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The Battle of the Shades: A Man’s View Point



I had always wanted to write on this topic but I never really had the time nor was I able to come up with the right angle with which to approach this sensitive issue of skin tones and relative preferences. But two things, no three things prompted this final draft. One: The song “Shades” by American-Nigerian rapper Wale featuring Chrisette Michelle. Two: a YouTube video which was essentially a documentary on the topic; and three: Miss Glory Edozien’s constant hounding of me to write something for Bella Naija.

The issue here is the perceived preference of light skinned/toned or as we refer to them here inNigeria“fair” women to dark skinned women. Now I know this is an issue that has been reharshed by many readers, however, I don’t think a males opinion has actually been sought on this issue. So permit me to offer mine.

There seems to be a general perceived notion that black men prefer fair women. But it had never really been such a serious issue to me until I stumbled across the said YouTube video which showcased a number of dark skinned African American women who felt marginalised due to their dark skin tones. According to these women, they had had challenges dating and getting into serious relationships because they were dark, black women! Some had never been in serious relationships and some had been left for other fairer African American women. One woman in particular said that all the while she thought that she was in a serious relationship her “boyfriend” was just using her as a booty call. The said guy eventually got married to another lady who was shades lighter than she was. The clip went on to show a woman who admitted to administering skin tone lightening creams and lotions on her young daughter in order to make her skin lighter! Another woman shed tears when she recounted how her mother came to see her new born grand-daughter in the hospital and kept on thanking God that she was light skinned and not dark like her daughter!

I watched, in utter amazement, the level of confidence issues these women faced all because they were dark skinned. But my over-analytical and cynical mind couldn’t help but take a second look these women. I realised that they mostly had one thing in common: they didn’t look as if they put in any effort to look good! It seemed to me that they were blaming their lack of male companionship on their complexion when what they really ought to be doing was putting in a bit more effort into looking good.

At this point I had to do some self-analysis. I put myself out there and asked myself a question, “Do I as a black Nigerian man, have a skin tone/shade preference when it comes to women?” Truth is I had always thought I had a preference for chocolate skinned women; you know that brown sugar complexion, kinda like a Sanaa Lathan. Yes, the fairest girl I dated was that bit of golden-sunshine-yellow-honey-brown shade. But just to be sure I sat down and quickly ran through the women I had dated to see if that was a recurring feature. Guess what? It wasn’t. I had dated fair girls, brown skinned girls, and dark skinned girls too. I then understood that sometimes what is preferred is not always a sine qua non.

To be sure that I was not “flaky”, I decided to do a small survey among my friends to test this theory. I asked 12 single Nigerian men, between the ages of 25 and 35, (bankers, sports marketers, entrepreneurs and real estate practitioners), their skin tone preferences, and whether it had any bearing on their choice of a girlfriend or partner.

My findings were as follows:

  • 6 said light skinned women were better looking/more attractive than dark skinned women; while 2 said dark skinned women were better looking/more attractive;
  • 4 said they couldn’t say/it did not matter to them. However, 11 said that complexion was not a prerequisite for them in choosing a girlfriend!
  • Furthermore, 4 said that the decider on the choice of girlfriend was the woman’s personality or the “entire package”; 1 cited his feelings for the said girl; and another said “as long as she’s pretty”.
  • I probed further and found out that out of the two that said dark skinned women were better looking/more attractive, one of them was dating a dark skinned girl, and the other was dating a light skinned girl. Why? Because of “his feelings for her”.
  • Out of the 6 that said light skinned women were better looking/more attractive, only 3 had girlfriends, and they were all chocolate to fair skinned.
  • Of the 4 who couldn’t say, none is currently dating anyone.
  • Of the twelve, a guy that couldn’t say and a guy that said light skinned women were better looking/more attractive concluded by saying “dark skinned girls are better looking, while fair skinned girls were more attractive.”
  • One complicated things further by saying that if forced to choose, he would “take an average light skinned girl over an average dark skinned girl but will take a very beautiful dark skinned girl over a very beautiful light skinned girl!” Wahala dey o!

Well I don’t know how you would analyse my mini-survey above, but personally (and I say this with some degree of conviction) I think that many Nigerian men really do not have cast iron preferences when it comes to the colour tones or shades of their women. I want to believe that they look for higher ideals in a woman, beyond her position on the black-fair shade spectrum. Thus, the summary of this survey should hopefully suggest to all women, that skin tone isn’t something most guys are necessarily preoccupied with, and perhaps they should do the same.

Photo Credit: http://uptownandreabrown


  1. triangle

    September 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    guys mostly come after me because of my figure. not because of my fair complexion!

    • remi

      September 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      likewise me, I’m 5’11 and slim and guys always gush about my I personally think complexion is not forefront on the scale of attractiveness…..Another factor is the state of your skin..if you have a beautiful smooth glowing skin, regardless of the colour men go dey find you, believe me…hehehe……me sha I looooooooooove dark skinned guys, my gosh. no matter how hot a guy is, if he’s fair, then he’s lost points in my book….my bobo MUST be darker than me ooo…

    • Angel in disguise

      September 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      You and me together Remi…don’t do light skinned men


      September 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      I am 5ft11 too and guys go on about that, i am more concerned about good skin than skin colour

  2. Moi

    September 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Some guys prefer that a lady has beauty, brains & good character not withstanding the skin color.

