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Isio Knows Better: Light Skin, Dark Skin & The Many Shades In Between

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Isio-Knows-Better-May-2014-Bellanaija1-562x600I sincerely lay no claims to being more knowledgeable than anyone, but I do confess that I know better than I did yesterday, last year and a decade ago.

Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. The conversations between my mind (the sharp witty one), my soul (the lover and the spiritual one) and my body (the playful one concerned with the more mundane things of life). She is the eternal referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul. This is Isio. So, here’s to making private conversations public.

Enjoy!
***
I had gone to Ebeano Supermarket to buy a deodorant. I was fresh out, and they had the particular brand and scent that I liked, and so to this place I went- up the stairs.

From a corner of the aisle a man appeared to me, dark of skin and of average height he was. He appeared with gleaming eyes as he strode before me and said…

“How far Aunty? You wan buy cream?”

To which I replied…

“No, not at all, I am good, thanks!”

“Ehen?” He eyed me disbelievingly. “You sure?”                

“Stretch your hand make I see your knuckles. I get something for your knuckles, e go clear one-time!”

“So rude he was,” I thought to myself. I smiled stiffly and walked past.

From that moment, I knew that I had to write about dark skin/light skin and the drama surrounding this black-on-black discrimination and colourism, but not from the stand point of condemning bleaching, as many have done before me. So much has been written about that, that if you choose to ignore it and bleach anyway, well then- that is your choice, as you have chosen that which serves you best- no matter how misguided this choice must be for a majority of the pro-black skin and the anti-bleaching campaigners.

That being said, this article is to sound arguments from the DarkSkinnedMafias and the LightSkinnedMafias, to bring to light how racial issues, social discrimination and profiling amongst the black communities are still an issue. To address judgements that have been passed against black people by other black people because of their shade of brown.

Let us start this debate. Team Light Skin, Team Dark Skin and the moderator – Ms Isio De-laVega the First… the blablabla of the blablala… You get the gist. Oyaaaaa!

*sounds bells*

LightSkinnedMafias

Many dark skinned people accuse we the light skinned people of having a chip on our shoulders just because we are lighter shade of brown. Many of us are ignorantly accused of being stuck-up, dumb, cocky, lazy, runs (selling their bodies), a sense of entitlement, bleaching, getting more privileges and attention from the opposite sex, being badly behaved and being allowed to get away with it. Many of us are disliked and judged by others from the moment we walk through the door.

 

DarkSkinnedMafias

And what about us? Consciously or unconsciously we are being judged. We are told we are not beautiful enough, too black, that our black is dirty. That we should go get a bath and scrub our bodies well. People think we will have a bad attitude that will stink to the high heavens. They think that we are mean and spiteful and that regardless of the situation we will disagree. They think we are confrontational, hard to get along with and inferior.

 

LightSkinnedMafias

But why are you so angry though?

 

DarkSkinnedMafias

Who is angry with you?

MODERATOR (aka Isio De-laVega the first blablabla…) Bursts out laughing. *catches the evil eyes of the LSMs and the DSMs and stops promptly*.

My bad, please continue.

LightSkinnedMafias

You dark skinned girls are always whining about this and that. Like all your problems in your relationships are because some guy you like is attracted to a light skinned girl, like it is her fault she is born fair. There are men who love light skinned girls, just as there are men who love darker skinned women. It is NOT every time men approach us that they praise us for our complexion, some come just to get close enough to knock us off our “invisible high horses”. Even our so called “friends and family” would purposely exclude us when they go out because they fear we would steal all the attention of the men.

DarkSkinnedMafias

What you are complaining about is nothing. How do you compare that to the many times a dark skinned child born into a light skinned family would have faced ridicule, taunts and all manner of emotional abuse? It is absolutely unfair to have a black child growing up in a black community to be constantly harassed and ridiculed as being “too black.” The truth is that light skinned people do get preferential treatment, even here, in Africa and even in Nigeria. Oftentimes, we get overlooked when it comes to dating, and even at our work-places. How do you compete with Oga’s preference? Oga likes them yellow, with juggly tits and ass. It doesn’t matter that you graduated top of your class, or that you are the most experienced or efficient- you are delegated to working behind a desk while the lighter skinned ones are sent out for “sales/marketing/presentations and meetings” with clients.

