1. Like it or not, a show, song, role of hot buttered wax called "Light Girls" is going to be met with a million side-eyes BEFORE anybody even sees it. It's an uphill battle from the second the title hits the ether. To that end, there's nearly no way this can be successful by doing exactly what everybody thinks its going to do: be a woe is me style narrative about how hard life is to be light skinned. Look everybody has problems. Beyonce has problems. Micheal Jordan has problems. Drake has problems. Thing is, most of us don't really enjoy hearing people who are killing the game complain about shit. Is it fair, is it equal, is it just is right? Do you do the same shit when the defendant's face is white? Probably not, but it is what it is. Double standards exist. So hearing a bunch of light skinned women complain about how hard life is as a light skinned women usually falls on deaf ears. The violin right next to the world's smallest violin is the one they have to pick up. We can blame slavery. We can blame lots of things, but unfortunately, that is what it is. Everybody has problems, but they're probably not solely due to your lightskintness.
2. Case in point, I LITERALLY had this conversation WHILE the show as on with a light skinned chick on gchat.
Me: You do know you're Black right?
Her: I'm not Black. I'm mixed.
Me: See, this is exactly why people take issue with docs like this. It's not because you're lightskinned. It's because you're an asshole who likes to tell Black people that you aren't Black. Sure you're mixed, but you are Black. If you didn't view yourself that way, why even go to an HBCU?
Her: So I'm supposed to deny who I am? I'm half white!
Me: Yes, you are. And there's nothign wrong with being mixed. But when you go out of your way to point out that you aren't Black to Black people, well, your lightskintness isn't the problem, you are. Nobody wants to hear that shit. And white people don't like that shit either.
Her: What do you mean?
Me: White people ain't just lettin' no colored people into that exclusive ass club. You can't go telling white people that you're white and think they're gon' be like cool. Nigga, they can see you.
All that to say, everybody ain't hatin' on lightskint chicks cuz they light; sometimes, its because some of them are assholes. Respecting your heritage is fine. You can't help how you got here. How you present that to others though, that's where the problems (can) lie.
3. There were quite a few women on this documentary speaking for lightskinned women who were…
…not light skinned. Some of y'all parents have been lying to you about your hue. No wonder we have so many relationship issues in the Black community. You out here thinking you light skinned when the reality is you're supposed to be getting my damn popcorn for me, darkey. Which I didn't know and now I feel gipped.
Seriously though, the same niggas who casted the Aaliyah movie together must have done the lightskint casting for this documentary. Also, pointing out how pretty you are while telling us you have problems as a lightskinned person is usually half your trouble right there…which happened. Again, sometimes, just sometimes, its not because you're lightskinned (don't you enjoy how I'm spelling it differently almost every time) it's because you're an asshole. You can be pretty and down to earth. I know lots of very pretty light skinned women who at least publicy don't purport to be the stereotypical stuck up asshole. I like to refer to them as my sisters.
4. With all that being said, again, there are some legitimate issues that light skinned women deal with. They just tend to be the same type of issues Asians get, or "deep" women get…getting stereotyped UP is a problem. Light skinned women want to be respected as thinkers and good people, they do not want to just be trophies and considered pretty arm candy. I remember in grad school talking to an Asian friend of mine about how much pressure she felt to always be so smart. I'm like, that's what we like to call a good problem. Same with "deep" chicks wanting to be ratchet without being judged for setting back whatever movement they're part of. People just want to live. I understand this. But again, it's hard for me to feel but so sorry for you when even when you suffer losses, you can still count a victory. Problems are problems though. My lightskinned sisters, I'm sorry you get assumed to be pretty, empty vessels. I don't personally think that, but if you're lightskint and think that, I'm sorry that this is your struggle. Tell your man to respect your mind first. That'll do it.
5. The producers toed a REAL FINE LINE by even inferring that light skinned women are more subject to sexual assault and violence than other women…because they're light skinned. That was irresponsible at its worst and wholly WTFJUSTHAPPENEDHERE at its best.
6. Even in a documentary about light women and their struggles, a substantial portion of it focused on how - despite the struggles of light skinned women - the world wants to be light and the lengths women will go to in order to lighten up. It was pointed out that its a loss no matter what, but the self-hate is real. Europeans did a number on the world. Hey ma.
7. They had some guys on there talking about their perception of dating lightskinned women. The sad part about it is that, short of saying "I only care about the content of her character" (which they brought two dudes in fraternity gear and colors to do this - possibly attempting to offset the Sorority Sisters hullabuloo, conspiracy theorists UNITE!) those dudes were gonna look terrible. And they did. But they pointed out some very real truths about how a lot of men view light skinned women. I can't be mad at them for saying that guys look for them as both status and as a trophy and goal. It is what it is. It ain't right, but that does happen. The key is to not say that shit on television in recorded fashion for it to exist forever. But these things happen and they weren't lying. Namaste, bitches.
8. I heard the word "cellular" way too much in this documentary. Also, Iyanla Vanzant is apparently an anthropological race scholar. I did not know this. I wish y'all had told me though. Iyanla can't even fix niggas lives and she's out here setting the record straight on intra-racism? We all have opinions - I personally would have loved to hear more from Jamilah Lemieux - but I just ain't know Iyanla was a scholar like that.
9. I texted two of my sisters - light skinned women - to ask if they ever felt any type of struggle because they were light skinned. One ignored me wholesale. The other hit me back with, "are you serious?" Then when I said "yes because of the documentary" she let me know that she hasn't had any issue. Now, I have four sisters. All of whom are light skinned. We've grown up in lots of different places, and spent considerable time in the South. Let me just take this time here to shout out my parents for doing a good job. I'm also raising a light-skinned little girl with green eyes. Le sigh. Funny enough, and you all can help me here, people CONSTANTLY stop us to tell me and her how beautiful she is. I've had women give me money for her. I do always wonder if these same things happen to ALL cute little girls? Or if there's a more…well is she getting the lightskint treatment this early already? I do think about it. I hope I'm offbase there. I really do. But I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not.
10. I REALLY need to be on the hypothetical Light Bros/Dudes documentary talking about life as a mixed, light skinned male. I'm gonna say that life has been pretty fuckin' sweet over here. Now, I haven't been in style for a hot minute. Definitely been longer than about a week ago. But I realize tha guys don't seem to have these same issues. Or at least I managed to be insulated from them. Sure I get clowned for being the light skinned one in my crew. And my hair was wavy so I looked like Bizzy Bone for years. But I just couldn't get up in arms about being light skinned no matter how many shots were ever thrown my way. Like Angela Yee said, "I've been told, 'you're being real lightskinned right now'" before and I could laugh it off. Is this male privilege? Yo no se. But I just spoke Spanish and you can't fuck with me. I know, it made no sense. But that's my point. I'm doing just fine and I'm not sure if my complexion has anything to do with it. It probably helped me get a job, but I tend to think all white people think all Black people look alike anyway. Case in point, during the summer between my junior and senior year at Morehouse, me and one of my boys from the math department participated in a summer program at the University of Maryland - College Park for incoming Ph.D. Economics students. It was this labor intensive math immersion program they run the students through. My boy and I were the only undergrads and the only Black students in this program. It sucked. Royally. That's not the point though. My boy was a solid 4 inches taller than me and 50 shades Blacker than me. AT LEAST four times, we got confused for each other. It dumbfounded us both. One of the foreigners asked us if we were brothers straight up.
That was a really long way of pointing out that I wonder if lightskinned dudes even really feel any type of way about being lightskinned. Do we care? I don't. I'm sexxy either way.
All this to say, did you watch the doc? Thoughts? Let 'er rip.