  3. phunk

    September 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Wonderful analysis!!
    Be content with your natural given complexion

  4. me

    September 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I once jokingly told 2 guys that I wanted to apply skin lightening cream because I wanted to be fairer. They were both horrified saying “why? Black is beautiful”. Both men are married to very fair skinned girls. Do the math! They do not put their money where their mouth is. Most Africans have a complex (male and female alike) and do find fairer skinned persons more attractive/beautiful.

    • sensible girl

      September 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      My dear God bless you!!!! Talk is cheap!

    • BigBen

      September 24, 2011 at 5:05 am

      rather niave statement, yes they are horrified that a woman (their friend) would want to lighten their skin, but that did not directly mean that the hate or love light skin…they did not say, oh I cannot fall in love with a light skinned girl…they are with the woman they are with because of much more than the color of their skin…I am really sick and tired of people making it seem like being a light skinned girl is curse for you to be discriminated against by darker skinned girls…I remember back in primary school, your complexion was just a description you wrote in your, talk about yourself essay and nothing more…if you are having inferiority complex don’t take it out on the next person, deal with your issues…

    • Anonymous

      September 29, 2011 at 12:41 am

      Girl, tell it! You are so telling the truth. You are a so right!

  5. Lola O

    September 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Nice TJ! While it is true that there are a lot of preconcieved notions about fair skinned women being more beautiful than dark skinned girls in the US, I really do think that skin tone doesnt matter. Being light skinned, my mother who is dark skinned has always told me “It doesn’t help if your fair and dirty, as long as your clean black is beautiful regardless” Lol.

  6. lala

    September 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    a blackman will choose the figure of a woman to her color,if you want a light skinned lady marry a white or a mixed race lady

  7. chi chi

    September 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    the men may not have a ‘cast iron preference’ for lights-skinned women, but there is a preference. it’s mostly psychological, but very real. Using common sense, we can say that light-skinned ladies are more ‘attractive’ than the dark-skinned ones, and we know that attraction, preference, like, type, etc, are all linked. that said, Loving one’s entire self is the only way to go, regardless of skin tone or looks. The person who will love you, will love you, period.

  8. Bukky T

    September 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    ” I realised that they mostly had one thing in common: they didn’t look as if they put in any effort to look good” ehn!Really…

    Next topic please!

    • Tee

      September 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      He was just being real jare! Yes…let’s play d blame game while I look scruffy! Lol

    • Yellow Jacket

      September 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      I totally agree with him. I honestly feel like most dark-skin women who complain about Black men finding light-skin more attractive are usually very insecure or do not put enough effort into the way they look. Now I’m sure there are men who do have these prejudices, but majority of men look at overall beauty, not just complexion. Be confident and take time to beautify yourself, in and out, and men will surely be attracted to you. And the men who stick to such prejudices don’t matter anyway, trust me, you don’t want them.

  9. Kiki

    September 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Black men look at the figure more than skin tone. So ladies please stop preparing your skin for Skin Cancer. Bleaching makes you 50percent more prone to skin cancer oh!

  10. ty

    September 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    i do not agree…. Nigerian guys like fair skinned gals to dark skinned gals. the survey u did only showed dat the guys were being conscious of their responses. next time, do the survey over bottles of beers and ull get the true result. ma ex always begged me to use bleaching cream becos he likes ma personalty and also love a fair skinned gal. im not dark oo, im wat u call sunset brown.

    if u look at it logically, the guys dat picked personality most have bin attracted to a gal’s physical beauty b4 getting to knw her. and im sure the things they looked out for includes: fair skin and big yansh

    • Africhic

      September 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      Your case was obviously an anomaly. perhaps if did your own survey i would be more inclined to take your word for it

    • Yoknyam Dabale

      March 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      @ Ty, I agree with your reflection !

  11. bcgeorge

    September 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    First and foremost, who don worwor don worwor………so light skin or dark skin won’t really matter. My immediate ex is light-skinned, the present is dark skin, hopefully the next should be (can’t really tell from her avatar yet)
    Make no mistake about it,
    Is she pretty?
    Does she have big boobs? I can keel for them twins…chei!
    Are those hips “sumptuous”?
    If I get a YES to all of the above, wetin concern me with skin.
    Skin can like to park well jor!!

    • partyrider

      September 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Nothing do u jare…loool

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm


  12. moiself

    September 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Black is beautiful. I think its low self esteem dat’ll mak pple think they ar nt attractive cos they ar black skinned. There ar times I wish I was dark skinned, cos of my beautiful dark skinned friends. It’s all about being confident,regardless of the colour of ur skin!

  13. Tess

    September 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Come on…….dark skinned girls/ladies should stop feeling inferior and start enjoying their complexion. I am light skinned but I tell you, I admire my dark skinned sister, she had more ‘shykers’ and got married before me.

  14. Yt 'Boss'

    September 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Abegi, over dissected!

  15. Kele

    September 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    “golden-sunshine-yellow-honey-brown shade” hahahaha..Please was she bleaching?


    September 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    A matter of personal preference, but yes, when you are black and are light skinned, you are considered more attractive by other blacks because you are more unique…

  17. Betu

    September 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    As someone stated above, ask them same questions over a couple of beer bottle.

    The society do prefer like skinned more than dark skinned. Check out Jamaica, this is a very big issue in that country. The lite skinned people are given way more opportunity in the society. The dark skinned people are looked down upon. Jamaican are well known for this……….

    Even look at the entertainment industry in America. Halle Berry Vs Angela Bassett, Alicia keys Vs Indie Arie etc………….

    The lite skinned person might be the infinite definition of wor wority with buck teeth but he/she will get more attention than the dark skinned person.

