The “Dark Girls” documentary that aired on OWN on Sunday rubbed viewers the wrong way for several reasons. The most prevalent argument was that it didn’t show enough dark-skinned women who are supremely confident, comfortable in their own skin and unfazed by attacks against their appearance by society. But there was a growing crop of people who felt the documentary’s biggest flaw was that it neglected the plight of the light-skinned woman.

Though some believe that women with lighter complexions delight in privilege and adulation because of their skin tone, they too have felt pain. Many light-skinned women and men grapple with the sting of having to constantly prove their blackness and the wrath of people who assume because they have less melanin, they think they’re superior. The question on some viewers minds was: could a light-skinned girl’s story ever be told?

Most people would answer negatively. There could be outrage and backlash stemming from the belief that the light-skinned struggle pales in comparison to that of dark-skinned people. But why does there need to be a comparison in the first place? Shouldn’t all our voices, experiences and struggles be heard?

The truth is colorism cuts both ways. Colorism is a real and prevalent issue for light-skinned women, and their plight shouldn’t be shrugged off or scoffed at. We must realize that we have all been hurt by colorism, everyone of us from the lightest beige to the deepest brown. Instead of competing about whose pain is worse, we should listen to each other and move together toward a solution.

Do you think there could be a “Light Girls” documentary? Should there be one?

-Raquel Wilkerson

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  • lightlikeme

    This isn’t public knowledge yet, but Bill Duke is currently filming Light Girls. I truly sympathize with dark skinned women. However, as a light skinned woman, I have had painful struggles all of my life. I was picked on badly as a kid and called names. So much so, that didn’t feel “black enough” to participate in black history programs in school and it didn’t help that my last name is White. As I got older, men wouldn’t date me because the assumption was that I thought I was all of that. This was told to me to my face! Women have always looked at me sideways until they got to know me. Then I hear “Oh you are actually pretty cool”. Well what were you expecting me to be like? Stuck up? Personally, I’m glad that there will be a Light Girls film so that both sides can be heard.