My Journey Into Darkness

By Salt and Pepper [Staff Writer]

After talking with my doctor, like Michael Jackson, I was presented with a choice of receiving medical treatments that could lighten my skin.  The thought of choosing to turn my skin white, caused me to question my blackness.

Was being black just based on me having the blood of African Americans in my veins, or does it also have something to do with how other people perceive me? Maybe, it’s based on how I perceive myself. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks?

I found myself empathizing with Michael Jackson for deciding to lighten his skin.  Is it really that big of a deal?  Whenever I feel like it, I’ll change my hair style from afro to straight and from straight to afro.  Whites go to great lengths to darken their skin by tanning in the sun or a salon, even at the risk of getting skin cancer, but society doesn’t say, “They have an identity problem,” or “Their trying to be black.”  Could there be a double standard?

If a black person chooses to lighten their skin, are they really having an identity problem and trying to be white?  Or, could it be that they just want to change it up a bit, like we change everything else in our appearance?

However, I have to admit.  When I really started to think more and more about having white skin, it freaked me out at first.  I was familiar with looking in the mirror and seeing a woman of color.

I knew who she was, and I liked her a lot!  I knew what shade of Mac makeup she wore, what eye shadow, blush, and lip color looked best for her skin tone.  I knew she looked really good in all white linen, and that most of the clothes in her closet consisted of colors of gold, black, grey, brown, and green.  I liked how earth tone colors looked on my skin.  I wasn’t ready for this “new white sister” to take possession of my body.

Please come back next week for more of my journey into darkness.

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