    • africhika

      September 25, 2011 at 3:08 am

      This is very true.

  18. drsue

    September 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Oh please..! It aint abt the skin color! Is the skin beautiful n gowing? I’ve seen guys chose beautiful dark smooth skin over ‘beautiful’ bumpy fair skin! And pls let’s agree over this point- fair skin is attractive!

  19. Jay

    September 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Love the skin you are in….. Most men really really have no ‘type’.

  20. nich

    September 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    yes why over %70 men in naija would prefer light skin ladies……..but it is not for a girl to bleach or apply skin toning creams……

    it is also cos light skinned girls give birth to phisically beatifull kids……

    but most fair girls understand this…..and they only go for rich guys……..

    an average university guy in nija can never date a girl like coroline eckanem……rich guys or cult guys would kill the poor university boy in blue day light

    personally i would want a very fair skinned girl and that is what i am going for there is no doubt about that……a black girl would never be in my diary

    • partyrider

      September 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      “physically beautiful kids” that sounds errr…never mind #okbye

    • Nneka

      September 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      LOL! Party rider your side comments are cracking me up. lol. Na real “physically beau…” infact, I no fit repeat am sef.

      If a man likes a yellow pawpaw and he is with a dark skinned girl, he needs to have what’s beneath his dark or fair scalp examined. All this, “I like her personality talk” is just story from the average dude. If a chic with Baba Suwe’s complexion had that same “likeable personality” will you date her? Or will you not pick your agbada and run 100m in the opposite direction when you truly like fair chics but say otherwise?

    • Ready

      September 23, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Ahh, Nich. Good ol’ Nich brought me out of comment hiatus. Perhaps, my guy, your brokeness isn’t what’s the problem; perhaps your poor English and narrow perspective is. But I digress.
      Honestly, light skin is attractive just like yellow is brighter than brown, etc. However, attractive doesn’t mean beautiful…a beautiful woman is just beautiful, and confidence definitely shines through.

  21. MelonX

    September 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I think it also depends on the complexion of the guy. Most fair skinned men prefer dark skinned women. This is a very subjective matter.

  22. nich

    September 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    but a black girl could also be very beautiful if she is tall and maintains a slim fit….

    my advice is that if you are a dark skin girl…….take raw tomatoes everyday plus enough water…….if you can afford to buy the soap jergens….that would help your dark skin to be smoth and fresh all the time.

    one table spoon of honey every 4 days would also help your skin to glow……do whatever you can as a black girl to maintain an average wait……take your shower at least twice a day

    our hot weather is also not helping the dark skinned people….

    here in the states…there little class difference……even the poorest black guys date the most beautiful women which can never happen in naija……

    when i saw this in the states i was shocked…….the light skin girls do not even know that they are beautiful………

    but in naija….when a girl is fair and beautiful……..poor and average men cannot even approach her………what a shame

    • AdaAda

      September 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Oya, inspector general, thank you mchewwwww

    • comple

      September 24, 2011 at 12:47 am

      raw tomatoes everyday?? ewwwww.

    • EUCK

      September 24, 2011 at 10:31 am

      OMG! Who is this dude??! 0_O. SMH!

  23. nich

    September 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    but bleaching is a crime to humanity………….it is also very dangerous to your health ….pls stop it if you are doing so

  24. Nigerican

    September 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I used to like light skinned boys , because i could find them in the dark…lol, just kidding! Everyone needs to be happy with the skin their in. Frankly, if skin color matters to u…then u r one really shallow person. God has made you perfect in his image (whateva shade u r)…no man made product can do any better. xoxo

  25. abuja daughter

    September 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I’d advise to just love the skin you’re in. Men that are after light skinned ladies are shallow. Like someone that commented. My ex loved me but kept on indirectly suggesting that I lighten my skin. And
    that I’m the first dark skinned lady(thank God its over)he’s serious with.
    In my opinion, the reason guys prefer light skinned or so to say is because they look tidy and clean. And in this society of ours where the sun is only good at burning the skin some of us dark skinned chicks don’t try hard to use sun screen or something cos they feel they can’t burn. If u take extra care of your dark skin by using sunscreen lotions. And taking your bath morning and night your skin will glow. FYI: I’ve got an hourglass shape with nice white dentition and I spend money to look good. My point is once u take care of yourself and you’re conscious of what u eat. You will radiate whether your black or fair.

  26. akararocks

    September 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    oh bollocks! Yankee peeps n their obsession with skin shades dun dy contaminate everyone…man when i was younger…the hottest chic in my school was dudu!…no one cared dt she was very dark as in daaaaarrk…chic was hoooot and dt was THE bottomline. Enough with the hogwash abeg….cheeses..:)

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      looool…[email protected] ur name first… and ur comment… akararocks…

