Dear white people,
The truth should not be sacrificed to spare someone’s feelings.
With that spirit, I should tell you that your fake tan borderlines black face.
It seems you don’t get it and I’m worried you never will. These features of mine are mine. My never-ending curls, my rounded nose, full luscious lips, voluptuous hips and and a nice rack, arched back caused by a bum unmatched. I loved all of me and my melanin but the media you provided and made hard to avoid told me I wasn’t pretty. Told me that I was inadequate. My bum was too big, nose too round, hair was too untidy, my lips were falling down. Your world commanded, demanded a change and reprimanded me, me and my natural self, the one God and the universe gave me. Refusing to hire someone with an afro, having a limit on how many black people you can hire and which ones look less “sassy” and “pro black” and more like they can “fit in”. Always tried to make us fit in.
“Where are you going with this?”
I’m glad you asked.
Why do you think its acceptable to now take those features and make them fashionable but just for you? Remember those caricatures and cartoons? You know the ones, where we were called monkeys, coons, our nose and lips drawn to look like balloons. Is my body only suitable under your skin? Actually scrap that, because between that tan and foundation you look more like my father’s daughter than I do. Do you even love your skin? Stop praising the Kim Ks of the world whilst putting down the black women who have these same features naturally. Imitation is greatest form of flattery but let’s face it: it’s not flattering and I don’t think it ever was.
On a note outside of race, love your skin. Love your lightness as I love my darkness.
Art by Jess Brown