Are Darker Skin African Women Less or More Beautiful?…GC Staff Shares Her Experience

GC Staff
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 at 8:39am

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Writing this article hits home for me personally.  I am a Ghanaian and a young dark skin woman.  Growing up I was always taunted at school due to my course hair texture, full lips, large nose, and dark skin.

At one point as a young teenager; I disliked myself and tried to secretly bleach because I did not fit into the norm of beauty in the American society. I stopped bleaching quickly after realizing the health risks.

Light skinned girls were always favored in society as well as chased by boys no matter if they were beautiful or not.  I never understood this complex enterprise.

At one point I tried out for modeling because I fit the description for height and weight. During auditions, I was ushered into next rounds however, upon final decisions, I was told I am model material but my skin tone was not ‘in’ for the season. I always got upset but my mother angrily screamed at them in Twi.

Entering college was worse.  I attended a predominately African American university so I thought my image would be more accepted.  I was wrong.  Instead many African American and African men and women would tell me “You are so beautiful…for a dark skin girl!”.

I was completely dumbfounded.  I did not know how to respond to that because I did not think this would be an issue at a Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU).  Nevertheless, at that point in my life, how I viewed myself had been transformed so my self-esteem and self-worth was intact.

Surprisingly enough, I was always complimented by Caucasian people for my blemish free, even skin tone.  Caucasian men and women would always stop to ask my secret for maintaining a healthy even glow, full beautiful hair, and defined facial features and body. I simply told them that I am African; I drink lots of water, use shea butter for my skin, exercise, and eat healthy. Their responses were “You are so beautiful! Period!”.

As life went on, at the workplace, light skin African American and sometimes African women would approach me and tell me how they wish they were like me.  Again I was struck.

All this time as a teenager, I wanted to be like them and come to find out they want to be like me…I asked why? In response they would admit that the darker skin women are exotic, beautiful, and free from skin diseases such as melanoma and even aging.

In conclusion, I love myself regardless of what society thinks is beautiful.  I am proud to say that I am a gorgeous and proud African woman loving my beautiful skin. What are your thoughts?  Are you a dark skin woman and loving it?


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  • Metaphor

    Its not about beauty.The reason why men chase light skinned women more is because they look more feminine to be exact.I have perceived many dark women to be way hotter than light skin women but i still feel more attracted to light skinned women because they look more vulnerable and feminine.
    Just an opinion.

    • Adjoa Nbaaso)

      @Metaphor, whats ur definition of feminine?Because so far as am concerned that word has a lot to do with body features and I bet all my black sisters have that most powerful features.Havent u seen a light skin girl who has that manly looks?Anyway, just like u said, its ur opinion!

    • elle

      @Metaphor, what do u mean by  vulnerable, im light skinned and i dont get what ur on abt.. how are we weaker looking? kmft!

      • Metaphor

        @elle,you a macho light skinned’s why men don’t chase you.

  • 27calibre (O_0 )

    i like this article it make me proud to be black african guy a real GHANAIN to be precise (:
    i have never felt insecure because am a proud CHOCOLATE GUY with a nice hair….
    i want my CHOCOLATE sisters to stop bleaching and feel safe in their skin COLOUR .

    my girlfriend use to call me chocolate and am proud of being BLACK MAN(:

  • Miyagi

    Good topic but seriously Its amazing how people can say the most ignorant things, and not be aware of what they’re really saying, isn’t it? That’s such a racist remark, and chances are they’re too stupid to know how racist it really is no one would approach an older woman and say, hey you look really good for your age! That’s really rude. Even amongst black people there is racism against light v. dark skinned. I think if you have an even skin tone and nice complexion no matter the shade then you have beautiful skin dark skinned women are just as beautiful as fair skinned women and everything in between I can’t even imagine finding someone unattractive because of the color and/or shade of their skin Women are beautiful in all races I’m sure you’re beautiful for just as you are you need to surround yourself with people who feel the same
    Whether not being attracted to a particular race is racist or not is debatable a person can’t help their choice i don’t think it’s oppressive but I have a personal opinion that it’s closed minded and ignorant Nonetheless if someone is not attracted to a particular race is one thing that doesn’t mean they should make ignorant racist remarks about it If they felt the desire to tell you that you look beautiful for a dark skinned girl they should keep their mouth shut, because it’s rude at best
    How would a caucasian girl feel if someone told her that she looked cute for a pale skinned white girl? That’s a stupid thing to say, plain and simple

    • http://deleted sisy

      @Miyagi, i dig u bro..

