Published on February 20th, 2013 | by Dami Oyedele24
Light It Up
I have never been conscious of skin tone, and in fact I deny the existence of the light skin vs. dark skin debate. I struggle to wrap my head around it, because I find dark-skinned guys more attractive than their ‘yellow’ counterparts, and I have never felt discriminated against or ignored because of my own dark-ish skin. Even after my mum tried to sweet-talk me into using some ‘brightening cream’ while I was in university because according to her, “walking around in that Ife sun is making you too dark”, I just couldn’t be bothered.
However, a few days ago I was talking to a friend of mine who is fixated with light skin. We saw a cute mixed race baby, and while I was ooh-ing and aah-ing about her amazing curly hair, my friend said, with a tinge of bitterness sadness in her voice: “See how she’s so fair! This girl will now grow up and marry a correct guy”. I tried to argue but she shut me up. In her words: “Abeg! Even the darkest of dark guys, including the ones who look burnt, will be going for fair babes. *hiss*.” This same girl hates going out with her mum and sister who are very fair because, apparently, they get all the attention.
I didn’t even know what to say, or where her bitterness came from because this girl is fairer than me, so if she was complaining, perhaps I should just dive off the 3rd Mainland Bridge? I shook my head and laughed, but her words made me wonder if I should finally stop denying the fact that light skinned women have a natural advantage, simply on account of their skin tone.
So, let’s talk. Do you guys really care about the shade of our skin? Really? Why? Are there any theories out there that may explain it? Same goes for the ladies who prefer light-skinned men. What’s the deal? Is there a deal? And while we’re at it, can we talk about how on the streets of Lagos, everyone (and their second cousin) is now two shades lighter than they used to be in high school? Even the light skinned ladies aren’t left out of the bleaching fad! Let’s (hopefully) clear this debate up once and for all!