  27. Joy

    September 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    To be honest, at first when a man is searching for a lady, i do believe he will go for the light skinned girl, but that is just at first, after a while a man will go for “LOVE” and love is not skin color. The problem with women is we are not patient, we want things fast fast, some people if they aren’t married by age 27 they think it is the end of the world. But the truth is God already has a plan for everyone, if we patiently wait for the right one, you will realize that skin color does not matter, but being ur self and finding the right woman is what the man wants. I know the issue of the african american women has gotten out of hand, the truth is men would prefer the lighter skinned, but here is the thing, if a dark woman has self confidence, carries her self well and dresses properly, i know that she will be spotted out of the crowd. These african american dark skinned women complain because they are mostly located in the ghetto ghetto areas, were there is even racism between their own people, and the truth is, if these women, came out from those areas, or at least carried their selves well, and also decided not to carry the characters of a poor black persons mentality, then i believe and know the person is good. Right now in our society you don’t have to be rich to look good, life has been made a little better, you can shop at forever 21 and get some good clothes for a cheap price, so dress up and look good. Have confidence in your self ladies, walk well and don’t listen to what people tell you, because no matter what you do, it cannot stop the insults. Also fix your weave, my God some african american girls ehhnn, their weave makes me want to run, i don tire for this lace front weave that doesn’t even fit ya head. Even here for lagos self, these our women and their yakayaka weave i don tire, go to a proper salon, ask questions about the kind of hair styles that will fit you, save money for some good weave too, not by force to wear indian weave, but wear some good looking weave, not all this plastic synthetic ones, and buy what you can afford. Finally ask God to guide you, because another thing with these women is they have forgotten that God will always provide the right man for you, if you follow in his footsteps, if you don’t believe in God, believe in him, because he is real and his love never fails. If you still don’t believe then be patient, its not the end of the world people, you don’t need a man to survive !

    • uismportant

      September 24, 2011 at 2:21 am

      theres no “like” thingy here to like ur comment. i’ll suggest that Bellanaija put one here abeg even “love” too make i like/love this ur comment.

  28. Kokomma

    September 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    It explains the increase in numerous varieties in bleaching/toning creams now in the marke!t.. Any-ways…Who cares!! The ‘right’ guy will love you notwithstanding your skin tone. *rme*

  29. Ijeoma

    September 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Very very well said!!

  30. princess

    September 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I have a very beautiful creamy fair skin, and I wud give it up 4 some bum and hips gladly.

  31. AdaAda

    September 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Some of these comments…..smh

    • Africhic

      September 23, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      Tell me about it

  32. Ify

    September 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I’m a beautiful black lady and I’ve never had any problems with guys wanting me. Really, I believe it’s all in the way you carry yourself and your self confidence. It’s funny bc I’ve always believed that if someone doesn’t want me for whatever reason, it’s their loss n problem n not mine. I’m really surprised at how some peolpe will be feeling bad about being black skinned. I always stand out in a crowd cos I can easily be one of the darkest n in a good way too:) I try to keep it moisturized and glowing as much as I can though. Flaky dry rough looking skin does not comliment anyone, light skined or dark skinned–it doesn’t matter. So my advise to my fellow dark chocolate sisters is keep your skin moisturized and glowing and love the skin you are in.

    • Omobami

      October 22, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Igbo girls are always beautiful dark or fair. I guess you are Igbo by your name

  33. pynk

    September 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Can i say something – why bother with the survey? the rate at which a lot of nigerian girls are starting to look like reversed mixed race babies thanks to titanium whitening pills and brazillian hair, is a reflection of our society at large. Its a bit confusing to me as a “light skin – biracial to be specific, when men utter words such as men – i want u to have my kids etc. A lot of mixed naija girls have it easy and act like they are God’s gift to Nigeria because of the way many men go crazy over them. I believe Nigerian men like “yellow” as we call it here, but we dont like to openly admit it. Hell to test my theory, bring five mixed race girls in decent shape and casually dressed to a club, and line up five well dressed and toned women with dark skin in lagos, and u will see the results.

  34. partyrider

    September 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    over dissected topic..its now boring

  35. LL

    September 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Some preferences and tastes are usually more dominant. For example, most women would prefer taller or at least average-height guys. It’s not unusual or unfair that many men will prefer light-skinned women as they may tend to appear more feminine, attractive etc. It doesn’t in any way mean that dark women are not attractive just as it does not mean shorter guys are not attractive. It’s just life and there’s nothing wrong in having your own “type”. I am dark-skinned, I love my looks and I believe I am very attractive. If I were fair I may probably be even more attractive but that’s long story. Everyone should just try to look good and

  36. Zegzy

    September 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I watched the said video TJ talked about and I have to say that in the US, amongst African Americans, there is a skin color bias to light skinned women. This has been passed down many generations from slavery days when preference was given to the light skinned african american women over the dark skinned african american woman. Some African-American women have experienced this bias and still feel inferior in today’s society. That is an African-American issue.

    Now, let us talk AFRICA. I honestly do not know where this is coming from and maybe I have to thank my parents for it. I am a very dark beautiful african woman. I have been asked by people if I am senegalese, ghanian, etc because of my dark glowy skin color. I am very proud of it. I did not grow up hearing what I hear now about skin color issues and have never felt inferior standing next to someone more light skinned than I am. Also, I have never considered it in the dating scene, I do not care if the guy is black, white, yellow, orange, etc. I care more about his brains and looks. For women, it boils down to your confidence because even some light skinned women that look “beautiful” by society standards are still insecure in themselves. If a man will not date you because of your skin color, you do not want to be dating that man to begin with because he will always make you feel less than you are. I hope to pass these same values to my daughters as my parents did to me.

    It is so sad today to go to a Nigerian party and see all these women bleaching and I wonder why are they doing this to their skin? It does not look good, I tell ya.

    • Ify

      September 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Abeg, where you dey? We think I like and if u dey Ga, I’ll like to make u an acquintance for real!

