Wednesday, June 26, 2013

6 Things You Should Never Say To Your Dark-Skinned Daughter

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OWN asked two dozen African-American psychologists—student and professional members of The Association of Black Psychologists—to answer the question, "What should you never say to your dark-skinned daughter?" Below is a curated list of the answers some of them gave in response. These words should not just be avoided with children, but adults also.

1. "Stay out of the sun; you don't want to get any darker."
2. "You are pretty for a dark girl."
3. "You can't wear dark colors because they will make you look darker."
4. "You're just so dark."
5. "Girl, you are so much darker than...." (Don't compare her to others and avoid making references to dark skin as "blue-black" or implying that lighter skinned individuals as somehow having "better skin.")
6. "You are so pretty—have you ever thought about straightening your hair?" (A backhanded compliment is not a compliment.)

In addition, never photoshop your pictures or those of your clients, children, friends, etc to look lighter in order to make them more 'beautiful'.


Image from BinoandFino


  1. Black skinned people are not disadvantaged in any way. It is a healthy self esteem that makes the difference, we must therefore ensure that we speak words that build up to our young ones, and those words might be different for different people.

  2. It's so bad that even in our subconscious, we think the Devil is black!

  3. We also shouldn't let people get away with saying things like this. Sometimes they don't realise the damage it does to our self-esteem and our perception of ourself.

    My mum has repeatedly told me that I'm "too dark". One day I even told her that I plan on bleaching my skin (of course I had no plans to, I just wanted to see her reaction) and I wasn't surprised that she was OK with it. When family members that haven't seen me since I was a baby (I was much lighter as a child) ask about me, she'd tell them how I took after my dad's side of the family in terms of complexion.Nobody asked her about it, so why offer an explanation for my skin tone. Everyone saw that my dad is kind of dark and so no one would be shocked about my complexion. I got so tired of hearing about how 'black' I am that one day I just snapped. I can't remember some of the things I shouted at her because I was so angry, but I remember telling her that God obviously thinks my skin is beautiful hence why he made me the way I am. If she has a problem with my complexion, she should take it up with God and stop harassing and bullying me about it. I told her that she as a mother should be supportive and help increase my self-esteem instead of crushing it. I was so so angry that day and she just stayed quiet. After about 5mins of me shouting, she finally shouted back "SHUT UP!!". This was because I made reference to her "toning" face creams as she called them. All I know is the packet says it's a whitening cream and not toning, so she should leave me and my natural complexion alone. I wasn't having it. I continued. It was bottled up anger that was spilling out of me.

    As usual we argue and we make up. We're 'friends' again, but now she minds the way she talks about my skin. I guess she was the one with self-esteem issues. If not, why use those creams and then bother me about not looking like her. What was she expecting when she had a child with someone that isn't light? Before this incident, I'd asked her why she prefers light skin. She said "they" said that light skin of women look more attractive to men. I don't know who 'they' is, but I have seen many men say they prefer dark women, or that they don't mind her complexion. Sorry for the epistle. Just thought I'd share it.

  4. That's one pretty little girl :)

    I dont think the first sentence about staying out of the sun is amiss. Sunburn can and does happen with black skin if exposed enough. Some might say it in an unkind way but hopefully there are more who say it cause they care.

  5. Lol I never imagined the devil as being black I always pictured him as being red !

  6. Of course they arent less than having melanin makes you more than. Im just over It Lord


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