      • Miyagi

        @sisy,Thanks sis someone people just need to stop discriminating 

        • http://yahoo Em

          @Miyagi, well said.

          • Miyagi


  • http://deleted sisy

    well i like me as a dark skin person, i find lighter skin also beautiful, at times i dont knw really if it depends on the skin or outward appearance or the way the person carries himself.i love men who r dark too but i like chrisbrown, i dnt even knw, i dnt fink its the skin……. I love jackie appias skin as well as nadias. Infact i love jackies smile too. hmm i fink even if u are dark skin n have a nice smile it attracts men too. I am so happy i met the man i am with now. He got charmed with my smile, i know nobody can stand my smile but then later, he told me how he loves my dark skin. i was trying to bleach, started buying fade creams to lighten up my colour but then i started getting more complement about my skin so i stopped. You cannot imagine me looking for a cream that can actually make me darker…funny right but its true..

  • ap

    people what are you saying?  people only think that light skinned people are good looking because they have lighter skin.  dark skinned people who have a relationship with light skinned people actually want to be with a white person.  this is a division that the colonialism did to us. I personally think that darker skinned people are much better looking than light skinned people. I have ZERO attraction to light skinned people. it was the white man that did this and we continue to follow buy bleaching her skin by wearing weaves and weeks and some even wear  colored contacts. africans are the most beautiful in their natural state. that is what do Europeans saw when they reached our shores. they saw men with the body of beasts. They most  beautiful women I have ever seen.  europeans really don’t like to be with light skinned black people.  they always want to be with the one that looks like the darkest and the strongest features.  being in our natural skin color and with our natural hair we are the most intimidating to the white man.  in conclusion,  darker stronger and better.

    • Ball so hard miss dior

      @ap, Funny thing is no matter how light or pale you look, if you dont have the silky hair, no blue or green eyes, and you have boobs/hips the white man still considers you black, stop spending your money on bleaching creams, as far as the Europeans preferring darker skin to light skin women,they know that the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.

      • don

        @Ball so hard miss dior, No skin color is better or sweeter. 

    • Jean Pearson

      @ap,  OMG!!! I could kiss you whoever you are for your comment. My sentiments exactly cause it just pains me to hear and see the stupidness that can really comes from people’s mouth. God made us all in His image and their is nothing ugly about God. we all are beautiful no matter what color we are. I’m a black Jamaican woman living in Florida and am so happy to be dark skin and beautiful.

      • ap

        @Jean Pearson, I am so happy that you agree. It is a shame to see us uncomfortable in our own skin. Thank you!!!

    • ap

      @ap, forgive my grammar in my first comment. I spoke the words into my cellphone.I was to vexed to care at the time, but I hope all can understand the gist.

  • Adjoa Nbaaso)

    Well God had a good reason why He created everyone the way they look.So if you think He was wrong , then go ahead and use all those chemicals on ur skin and skin cancer would be smiling at you soon..90% of all those bleacing/fading creams contains hydroquinone which is as dangerous as anything you can think of..It might glow ur skin today, but destroy it tomorrow.

    • Miyagi

      @Adjoa Nbaaso),Wooooooow i am impress Thumps up

  • lora

    this girl is beautiful

  • Prime Suspect

    Well Said Miyagi

  • E

    I hope people keep saying what they really feel so that young girls can see that it’s not in our heads that people treat us as less than women due to skin color.

  • Lindiwe Ngwane

    this article was a breathe of fresh air. I’m a teenaged south afriacan dark skinned girl, constantly trying to make myself lighter because of what high school expects of ‘girls’. Even the media, with so many celebs having preference for light girls. Thank you for an opinion from another beautiful, dark skinned, African woman…

  • Elle.H.