    • C.C

      September 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm

      God bless you. I am dark skinned too, 5″11 and have never had someone say anything negative to me about my skin. Here in the US, white and black americans have told me I have “killer skin”. In secondary school, my fellow classmates admired my skin and said it fits me. I have been called “Nubian”, “morena” and other endearing terms for dark chocolatey women by black and latino men here in the States. So, I really don’t understand either why Nigerians who did not grow up in a predominately white rascist environment are having this complex. Even my own mother has this complex and keeps bragging to me about my sister’s kids’ complexion until I told her to knock it off! I also get mistaken for senegalese or gambian and when I asked why they think I am gambian or senegalese, they tell me because of my height, V shaped face, pointed nose and glowing dark chocolatey skin. I laugh and go, ok. Who knows where my ancestors might have wandered into Nigeria from ya know. Bottomline, LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN!

  37. NNENNE

    September 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Attractive or unattractive, the most important thing is that I love me!!! I have never cared what people think as long as I am clean. With or withuot make up I can go anywhere without feellng any different. The answer to this is ” confidence”. BTW I married the most handsome man ever. No kidding!

    • Purpleicious Babe

      September 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      abi ohhh……. tell me something..

  38. them

    September 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    since americans started talking about fair people nigerians have been obsessed!!! FACT: if a dark man marries a fair woman one of their children must be dark. FACT: if u only like fair girls and ur daughter is fair, a Dark man wud marry her thereby producing Dark Grandkids! Finito!

  39. amber rose

    September 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    im a dark sister and i love my colour cos i glow. at the same time, i love dark men. iv fallen for fairer men too but for me, any day and time, a tall dark man is what i love

  40. rotimi

    September 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I think the state of a womans skin, her figure and also personality are very important. Nigerian guys would most likely commit to a woman for the whole package rather than just because of the color of her skin. Except for shallow dudes that just want a trophy wife.

  41. winch

    September 23, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    My goodness!!!!! This is a whole lot of dissecting.dark and fair women get married all d time!!!!! How can u tell which is prefarable to men???

  42. lol

    September 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I wonder why it’s an issue when men prefer light skinned ladies, but not a big deal when women like them “tall, dark, and handsome.

    This topic needs to die MFM style!

  43. Purpleicious Babe

    September 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Sometimes, no actually most times. I just like reading BN comments… lol.

    So, considering I like watching documentaries, can some1 pls tell me where this video on utube is at. Cos I tried and didnt get any results.

    Well on this occasion, I have no comment regarding the topic.

  44. iTawa

    September 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    oh my! na wa wa for the above comments…beauty is in the eye of the beholder biko! and if u ain’t beautiful inside, then wat’s the damn point???? c’mon ppl…on to the next pls!

  45. Tina Mwanasali

    September 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Plus, if light skinned women were so highly sought after by the BLACK MAN, why aren’t all light skinned women in the world married? Why is Lilian Bach not married or Rita Dominic or many others? I’m not hating on light skinned women. I’m caramel.

  46. Tina Mwanasali

    September 24, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Now I understand why white people insult us and call us stupid. Look at what some Africans focus on.

  47. Erica

    September 24, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Who cares what Nigerian guys think anyway? They are all idiots.

    • uismportant

      September 24, 2011 at 2:29 am

      hahahahahaha………….omg!!! u no well @ all….. i don laf pee for pant lol

  48. comple

    September 24, 2011 at 12:57 am

    abeg beauty is in d eye of d beholder joor…
    some light skined guys will say dey like dark skinned girls and some dark skinned men prefer light skinned girls… who cares? derez always sm1 4 every1 out there..
    im dark, infact im very black sef… sometimes i need a cameras flash to get a good picture nd im not even endowed and im Nigerian and ive never lacked admirers.. never in my life…
    even if u miss universe, ur outer body always portrays the inner u.. 1 way or the other.

  49. dami O

    September 24, 2011 at 1:18 am

    hmmmmmmm it just as if the writer was in my house when my dad keep on going on about why am so dark and the rest of my siblings are lighter than me !! i remember growing up i used to wish that i was lighter like my siblings to the extend that my dad gave me bleaching cream at young age like around 11 years old then i started using the cream to the extend that my nose turned red shade and my friends used to tease me that my nose is red and my face is dark then luckily i was able to see what i was doing was wrong so i stopped it before it became worse but over the years i battled to have one skin tone but now i have finally learned to love my dark skin tone although my nose shade has reduced but my nose is still lighter than my face and i sometime blame my dad but it doesnt stop me from having relationships!!! now when my family complain i tell them i am black and proud that they cant affect me anymore because have learnt to love my skin tone!!

    • o

      September 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm

      R u serious?????? Smh. Parents, parents, parents …

  50. yo lis'en

    September 24, 2011 at 2:36 am

    what is all these talk abt “light skinned/dark skinned women” sef? if a guy wants to date u cus of the color of ur skin then u’r as stupid as he is. where did u think that kain relationship is heading to or will head to? naija pple sef!!! i know say stupidity dey for naija, but abeg my pple make we pass am along, lets not hold on to it….this aint funny anymore…….(see me see wahala, better thing dey wey we fit discuss, na light vs dark skin we go focus on) hmmmmm……ooo kwa!!

  51. Nia

    September 24, 2011 at 8:28 am

    @zegzy on point.
    When I was in my 20s and went to parties, the nigerian guys always flocked around the mixed race girls. Leaving the non mixed race girls(dark and light) in the cold.
    It is an obsession that some of them have. I believe this bias with skin complexion stems from there and that is why some women (dark and light skinned) are bleaching their skin. Love what God blessed you with. If your skin is fair/dark but your character is bad he won’t marry you. It is what is inside that counts much more than the physical.

    • ao

      September 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      Imagine what they would have acted like had white women been there. They would have forgotten the mixed race chicks and the light-skinned/dark-skinned black girls. As far as I’m concerned when a black man is hung up on light-skin it is actually a deep seated lusting for a white woman and they are just managing with mixed race and light skin black girls until they can get an actual white woman.

