Despite the fact that it causes cancer, skin bleaching cream can still be purchased in some places. But another cancer also erodes away importance and diminishes health – because people still hold on to stereotypes and archaic ideas about skin color. These were a couple of points made in the film “Dark Girls,” which looks at thought-leaders and average citizens who are still waging the colorist war. Some points of discussion, highlights of the film and a review of the movie follows.
One teen admitted that she thought she could wash off her dark skin. This is probably no surprise, considering that one of the insults reported by many in the film included the words, “Your skin is dirty.”
Another shared how much she longed for bleach in her bathwater.
Others, such as actress Viola Davis, shared how she was taunted and ridiculed by people in the predominantly white community where she grew up, as well as the children at camp who shared her race. She stated that instead of receiving messages that her dark skin equated to softness, kindness and beauty; she was told that she was black, ugly, and was then insulted with the “n” word. The actress of “The Help” fame, reported that she has found her own place and a blessed peace regarding the issue.
Another young lady stated that people of her race insult her for her dark color, while white people make her appreciate being dark. “They love my skin,” she reported.
Still another stated that at an early age she heard her mother qualify her beauty with comments about how much cuter she’d be if she were only light-skinned. It was discussed as the “dark but cute,” phenomenon.
Some of these type parental messages were described as, “daggers to the heart.”
Many expert psychologists and others mentioned that this comes from the “slave mentality,” and is not a part of an individual’s make-up or DNA. Dr Cheryl Grills said depressing, degrading images about race often come from parents. She also referred to structural racism, by explaining that there are things in place to perpetuate the stereotypes.
Men, Women, Media – these were some of the fronts on which this documentary attacked. For in each category, they found relevant ideas, thoughts, practices, and contributions to the problem or the discourse on skin color. This was one of the best features of the documentary.
Another personal favorite was the broad range of people from different walks of life. They included the unknown, celebrities and every one in-between.
They leave no stone unturned in this film. It is well-thought out and intelligently presented.
I believe this movie could be watched in a small group setting; so people can engage in their own dialogue about the rampant colorist issue. It could be an eye-opener, ice-breaker, and an opportunity to implement some better practices. The film is most excellent, with top-tiered documentation. However, watching this is not enough, it is a call to act; and an opportunity to right some generational wrongs and abandon some archaic ideas about skin color.