A very dark skinned girl, with natural hair would be looked at as “unattractive, dirty, suffering”. And then you get silly comments like, “Ahan, why didn’t you make your hair? Oya come and take money to make your hair, we don’t want people in our office looking scruffy. “The saddest thing is that we are treated less-than by other dark skinned persons. For instance, go to a restaurant with a light skinned/mixed race or almost white person and you would notice how other dark-skinned waiters and personnel would embrace the light skinned ones with more warmth and heartiness, while we- the darker skinned persons would be treated with mild indifference and tense greetings.

LightSkinnedMafias

Okay, let’s talk about this. Dark skinned girls always talk about how “Black is beautiful”, about how they are “TeamNatural”, “Black don’t crack”, “The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice”, “Black is BEST!” and what not… like you guys are the only legitimate BLACKS and/or Africans. You sound it off so much, so loudly and so hard, like you are actually trying to convince YOURSELVES that you are indeed THAT beautiful. If you are really self-confident in your skin tone and your beauty, you wouldn’t make so much noise about this.

We are all BLACKS, however, you are darker than us. You guys say these kinds of things a lot, and we ignore it, and the world says nothing, but the moment a light skinned person says, “TeamLightskinned!” “Light Skin is the best” or “Yellow Babes are the freshest!” Well, you can imagine the hell that will break loose from the DarkSkinnedMafias.

And why do you erroneously assume that EVERYONE who is light-skinned is bleaching? And more importantly, many (many, not all) of you who judge and condemn us openly are privately hustling around to buy the latest cream that will give you that “glow”. You delude yourselves that you are not “bleaching”, you are simply “toning” and maintaining your skin. You say you want it to “glow”. You might as well allow yourself “glow in the dark,” after all, BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL…

 

DarkSkinnedMafias

Eh! Madam Moderator, are you going to let her talk to US like that?! Last I checked, you are still a BLAKKIE like us, don’t be deceived by all those SPF 100 you use to smother your skin daily o! #HIAN!

MODERATOR:

WAOW WAOW WAOW! Plix plix plix Cool it! It is getting hot in here! I hate to say this, but the LSMs have a point though. If the DSMs can celebrate statements like “Dark Skin is the best”, LSMs should also have to right to celebrate their “Yellow is Freshest” without being attacked by the DSMs. That being said, I believe to a greater extent, the incessant sounding of the DSMs as to the beauty of the black skin is needed- if anything, to balance out the negative influence the society and media feed us every day about what is beautiful, and the subsequent struggles many dark skinned children (often) struggle with.

This often leads to a crisis and self-image issues of the dark skinned child. Why? Because they tell a generation of young susceptible people that they aren’t light enough, tall enough, thin enough or beautiful enough. These young people then grow up to be adults that rationalize these impossible standards and enforce them onto other people they encounter, thus creating debate where-in other people may feel offended.

At the end of the day, we are all BLACKS. Colorism is as real as racism and tribalism. Our bodies may no longer be enslaved, but our minds are still very much colonized.

DSMs and LSMs

This is not over, Isio. Let’s continue this in the comments section…

Photo Credit: LifeofAReader

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: http://www.idds.pro to see her professional body of work.

71 Comments

  1. baboushka

    July 15, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I am so over these light skin dark skin bleached skin topics can we move on already.

    • tee

      July 15, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Baboushka, no vex; but unfortunately, this is some people’s everyday reality. While I am a dark skinned lady, I really feel bad for some light skin ladies especially in Nigeria as they are automatically tagged as “bleaching”. It’s irritating really! I see a photo of a light skinned person on bellanaija and next thing in the comments section, people scream “she is bleaching!”. Please, dark skinned ladies need to get over themselves. Again, I reiterate, I am dark skinned so don’t attack me yet. We just need to cut light skinned people some slack. Not everyone bleaches, not every one tones, not everyone uses enhancing cream, some people are just blessed with natural light skin! And sometimes, sometimes, it’s just the flash of the camera or the lighting.

    • baboushka

      July 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Thanks hun lol I no vex just think there are more equally interesting and controversial maybe topics that can be discussed:) Anyway I read somewhere that if you want to know a bleached person check their palm lines you know the lines that fortune teller supposedly read? Yeah those ones apparently they always take on the colour of your natural skin so if someone is yellow with dark palm lines then they are bleached also a red undertone skin is so common on bleached people it can be seen a mile away.

