday. Feeling more comfortable with who she is everyday. She is getting better and her life seems to be positively improving slowly but surely. That’s what being comfortable with who you are gets. She wasn’t going to find that kind of happiness nor get better at taking care of herself by trying to be something that she’ll never be nor should strive to be. I made sure she tried to understand that being Black is not the worst part of who she was and that anyone who tried to make her think that way was not a friend of hers nor worthy of respecting. I also explained to her the history, psychology and sociology of what she was feeling so she didn’t feel terrible but just understood how she and others got that way because it’s important for her to understand the mechanics of the society she was participating in and how those bad feelings occurred.
So, please, do not come to my website pushing that carcinogenic crap and asking me for tips on how to improve your site. There’s no reason for me to treat you with an iota of respect nor civility. If you were just about any other subject on the ‘net, you would have fared so much better than right now. Just keep your wonders of unnecessary skin scorching treatment to yourself, that’s what you should do.
Alright. Next week is The Arts!
– The Roper
– Electronic Purgatory