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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  • chnyere

    yes could be a documentary and it would be a lot less sad

  • @Amber
    Many whites don’t have any concept of white privilege either. That certainly does not mean that it only exists ‘in the minds’ of black people who put them on pedestals, now does it? This attitude is why colorism discussions ultimately go nowhere.

    • amber

      I see your point about White Privelage. So what? It exists, that’s life. Should Black people give up and think less of themselves because of it? Hell no, we know our worth and we keep on pushing and the same goes for this color issue. I dont feel like going back but I am sure I said MOST lighter Blacks dont think we are better or more attractive than darker Blacks. Even if we did, does that make it so? Regardless of what skin tone we were born with we are all Black so this is a problem that effects us as a community. Most of the negative comments against dark skin Blacks that I have witnessed were made by other dark skin Blacks. Most of the Blacks I know who do not date dark skin Blacks are dark themselves. So, you cannot blame lighter skin Blacks for insecurities. I’m also NOT saying ALL dark skin ppl hate dark skin the same as I am not saying ALL light skin ppl love dark skin. What I am saying is these issues need to be be corrected by the entire community but it starts with acceptance and embracing our dark skin. Forget what other people think. If you cannot see beauty in yourself, how the hell is anyone else supposed to? We are our own worst enemy.

  • Biracials have a different plight than light colored people with 2 black parents. They generally have a non-black person/family who is RAISING them. They are often brought up in predominately non-black areas and try very hard to fit in with white society with limited success. That alone is cause for a real and perceived separation of thought and lived experience.

  • pinkmatter

    Truly one of the dumbest articles I’ve ever had the displeasure of happening upon. Please, let us also follow up the Light Girls documentary up with a White Girls one too.

    I mean really. You know your point is stupid when the insults you claim you face are that people teased you about thinking you were so pretty. Wtf? I can’t with such stupidity. Jesus Wept.

    • Free2000

      Your comment proves that we need a light skinned documentary. Our plight is not that we are called pretty is that our people do not accept us and that we are sometimes bullied by our own sisters. Actually it would not be a documentary but a family drama.

    • You are ignorant.

  • Treasure

    I believe we should have a light girls documentary. We still struggle with color and all I see, blog and video wise are things about Light Skin Vs Dark skin which is STUPID. Light girls and dark girls have both been victims of white supremacy and have both been divided for so long, for various reasons…such as being due to the light girls having it “easier” to make it in white society and that in turn built resentment, then the dark skinned girl has hatred and jealously within, its a back and forth ugly cycle. What we all fail to realize is that a white person does not give a damn about our color. Their enslavement and injustices of our people are the reason that we are so divided, even still. Black was hard, white was easier. Some mulatto’s would live a lie and pretend to be white, ignoring their black side how horrible is that? Then you have the dark skin girls wanting to bleach their skin, have babies that are lighter, humiliate light skin women, because they feel as though our back is turned to them and our noses are int he air…..but then the light skinned woman can never be accepted by white people…one little drop of black blood and that’s it. Either you were 100 percent white or black. I mean when it all boils down….black people, light or dark hate themselves. We are so judgmental towards one another and its so sad. I struggled with being a light girl for a long time and dealt with validation and feeling the wrath of the darker skinned girls, had to fight alot, argue, I mean it was tough, but anyways, I think this documentary should happen.

    • Tyi

      I’m brown skin and I agree both sides should come together