You would think that I wouldn't have to talk about this. . .
Is there still a pervasive, subconcious attitude that exists regarding skin complextion, hair textures, and the like? Are these projections introduced in early childhood development, and then ultimately cemented in our adolescent stages?
Have both our darker and lighter halves suffered the consequences of the skin they are in, either made to believe that one or the other is superior, subject to each's interpretation of beauty? Or even worse, have they been washed in the skin cycle of being ashamed of their lighter/darker persuasions to the point where it affect all that is around them, up to and including choosing a mate to, shall we say, even things out a bit? Are hair textures (AKA "Good Hair") still secretly envied and desired or straight lusted after?
That which might solidify our classic model of what is idenfitied as beautiful. Are there built in sterotypes that wreak havoc in our lives from day one. I remember one time a friend and I did an experiment (early nineties, y'all), and we noticed that in many of the videos, that they would show the asses of the darker girls, and the faces of the lighter ones. . .Whether or not this has changed significantly from those days, I couldn't tell you.
In this Post Imitation of Life phase of our culture, what do we expect when it comes to beauty. Certainly, during the early part of the 20th century, passing became a phenomenon that was partially survival, partial choice. Carol Channing has recently admitted her paternal black parentage. . . It is even rumored that Dinah Shore has black parentage, that which she never confirmed NOR denied. (If you haven't seen the A & E biography on her, treat yourself).
Would India Arie, both artist and Musician, be as popular as Alicia Keys, be MORE popular and/or lavished with more mainstream acclaim (mainstream) if they she had 'it'?
Would Beyonce, Alicia Keys, et. al, be the toast of the town if they weren't?
But the inverse had happened with our brothers. . .Would so many of our lighter leading men (Giancarlo Esposito, Mel Jackson) had more 'urban' appeal if their skin textures were more of the Denzel, Wesley, Don Cheadle Flavor?
There are SO MANY schools of thought. There is a difference between having an authentic preference for things, versus having discriminatory tastes (whether it's for the darker or lighter persuasion).
There is a brother that I used to date, he was growing up during the era where light skin-ded green eyed Reggie Theus, Phillip Micheal Thomas brothers were the ones (subject to interpretation) that were bringing sexy back. He is VERY attractive, darker complexioned man; however, teenage women wouldn't give him the time of day. He, in turned, himself began to prefer the lighter persuasion as a way to prove himself 'worthy', if I may, to the less melanin enhanced population.
On the flip side, I have a friend who has the classic 'light skin, brown curly hair' who has, over the course of her entire lifetime, attempted to make up for that, by sitting in the sun as a child, choosing darker men to date (and marry), because she never enjoyed valued the skin she was in.
I also have a friend that goes ballistic when someone compliments someone from the lighter persuasion, and she goes into Drill Seargeant Mode, asking why they said that, and she always alludes to someone saying that only because that person was light. She also goes out of her way to talk about how everyone loves her complexion. (Which, I think, is TMI).
Fortunately, I was able to escape the madness of the time. I fit somewhere in the 'middle', for lack of a better word.
But, back to the lecture at hand. . . Are we still perpetuating these types of ideologies in early adulthood, either with melanin issues or hair? Does it matter? Do you see it? Or am I imagining it? Have we grown out of this, or have we stunted our growth, only perpetuating it in other ways?