    • Anon

      July 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      baboushka – the palm line thing isn’t a hard and fast rule. A very light skinned classmate of mine in Secondary school had very black lines and very black nipples. I always found that weird.

      “Red undertone skin is so common on bleached people” – this is as a result of mercury and steroid bleaching. Supposedly hydroquinone used over time doesn’t give a red undertone.

    • ebiko

      July 15, 2014 at 11:32 am

      I think this discussion is necessary seeing as a lot of people face discrimination from their own race and even family for being the ‘wrong’ shade. Little girls, growing up, should be taught to take pride in their natural skin tone and not to think bleaching will solve their problems. Just my 2 kobo on the subject.

  2. Anonymous

    July 15, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Thick-skinned . .

    • Fashionista

      July 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Yep! im with you.

  3. patsy

    July 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Wow……such a revealing article Isio.shades of brown is better for me than light skinned.but in all we need to appreciate and adore wateva colour we are blessed with.

  4. colour-neutral

    July 15, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Love the skin you’re in I say, whatever colour that may be.

  5. Doxa

    July 15, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Stll trying to determine my ‘shade’ using the ‘thing’ (please what is it called?) above. No be small thing.

    • Happy baby

      July 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      It’s from iman website; find your shade. It’s useful in choosing the right shade of powder or foundation.
      Thats the link imancosmetics.com/findyourshade

    • Annie

      July 16, 2014 at 10:21 am

      gracias! I am Clay 2 – 3, that is neither dark no light lols, i love to call me chocolate lols….and yeah go iman pressed power recently and its medium clay…lols

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 15, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Sista, me too oh as I dey this chart so, my shade ne dey among. It seems like Iman left out the unique African “yallow”, which isn’t a result of mixed race relationships in one’s genealogical history but rather a different texture of lightness which comes from an albino great grandma. And for this reason I cling tightly to Bobbi Brown to sort out my foundation tinz.

      Oh, and conversations in this article were really witty. Admittedly clicked on it with a sense of dread that I was going to read a rant, but I ended up enjoying the twist your renegade “other” self gave it. 🙂

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Words in 1st line should be *as I dey look this chart so*

  6. Sere

    July 15, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I think this colorism issue is a bit over extended. I mean, its not that serious, paricularly on African soiI in our present day. I really need to find a way to trap that slippery thing called self-confidence and market it in 2ml vials to women, particularly black women. We are always coming up with one reason or the other to play the victim and champion a cause. Light vs Dark. Team natural kinky vs relaxed straight. Don’t we even get tired? I stand to be corrected but skin colour really only puts one group of women at an advantage (or disadvantage) depending on the whims of the men in charge – Video Vixens. But when someone choses that career path, they already know this don’t they?

    • tunmi

      July 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      but some people do face these challenges in real life. That is truly their reality. And it’s not just video vixens. Mental harm is far worse than physical harm

    • Sere

      July 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      In what sphere of their lives? certainly you won’t be denied admission to school or a job opportunity in a career unrelated to physical appearance because of your skin tone (because well, for a career that is hinged primarily on looks, whoever pays dictates…). In love life?, a dark girl has no business clinging to the i-must-marry-a-yellow-girl type of man (yes! they exist) and by all means let him do so because there are just as many men who see beauty beyond skin shade. People struggle most with themselves, and the competition they create in their minds. I wish i could bottle self-confidence and sell. Big business, big, big business it will be. There will always be individual preferences in life and people should learn to deal accordingly. The colourism issue is not a societal thing, like race and class etc… at least not in my part of the globe. I live in Naija, and this is my take on it. We like to fuss over what we see happening elsewhere in the world. For those who live in another part of the globe where it actually does matter, the solution is essentially the same.

    • nene

      July 15, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      agree with u sere, it’s not a big issue for the most part. it only affect a tiny population of women.

  7. Meah

    July 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    One question Miss Dela-V; what weave do you have on? Please!

  8. XENA

    July 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Tanks for de Topic,it’s coming @ de right time especially after some BN readers attacked dat Freda chic for Toning abi bleaching me, it’s ur skin if u don’t like it or feel like toning Na You Sabi. It’s no body’s business.(Naija and their Bring down Syndrome)

  9. BUKOLA

    July 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Talking about the hair issue, it is really serious in Nigeria no matter what we say.
    I was almost sacked from my place of work because i was on natural hair(he kept on insisting i use a weave-on or braid it.) how much serious could this get?