    Growing up i used to think all the females of european nationality looked sick weak and agrivatingly average and passive. I am of mixed nationality and ill tell you i genuinely believed my darker (than typical euro/white/caucasion) skin and textured extremely thick curly hair was litterally better than theres. I remember i used to tease and bully a girl who actually grew up one day and at about age 11 or so randomly whispered to me that “thin hair was better than thick”.. later on she had the confidence to say anything because age 11 was where all the hell started with that rediculous beauty standard. At elementary age i would litterally make fun of her for so much pleasure and then re apologize cus it just seemed like she was this dumb pale straight ash blonde haired girl who would just believe anything and do anything anyone said. I was also very tall and she just happened to be very short so id also call her a midgit. Karma actually does exist in our world so who knows. I think plenty of african women where very confident in there apearances and i believe once upon a time we were accepted as most beautiful but not sure about afros as i do believe the real afro is a very masculine feature just like alot of european descent females without the conveneince of straight hair never seemed to believe they were anything like barbie and didnt seem to ever grow up to fit a beauty standard either. I said “we” before as my mother is of african descent, so if you can imagine a hair type thats a cross between a european descent father with wavy to curly brown haired genes meets likely very course kinky curly hair type genes then wollah! thats what i used to have. Medium skin tone and that hair type. I used to have a love hate relationship with it, believing it was the most beautiful only when it was wet but if not deep conditioned combed would be an absolute nightmare and take way too long and to much pain to maintain. I would go on vacations in the summer time and love to swim and stay in pools or in the ocean water as long as i was allowed to and come home darker than ever with my hair messier than ever but somewhat bleached to a lighter brown by the sun. My mom used to complain and say i got so dark but i used to think it was funny and do it proudly every year. I used to sun bathe all day till my skin used to actually peel off my face. I very much enjoyed my naturalness and features until about 5th grade. That early, growing up in the likes of the suburbs of new york girls started totally objectifying themselves proudly. it was like a movement, the IM JAIL BAIT HEHE SLUT HEHE like freakin revolution. It made me sick to my stomach everyday that they really thought they were the sh*t. On top of that i totally wanted to do it to but my mom absolutely forbid even ear piercings in my ears and told me they were spoiled, white, raised by “hastings” moms she would call em. Drove me insane and sooner or later i turned to guys for social needs. Litterally the downfall of us all with so many happily willing candidates. Those girls took everything away from me within 2 years. I stopped going to gym because litterally all id go to school and hear about was how they really thought the whole world was obsessed with them constantly suggesting any man(including the gym teacher) who even looked at them were “pedofiles””creeps” “perverts” etc… Then announcing that they got a new mini skirt/bra/lipstick/blonde highlights and IM JAILBAIT blah blah. ANYWAYS, enough background about me. To answer your question simply I dont believe its as simple as dark vs light skin. African woman also seemed to banish what was there beauty standards like tamed curls and texturisers, braids and other curl types. I see alot of african women going for even straight hair even if it means cutting most of it off and thats not very beautiful in my opinion. I think god made us a variety of peoples but once we try to do what someone else is doing it only makes the person who was god given that type the “better” version naturally. Hair and skin i think equally are huge factors. They are the pair god gave us. ahem PAIR. Textured/afro hair, dark skin, straight hair, very pale skin/freckles and many others in between, different colors etc…I think african women need to embrace a more natural trend and then there “trophy” image would be more wholesome and a more real beauty then taking the white womens lead down a road of fakeness because ppl are going to grant the white women for doing so much more than the black women. They wont flaught what they have that these “white” women dont. Catch my drift?? I personally think if they havent proved themselves both images kind of really annoy me yet, once again, a dark women with straightened hair vs a white female with straightened hair, i mean imagine a white female sporting kinky curls?? it just would look like someone trying to be something they werent. Keep embracing thickness and curls and the black women will be seen as equally beautiful. anyways, its more of a silly girl competition so youd be impressing women more than ever! I also believe most men dont really stress the beauty standard as much as women do so its practically women just trying to be the best women and white females kind of make it seem that way when theres so many other beauties out there all trying to do the same thing as her. So men who are clueless anyways agree. I also dont believe african women have the same confidence shining through with a stiff straight hair style and face of make up it just looks soffocating whereas the likes of beyonce for example seemed free and proud and a diva etc… We also werent meant to be so s*xualized as women either another thing thats actually deteriorating all of us and our pride yet we think s*x is power so we just keep pretty much shooting everyone and ourselves in the foot but african / black other kinds of women need to play it smarter and realize 10 weak, dumb, objectified and degraded “white” females might do better than 4 weak and dumb objectified and degraded “black” females(population). Either way this competition is really only going on in girl world pretty much i dont believe men are nearly as obsessive or concerned as we are since they dont have to be “beautiful” at all. Think about it, wouldnt you prefer also to compliment the person who is more like you? I believe as far as men and women of a similar type we were just thought of as a friend for a similarity yet considered the possibility of s*xuality or relationship someday by everyone else but objectified women also suggest that maybe we are like in bondage or something to that other person who is like us and i actually dont think guys want anything to do with it. So, ladies, were talking to each other and other little girls to. =/
    Take my advice and try something new. Check herbal essense ads and youll see what im talking about. Too bad COSMOGIRL magazine was discontinued. They really put these kinds of issues in perspective. =(