  52. sexy nerd

    September 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Just when I think I have heard the most rudiculous thing, I come across things like this that piss me right off. I mean who died and made men the judge of women’s fate? what right do the lazy breed of young men we have now have to decide a woman’s skin colour when all most of them do is dream big and live off said women. Who told the so called ‘choosy’ man the fair skinned girl wants him anyway? Men!!! Work hard to merit what you want and not just be an arm chair critic with an Ego as big as zuma rock. Even flabby, stout and uneducated men would be talking too. Mtchheeew!! Without being smug, I am a fair skinned tall, pretty girl with all curves in the right places. When men see me, they just think am one air head. Imagine the looks on their faces when I tell them I made distinction in Bsc. and Msc. Comical. Then they start calling to find out if I have eaten or how my day was. Guess as an air head I was good enough to be laid and as an intelligent career driven lady, I am a potential meal ticket. Men!!! Leave get rich quick schemes and seek honest jobs first, then you can talk about trivial things like skin colour. How can you buy a mat when you do not have a space to lay it on. First things first!!

    • upAdlib

      September 25, 2011 at 12:33 am

      like like like like………lol thats my fb version o likeing this 🙂

  53. aah

    September 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I believe this complexion debate is more of an African American issue than a Nigerian issue.

    • My thoughts

      September 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      If it were, why do many Nigerians invest in skin bleaching cream?

    • aah

      September 25, 2011 at 6:37 am

      You have your experience and I have mine I grew up around people with all shades and no one looked down on anyone or thought of any shade as more beautiful. I’m not saying your experience is invalid but people should not turn their personal complexes or experience to a global issue.

  54. aah

    September 24, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I also believe Nigerians with western influences are trying to make it our problem.

  55. ushees

    September 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    low self esteem dats wat is killing most of us,b confident no matter ur skin color, even most fair gurls arent even atrractive, but very very confident…so dark skinned ladies,beautiful or ugly b confident despite ur color, work on urself both inside nd outside beauty nd stop being insecure…kk

  56. My thoughts

    September 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    It is always good to get a males perspective. I do not agree with some of the points in this article. The author’s views are limited because he has never been a woman so he cannot speak fully about the issues women face. Granted he may be able to speak about Nigerian men, as he is part of that group.

    The topic of colourism is not new. In addition, it is not as simplistic as presented in this write up. This topic goes much further than if a man likes light vs. dark women. People have dedicated their careers to conducting real fact based research on the issue. I think it is also safe to say that the authors conclusion about a topic cannot be made off a sample set of 12 men. Statistically, that does not hold water.

    A quick research we can refer to is the Kenneth B. Clark’s “Doll Test” which was aimed at testing the effects of segregation on black children. Researchers asked young children to pick which doll they prefer; white vs. a dark skinned doll and overwhelmingly they picked the lighter skinned/white doll and attributed positive traits to it. The test that was initially conducted in the 1940’s was recently conducted last year with a new set of children. The results were the same back in the 1940s as in 2010. Would the author say that the childrens’ preference is because the light skinned doll put in more effort in her appearance while the dark skinned one just showed up to the table with no effort? This goes to show that this issue goes beyond surface level of whether or not you are attracted to someone but rather the physiological effect the issue of skin tone has on women of colour and how it has been passed/perpetuated through multiple medians be it family, society, advertisement etc.

    Secondly, the author also speaks about how the women in the video did not put in as much effort. Perhaps this is his bias coming out. As he was not there when the women on the video were prepping how he knows that they did not put in enough effort to look good. Perhaps he could have simply and sub consciously thought they were not attractive. Real women have told us their experience and if we hope to learn, we must never “minimize the experience of someone.” If a group of people are genuinely telling you about their experience and they are all similar in nature, who are we to minimize a collective group of people’s experience by simply stating more or less “it’s your fault, if you did this you won’t have experienced this.”

    Lastly, I think the mere fact that skin-bleaching cream is a big business all over the world amongst people of colour living in the Caribbean, Africa, Indian sub continent, Europe, Asia etc goes to show that the shade issue/skin tone is a major concern to many. If it were not, people will not subject themselves to it. If it were not, my sister’s house help would not have purchased bleaching cream as soon as she got her first salary. This is a young woman left her village in the north for the first time and her first big purchase with her first salary is bleaching cream. Clearly, this is an issue goes beyond if a man likes my skin tone.

    Off course perhaps women may be perpetuating the issue more than men, but that in itself is also an issue because it goes to show that somewhere in their live experiences, their complexion has been brought to their attention and there has been multiple attempts to make them feel inferior due to it. Women and men alike may have brought on the negativity but whatever the case it was introduced into their lives. It is up to women (and men) to love themselves regardless of what the opposite/same sex thinks of them.

    I can go on, but there is no need.

    Thanks to the author for the male perspective but next time, do not trivialize it by drawing such simple conclusions and minimizing the collective experience of real women.

  57. Pingback: Rading blogs like it were my job! « Aje Margarine: Because I am softer than butter.

  58. o

    September 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Me sha, I love my skin. It looks like “chocolate unending” :). In conclusion, chocolate CAN paralyze. lol.
    Now, on a more serious note, the physical only compliments what’s within. Wettin we dey give ourselves headache for??? Anything based on the physical has no longevity.