    • Sere

      July 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      The thing is, while your hair may be great, establishments like to maintain a certain code of conduct (dress, grooming) etc. Try not to let this issue make you question yourself, however, do try to keep your hair in a bun with every strand in place at work. Let your hair loose elsewhere. This is the reality of life and please don’t feel like a victim. Everything doesn’t have to become about discriminating or a battle worth fighting.

    • TA

      July 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Very true that. We should pick our battles wisely.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Yes oh, @ Sere. I rock my nachi hair on the steady but always with the understanding at the front of my mind that my work personae can’t be anything less than professional. It’s mostly in a secure, neat updo during the week and if I feel like keeping the ‘fro free and loose, the bobby pins still gats to play a part to avert wildness of my mane.

      There are ways and means to making it fit any environment.

  10. Loulou

    July 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Black is beautiful! Fair is Fresh! Whatever skin you find yourself in, feed it, nourish it, and you will be beautiful and you will glow, and you will be fresh….

  11. JEWELS

    July 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    This write-up is so true. Kinda reflects our everyday life. The debate between lightskin vs Darkskin is there and will always be, I just pray it won’t escalate to a serious war though.
    I was watching a you-tube video about some very young black African – American girls who hate on their dark skin and even make a point of praying God changes their skin color a shed lighter and some (now this is extreme) bathe in jik water!! I almost cried to be honest and it’s so sad out there.
    I just pray that one day we’ll accept the way God created us. Let’s not forget that we are beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s image!

  12. newbie

    July 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Yawn.

  13. xxx

    July 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Love this article, still don’t get the dark skinned fight though… Just be happy in your skin.

    It’s so sad the new attack on light-skinned women and even when your knuckles elbows n palms are clean, you are told you went to dip yourself/bath yourself in some magical water. I’m light n proud and I have a yellow undertone that I love. Fresh knuckles, fresh toes, anyone who doesn’t like it should go jump… If there was some magical water, I’m pretty sure a lot of the rich women with the rainbow skin colours would have found it. I don’t even have the budget for most of those concoctions I hear about. I think those championing this whole cause just have low self-esteem.

    There are lots of beautiful chocolate women and those between that give light-skinned women a run for their money. The next non-attractive dark-skinned woman I hear talking will get the truth from me. None of my chocolate beauties complain about not getting attention as they can hold their own anywhere (if you are offended by this then perhaps you are unattractive, not because of what you look like but because of what you think of yourself). If you feel you don’t have nice features and you are not fine, then you should emphasize what ever assets you do have and try a positive outlook and see what happens.

    Okoya’s daughter that just got married is dark-skinned, the most beautiful bride I have ever seen on BN hands down, cuz she has amazing features! The girl featured in this article had me thinking damn! God created some human beings specially.

    My point is: stop the witch hunt that ropes in natural light girls having them scrutinized n blacklisted along with the actual culprits and let folks be! The bleachers, like everyone that relaxes her hair, have freedom of choice; if you choose to look like a leopard, what is my business? I might squirm, but hey: are you happy? are you confident? Do you walk in with a smile on your face and a positive outlook, because this is what gets you positive attention in the end. The medical consequences are also your business, just like obese people that choose to be one hamburger or piece of meat away from a heart-attack. The downside is penned down in numerous articles for you to read and make a choice, but no one is coming for the obese girls in Nigeria, because let’s face it, they are no threat when it comes to the fight to be admired by the male population (most of which are not even anywhere near worth the drama). From my experience only “razz” people go crazy solely over light skin and think it superior.

  14. xxx

    July 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    *I say give light skinned women a run for their money because of the light of superiority cast upon “them”. I really don’t think light skinned automatically means beautiful, even though I’m a blessed one :p I have a mixed race cousin that had us like damn, not in a good way *covers face* when we first met her.

