I will never understand what it’s like to be a dark-skinned woman.
I will never know what it means to possess beauty that the world doesn’t understand or agree with. I won’t commonly know what it’s like to be overlooked for being either too much or not enough. I may never have a skin tone that’s often ridiculed even by those that you should be able to call brother and sister, or to have terrible stereotypes placed upon you just based on your pigment.
I know that my skin gives me privileges that you rarely are able to receive. I know that the few times we as black women are represented in several industries, they often reflect my skin tone, and rarely yours. That I am more likely to see my shade among video vixens than you are to see yours. I have never been told that I am pretty for my skin tone, and I have yet to have my beauty criticized for my skin tone.
I will never experience. I will never be able to recall the feeling. But I know that it happens to you more often than we address. There are far too many cases like Leslie Jones among us, where dark-skinned women are taunted, trolled and traumatized for their features, yet not fought for. We seem to forget you, pick at you and overlook you. It’s as if we don’t know that you matter just as much as any of us. It’s as if we have forgotten that on far too many occasions, you have held so many of our black brothers and sisters together without getting that same comfort in return. They throw the term “strong black woman” at you not just as a compliment, but as an excuse to why protecting you isn’t required. It isn’t right. It isn’t fair. And it shouldn’t be this way.
I want all of my darker skinned sisters to be reminded of their beauty. I want you to know that your skin is beautiful. Your features are beautiful. Every characteristic that comes with being you is beautiful, no matter what this ugly world has to say. You may be treated like the bottom of the barrel, but know that you are just as important as anybody, and that nobody is powerful enough to step over you. Your skin and the sun met and became best friends, and your glow is the sun’s thank you letter. You are gorgeous. You are Gorgeous. You are GORGEOUS. And your beauty will never be replicated. You deserve to be celebrated. You deserve to be shown gratitude and love. You deserve to be fought for and protected.
There are not enough people who fight for you or protect you. There aren’t enough voices advocating for your protection and praise. There aren’t enough examples of your beauty represented positively. And while I may not have the answers to everything, I do know this: I support you. I adore you. I appreciate you. I advocate for you. I know that my privileges will often overshadow this, but I want you to win just as much as I want it for everyone else. And when given the chance, I will tell the world about you. And when not given the chance, I will take it.