  59. africhika

    September 25, 2011 at 3:04 am

    to the author:

    good try, but no….. this article has no depth. asking 12 guys is NOT a survey. and sanaa lathan is NOT dark-skinned! she’s light-skinned.

    the fact is many many many many many black men prefer light skin. some do like dark-skin, but it’s just not as common. simple fact. it’s sad, but true. when i went to nigeria and asked guys about this, most of them FLAT OUT TOLD ME: yellow is better. period.

    look at congolese people. those guys are seriously obsessed with light-skin. i know a lot of guys from congo who bleach. and look at the congolese makossa music videos on youtube. you will notice that the mixed/fair ladies are ALWAYS in the front of the rest of the dancers!! ALWAYS.

    i did a study on this topic at my university in atlanta. me and my classmates surveyed about 500 black males. 75% admitted that they look “yellow skinned women.”

    me: i’m medium-toned. I love my skin and I support my dark skinned ladies. i am the lightest in complexion in my family. nigerians are ALWAYS comparing me and my sisters saying things like, “you are so fair and so pretty” and “make so you use bleach to maintain your complexion.”

    and my sisters were teased by their african american classmates who called them “blacky” and “african darkies.” my sisters went through a lot. but today, they have learned to ignore such ignorance.

    in the end, it really is ignorance. love your skin and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.

  60. [email protected]"super sale"

    September 25, 2011 at 9:26 am

    these shades are so cute and she looks extraordinary and awesome. love these shades and attractive colors.

  61. Viola

    September 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Hello Author!

    I think you were already biased, probably because you feel you have no preferences and you think its ridiculous to have any preferences, and u didnt think the women in the documentary were hot, dark or not. Granted, it takes a lot more than complexion to bag a partner, but Im a woman, and I’ll tell you this. A number of men would rather have light skinned women than us dark ones. I would never let myself be belittled or treated any less, so I’ve never been directly affected by this but its true.

    Light skinned girls are more attractive to some people, probably because theyre already ‘shining’. An unpretty light skinned girl could be called fine, just cos she’s yellow. Fine until u have a proper look!

    My friend was dating a guy, and she’s really dark. She was hoping they were headed in a serious direction (they’d dated for three years) but the dude would tell her on many occassions that he was going to marry a yellow babe! Imagine! Thank God that’s over.

    My present boyfriend’s previous babes have been fair, and he used to say wow, so I’m dating a dark girl! Imagine that! Do you see how bad this is, in the minds of our men?

    It might even be African men in general. My uni is in Ghana, and they love them some yellow! A very yellow friend and I didnt submit our passports to be renewed on time, we were three days late, and we were hoping that we wouldnt be made to pay the penalty. The lady at the administration office said that if she was as yellow as my friend, she wouldnt be worried at all about any penalty!

    I am a beautiful dark-skinned woman, and I dont mind any other skin color, as long as you have nice skin!

    • africhika

      September 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Wow. that passport story is crazy! continue to be confident in your black beauty. i agree, this author is biased and naive. black men tend to prefer light girls. it’s a the sad reality.

  62. Neither light nor dark but very content :-)

    September 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    lol..all the arguments are too funny.. some people have even written dissertation proposal @ my thought.

    Who cares who’s light or dark? if you’re gorgeous it has nothing to do with being light-skinned.
    i do have to add that light-skinned is attractive but not necessarily beautiful.
    all my very dark skinned friends i have are all in very serious relationships with amazing Nigerian men, some are married and all the light skinned friends have been in what i’ll call pointless relationships.
    Just be content!!!

  63. Luola

    September 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice” if a guy leaves a girl cos she is dark i do not see any reason why she should feel bad he obviously could not handle all her sweetness. Good riddance!

  64. oppsie

    September 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Am very dark skinned and that has always been a point in my favour cos my skin glows. I exfoliate regularly cos i know dead skin will make my skin appear dull and that is the issue for dark coloured ladies. The thing is most dark coloured girls don’t know how to mange their skin problems,use the right make up colours for their skin. Being dark has never been an issue for me cos it singles me out most times. From my adolescent age i have all been called black is beautiful. It also has to do with ur confidence level, if ur self esteem is low on issues about ur body it comes through in the way u carry urself. So……

  65. Sunshine Diva

    September 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Hmmm, I have been discriminated against o, based on my dark skin by our own Nigerian men. Not to say that most guys do, but it is very true that there are some that do have strict preferences. Luckily for me, I’m gorgeously fabulous and love my dark (very dark) skin, and wouldnt change it for the world. But it does hurt when I hear my good friends that are light-skin pray that their children are light skinned just like they are, or complain when they are out in the sun too long, saying they dont want to get black. WTF! Black is beautiful. I think it is what it is and they will always be some discrimination until we all blend in to be one color!

  66. Temi

    September 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    wow! interesting. I must say, I was expecting the writing to go into more details than this. As He rightly mentioned, this is a very sensitive large topic that requires in depth findings. Regardless, I am happy that a male perception has been offered to solve an issue that so such bothers me. Thank you very much. My favorite part was this “It seemed to me that they were blaming their lack of male companionship on their complexion when what they really ought to be doing was putting in a bit more effort into looking good.” I believe this is true to some extent.