    • wendy

      July 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Unfortunately, alot of people think that Lite skin means beautiful…

  15. babygiwa

    July 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Fair is fresh (I’m beautifully light-skinned) and black is beautiful (my sister is awesomely choc-skinned, if there’s anything like that). But I get Isio’s stand tho, it is serious. I did a job during the Asuu strike that paid well, the job involved brand presentations and to my surprise all my dark-skinned gfs were not picked, and they could do it as well as I could do it. It was later that the manager told me that he didn’t want dark girls. He said my skin is fair n fine like aponbere and that he only picked fair girls. I was shocked and felt bad for my friends, people should stop colour discrimination!

  16. frostycake

    July 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Black is beautiful
    Fair is beautiful
    Chocolate is the best…..

  17. MizImani

    July 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    IMHO: Bleaching your skin = Relaxing your hair….All na chemical! LOL!

    But seriously tho, whenever I meet any of these Mafias, (skin, hair, whatever they are championing) I feel sorry for them because they only display the inadequacies that they feel when they meet someone who makes them feel inferior which can only happen when they have poor self image. As a dark skinned girl who was teased by her entire extened family growing up, even if i decide to bleach today….my time, my money…please take a seat!

    We as humans just dont like to deal with the fact that we are all equal with different gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses. we always like to find a way to make ourselves seem superior to (or better than) the next person and when we cant find a way to do that, we begin to tear them down and criticise them.

    Light skinned, dark skinned…Can’t we just agree to be different, each unique in his/her own way…Can’t we all jus get along???

  18. Africhic

    July 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Not feeling this week’s article. Perhaps because its not my reality, i don’t see shades i see people.

    • A-nony

      July 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Bless your soul sister

  19. Author Uknown

    July 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I think Nigerians have hijacked this light skin vs. dark skin issue from black America, and made it bigger than it is. If it’s bleaching we’re talking about, let’s attack it from a public health and social criticism angle. In America, the issue is more about the slavery heritage and possible privilege of being born mixed race black vs. pure-bred black. Light skinned Nigerians have features so negroid there is no mistaken their racial identity. Get real, and go and find your missing Chibok girls, or better still fight for constant electricity and water supply.

    • Sere

      July 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you very much!

    • nene

      July 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      gbam. u have spoken the truth. not many light skinned girls in nigeria are beautiful. fact!

    • Iris

      July 16, 2014 at 1:45 am

      My dear, we have hijacked it, worn it, made it our portion and declared blessings of posterity over it. According to Nigerians, bleaching and insecurity over our skin colour is now a national problem.

    • cos I say so

      July 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Negro is a bad word cos I say so

  20. Author Uknown

    July 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    *mistaking

  21. Jojo

    July 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    this is hilarious never really thought of ‘light skin is the best’ I`m clay5-earth1 or how them dey say am sef . Isio you no dey dull………….

  22. Leo

    July 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Hmmmmmmmn.

    Thank you very much Isio for this topic.For those of you who say you are not feeling this article/that it is not your reality, please take several seats. This is the reality of so many people in this country. My neighbors last child is the only black one (Lupita Black) in a family of light skinned people and the mental abuse she goes through is not funny. She is the butt of many people’s jokes. People dont even believe she is biologically related to them and people laugh that maybe she was adopted. The mother confessed to me that she had been advised to buy baby bleaching cream for the child. I was so shocked. Now she constantly reassures the girl that she is beautiful just the way she is. Poor child is only eight and was always coming back from school crying after being bullied. So I beg to differ, it is not just an African American thing but a black race thing.

  23. Modella

    July 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Can we get over this skin shades stuff already??? Well said @Africhic!

  24. Sere

    July 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Colourism as an issue only really exists in cultures where slavery and a caste system are part of the history. Turning it into an issue of pettiness over beauty and vanity especially in a country where no such racial lines were ever drawn is mocking the real situation of some people out there. We just like to start a movement over everything, our problem or not.

  25. Dr. N

    July 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Growing up with a very fair mom and a charcoal black dad, my siblings and I were celebrated by friends and family according to who was as fair as my mom. I remember my cook in secondary school meeting my mom for the 1st time and screaming at me “You are so ugly!” Kai! My saving grace was that both parents emphasized academic ability over looks. Till date, I want to hear you before I judge you.
    I do agree that we DSMs should stop taking things so seriously.
    Cheers

    • niki

      July 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Aww.. dokita we have alot in common. Similar situations happens with me not nice.

