Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Watched "Light Girls"

I'm paying for this URL, I might as well use it!

So I watched this documentary that aired on OWN, "Light Girls," that was the sequel, I think, to the "Dark Girls" documentary that discussed the pains and perils of being #TeamLightSkin and #TeamDarkSkin (or so I gathered. Y'all know I only half pay attention).

(To my Caucasian friends: yes, those hashtags are REAL things that exist. Go on The Twitter, The Tumblr, The Facebook, or The Instagram and you'll see this foolishness firsthand.)

A lot of the people I follow on The Twitter who were live-tweeting the show (yes, that's also a thing. Keep up!) were not here for it. There were many jokes of course and the usual NOT ALL [fill in the common noun], so I thought FINE. Let me see what all the fuss is about. I want to laugh and give in to my righteous indignation, too!

However, the documentary was...well, I'm still not sure what the main idea of the documentary was, but when I figure it out I will be able to tell you that it didn't stir anything in me. Only one woman, who explained that her grandmother preferred her descendants to have light skin because it meant they'd have a better chance of SURVIVING in the Jim Crow south, made me feel anything. Most everyone else was just there to talk about their hurt fee-fees.

And also, I thought I'd maybe see myself in the experiences of these women, but I didn't. My family is welcome to chime in, but I don't recall a time when I was favored for having lighter skin. More than anything, I was praised for being obedient and bringing home good grades; that's what mattered the most in my Roman Catholic, Latino home. Respect your elders, do your homework. Don't embarrass us in the street.

And I can't recall being picked on or being liked more in school because or despite of my skin color. Again, teachers liked me because I was a kiss-ass who earned good grades and never acted up. And my classmates liked me because, well, I'm not sure, but I like to think that it was my irresistible charm and sparkling personality. STOP LAUGHING. I CAN SEE YOU.

Honestly, I didn't hear any skin-tone specific talk until I got much older and started spending more time around my mother's paternal relatives. But that's a story for another day that I'll never tell you, because despite their lofty airs, I love them and won't speak ill of them (too much) on here.

Do I think I've succeeded or received any advantages in life because of my skin color? HONEY, if being nearly $100K in debt, barely earning enough to pay down that debt, raising kids on my own and being the captain of #TeamForeverAlone means I've succeeded in life, then I need to buy a new dictionary. Clearly I'm living this Light-Skinned life all wrong. ALL WRONG. I've had no advantages with this skin. Not an ounce. *gives useless skin the side eye*

I'm trudging through this shit like everyone else- by the grace of your judeo-christian god.

In conclusion, the only things I really took away from the documentary were a) the origins and definition of the term QUADROON (which is still the funniest word to me ever), b) I had never had the discussion with N that she's (racially, for lack of a better term) Black and (culturally/ethnically) Dominican, and c) Byron Nelson should call me. Soon. Watch the documentary to see for yourself why.

Yes, I still think primarily with my loins. What was your point?

* all of my light-skinnded glory*
I mean, it's the only skin I have. #minuswell be happy in it.