  67. Sam

    September 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I have read thru all the comments and what I have noticed is that most people a rooting for dark skinned girls over light skinned girls. But to be honest, I have seen very beautiful light skinned girls and also very hideous light skinned girls too. The same goes for dark skinned girls also. So I am not picking sides.
    I am a dark skinned girl (really dark, not as dark as Akon tho) and ever since I left the shores of Nigeria to study, I have always had an inner turmoil about whether my skin was beautiful or not. Even when people around me constantly remarked to me on how beautiful I looked, I never really took it seriously. It was after having a heart to heart talk with someone I now consider as a friend that I realized that it didn’t matter what the colour my skin tone was. I am beautiful. I have gained more confidence, and after that I dated guys from everywhere: Nigeria, the Caribbean, even white and Indian guys but my main guy now is from Trinidad (he is soooo sweet).
    Anyway, I would not date a man who said that he liked me just because of the way I looked or my skin tone. What if something happens and I become physically deformed in some way that is unattractive to him? Food for thought.
    Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.
    PS: Sorry for writing too long 😉

  68. jma

    September 26, 2011 at 2:16 am

    If a man hates your skin colour then to hell with him. I for one would never date an idiot because he thinks i have the so called ‘right colour’. I am a product of a light skinned woman and a dark skinned man and out of the three of us i am the ‘fairest’. I once had a neighbour who’s biracial and he has a dark skinned wife. They have three kids who are all as dark as his wife. Non is even ‘chocolate-ish’ talk less of light skinned. I also know of an interracial couple (wm-bw), the only things ‘white’ about their son are his caucasian nose, light brown eyes and loose textured hair. His skin is like Uche Eze. What i’m saying in a nutshell is that going after someone solely based on their skin colour doesn’t give any guarantee that you’d end up with light skinned off-springs. One more thing….bleaching is a stupid act because your skin colour is implanted in your DNA. Unless you have no business having kids, they’d surely manifest. You know you can’t bleach your DNA. So just save your money.

  69. Sisi Ijebu

    September 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I must come from one of the strangest families in Nigeria. My father is quite fair and my mother is very dark, and growing up, my father kept telling me that he felt so sad for me that I was born fair and not dark like my mother because apparently, dark women are more beautiful and they age better while fair complexioned women age quickly and wrinkle by middle age. I guess thats what happens when a man is in love. Lol.

    So imagine my suprise, going out into the world as a young girl realising that to some people, being fair is the end all. I don’t believe that any man has ever dated me because of my complexion, my sister is very dark complexioned and all my acquaintances who meet her keep going on and on about how stunning she is. I have had friends with darker complexions “fade out” their skin till they were much fairer than I am. I’ve never understood it but I don’t judge them either. I guess women will always find something to obsess about, be it weight, income or complexion. I’m just grateful that I have parents who have taught me to understand that what makes a woman goes beyond the colour of her skin.

  70. monalisa

    September 26, 2011 at 10:08 am

    i think that guys generally just care about big boobs and ass…none has actually been particular abt my complexion which is like in between (honey). i thinkt the issue of light and dark is more serious with GIRLS…the average girls wants a guy who is ‘tall, DARK, and handsome, abi? its like being light-skinned as a guy is a minus…the only excuse being if the guy is mulatto. maybe the perception is like a fair guy is sissy or girly or something like that.

  71. lara

    September 26, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Black is beautiful but the truth is light skin woman are always very attractive especially from afar. in honesty most of the fair woman will look very ugly if they are dark. so for me any time i see a pretty fair lady i always think of what the person we look like is she is dark before i can conclude if she is a fine woman.

    Beauty is in the eye of beholder. Every woman should learn to be happy with them self, if u are dark or fair, appreciate yourself, always put on a smile face, this is so important for u to look good as a woman.

  72. africhika

    September 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

    why does bellanaija neglect to post 90% of my comments?! very strange…..

  73. Good Thoughts

    March 29, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Enchanted with a picture of a stunningly beautiful woman I clicked on the above while viewing images in Google.

    I knew a young lady who once confessed to me, it was not her fault she was born black. I was stunned. What was wrong with being born black?

    A week or so ago I saw a documentary called ‘Skin Deep’. It is about the research of an American anthropologist on the origins of skin color. It seems everyone descends from African and our ancestors skin was very dark. Over the centuries the skin can adapt to climate and region and in some cases mutates (albinism). Dark skin protects you from the sun (though probably raises the body temperature from radiant heat) while light skin is not so effective. In colder climates, dark skin can be a problem as its’ protective attributes inhibit the bodies ability to use the sun to manufacture vitamin D. Thus deficiencies in this vitamin can occur.

    Whether you travel or just enjoy photography you will have likely have noticed the less common stands out. Whether it is an off color on a wall, a purple flower in amongst yellow flowers or a white skinned person walking in amongst dark skinned persons, the odd ones stand out, visually.

    Some people seek comfort in those things familiar and known, others seek out things that are new and different. I have since a time before puberty preferred darker skinned women. I will notice the dark skinned person first. But then I am a Canadian and white skinned at that. To add further confusion, I have lived in Asia for many years. As I walk down the street I will now notice the blond first in amongst the Asians. The black I will notice next. It is for me very much about contrast. Still the color of the skin is but one component. As far as relationships are concerned, the ones that stand the test of time will be based on common interests, values and aspirations in life. Trust and mutual respect is at the forefront of these. A big smile, soft observant eyes and a considerate disposition will give one a decided advantage attracting others no matter the skin color.

    God Gave You Your Skin, Your Bones and Your Body. Embrace them.

    Still when lonely, any color of skin on a woman is better than no woman at all.

  74. Regina O

    December 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Ok…..I know my comment is coming in late but I’m currently working on a project thats closely related to this topic. My opinion based on research conducted shows that most men don’t consider complexion a priority when looking for a girl for keeps (excuse my English). On the other hand, guys who are seeking flings consider complexion.

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