  26. teniola

    July 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Na wa oo, my shade of black is not on the chart, I would come after earth 6-7. I remember as a child, I was so dark and skinny, I was constantly yabbed, good naturedly at times, nobody in my extended family was as dark as I was. I cried to my mom one day, asking her if I would ever be light skinned and fat. She said, fat, yes, but light skinned, Never. I accepted my fate there and then, although am still not fat, am a curvaceous black girl. When people try to mock me with my colour, I find it strange and really silly, bcz it has always been my colour and I don’t even notice it. It baffles me, when I go on blogs, and they are talking about knuckles and knees, I never notice such things. My knucles and knees are also darker dan the rest of me. But really, this is a reality, people fight with everyday. If my dear mom hadn’t told me, I would never be fair, and built my confidence, I would still be stuck in the LS-DS struggle. We that are not involved in the struggle do not know, it is a real struggle!

  27. nene

    July 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    lmao isio you are funny. but i agree with the comments from the black skinned women. as a biracial girl, i get preferential treatment (restaurants, clubs) compared to my cousins who are fully nigerian and darker, even though they are as beautiful as me. but then again, it doesn’t happen every time, it’s once in a blue moon. the light skinned vs dark skinned issue is not that big in nigeria, which i like, unless you’re an igbo woman.

    • SASSYCASSIE

      July 16, 2014 at 8:31 am

      I’m dark skinned and Igbo and I’ve gotten any unpleasant remarks about my complexion and neither have my dark cousins, relatives and family friends. Skin color has never been a problem for them. Let’s stop with this generalization. You can’t speak for a whole ethnic group. Igbo di iche iche

  28. lu-lu

    July 16, 2014 at 4:03 am

    when I was aged 9 or 10, an older relation of mine said to me ‘see as you black like devil’. That day I hid in the closet and cried my eyes out. I cried not because I was ashamed I was dark but because i was being compared to the devil. This relation was equally as dark as I was so i didnt understand her grudge. Growing up for me I got more of the black beauty praise than the insults for being really dark. Regardless I still got pained from all the hating. Please we shouldn’t judge people based on their looks or skin tone or any other baseless thing.. no no.. Biko! lets create a level playing field.
    Another thing we should understand is that most of these people tearing others down because of their skin colour are very insecure people. Its always the case of you having one or more feature they wish they had so they look for ways to degrade you. A lot of the people i receive the ”you’re really dark o, still try fair small now” are either those I am taller, slimmer, curvier, more beautiful, or more knowledgeable than.
    C’mon girls.. if we can love Ramsey Noah, Majid and the likes and still love Joseph Benjamin, Desmond Elliot, Chris Attoh and the likes we can still love ourselves.. Black, chocolate, bleached, yellow, white, rainbow 😀
    sorry for the long sermon! my 2 kobo!

  29. Desert Rainbow

    July 16, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Chai! I wouldn’t mind any complexion,if only I was acne free.Acne has tormented me almost to a state of depression. Face one color,body another as a result of all the various attempts at treating it over the years. From the time I was 16 till now,almost 30,dealing with adult acne. All that is humanly possible to do I have done. The pain,the embarrassment,it just sucks.BN please consider this as a cry for help…I’m in Lagos Nigeria at the moment. Is there anyone I can see?Dermatologist,Doctor,Beautician? Somebody?Anybody?

    • Mist

      July 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

      IMO try a natural DIY methods e.g. fresh aloe vera, honey and lemon etc those helped me and might help you and you can also ease it by taking some vitamin e pills and some prenatal pills

    • MC

      July 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      yes! natural products do wonders. and also much safer on acne prone sensitive skin.
      Google (and even youtube) will help you.

    • Happy baby

      July 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      I can totally relate with this, i can never forget what my friend told me in a-levels “I don’t think you would be beautiful without pimples”. I have spent a……………. lot, tried all sorts and decided to take it in lord in prayers, yes o, It became prayer point. My face is the darkest part of my body, I just do a normal routine to wash my face at night with tea tree oil facial wash (tea tree oil is antibacterial) and use la roche posay effaclar duo as a moisturizer. Initially, i did not see a difference but with time I could feel a bit of smoothness on my face, patience is key. I break out annoyingly like really large bumps when I’m on my period, doing oil pulling almost daily kinda of reduced it.

    • Diuto

      October 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Yes I know a dermatologist she treated me when I had a bad case of acne. Her name is Dr. Okudo 080333051666. She’s expensive but ur face would glow in its natural colour after treatment

  30. sum1special

    July 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

    lol..It is funny how a dark skinned person sees a light skinned girl and say she is not beautiful, that it is only because of her color and if she were dark she wouldn’t be as fine, That is just a daft way to put it. Everyone is beautiful regardless of their skin color. Why do dark skinned people have self esteem issues because they feel light skinned girls are flashier and have more chances with men, which can be true sometimes..but would you throw caution to the wind because of men’s preference and the your desire to be accepted by them, like why care? Girls should learn to feel beautiful whether fat or slim, dark or light, short or tall, men would love you for your confidence and self dignity.

  31. moi-meme

    July 16, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I ve heard of RAW AFRICAN BLACK SOAP.It works wonders in fighting acne,blemishes and other skin conditions……so i heard.
    Maybe giv it a try.
    Bellanaijarians,any of you tried that?

    • Happy baby

      July 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      I cant say if it works on acne, cuz I dont use it on my face. But, on my skin, i love the way my skin feels after one year of using strictly black soap.

  32. Created Woman

    July 16, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Yeah am currently using black saop and all the acne that plaqued me due to pregnancy
    has left my fine face

  33. nelson

    July 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I use raw african black soap(not dudu osun,i mean the raw one from market)bt i find it drying to my face.Any tips on how to ease on the drying aspect.

    • Anon

      July 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      Liquidise it or add olive oil.. That works.

  34. FranklyChris

    July 16, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Nice article and quite the melodramatic style of presentation. A few words for those who think this isn’t their reality. Have you ever looked at a child, that’s light-skinned and screamed “oh! What a lovely child!” Or is it not in Nigeria again, that some ladies eulogize the tall,DARK and handsome man, as the ultimate ‘boo’ to have? Perhaps, these realities are not so clear to some of us, seeing that the author narrowed the discussion to ladies and self-esteem in their skin. However, light an issue this is, its a serious matter that has raised unnecessary nerves and validated unhealthy norms in society. Black, white, chocolate or yellow…we should see people for their inner personalities and respect their choices, even if we don’t agree with such decisions. This world has too many issues already, please all the LSMs and DSMs, let’s live and let live.

  35. nelson

    July 16, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Olive oil?….like how many tbsps of it should i add on a liquidified 50cl bottle…[email protected] anyway

    • Anon

      July 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Start with two tablespoons. If it’s still drying you out, you can add two more. My skin is very sensitive so I water it down. I add boiled water that has cooled down and some olive oil.. It moisturises without drying especially on the face. You are welcome.

  36. Desert Rainbow

    July 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Thanks to everyone who’s offered some insight,una do well. @ Isio,Omote bikor oh,no vex say I hijack the tori wey u been dey put oh,only say na make water for no pass garri,And since BN readers are cool like that, daz why I gats to call out.

    Meanwhile,if it helps…I have uber sensitive skin,so acne products that have gotten ‘rave reviews’ seem to just irritate my skin even further..I recently tried to go the lemon,honey,oatmeal et al route .Any specific natural DIY’s for sensitive skin? And yeah,facials tend to help relieve them for a bit,I used to get some organic facials (honey,lemon,milk and co once a month at my former location)but since I moved to lagos,I haven’t quite found any good place to get it done…I wouldn’t mind recommendations. Thanks in advance.

    Una no vex for the long story oh,na wetin plantain see inside fire,na im make am change im name to bole.E go be later.

  37. Magz

    July 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Our last born is dark-skinned. And having fair elder sisters didn’t “help” with extended family. When she was young, they were always asking “are you sure she is your sister?” Some family members cannot even recognize her if they see her. When she was still in secondary school, i went to visit her one day and a teacher told her in front of me “how come you are black? Did your sister (me o) take all the light skin in the family?” I was shocked. Fortunately, she has a very high esteem so she doesn’t even care and she tells people “because i’m the only dark person in the family, i am unique”.
    So for the people saying it is not a “reality” in our country, please look around and observe very well, it is a reality!

    And in other news, i hate it how people look at me when i tell them i use Shea Butter as my cream, like they don’t believe me. People need to get into their heads that not all light-skinned girls bleach!

  38. jinkelele

    July 19, 2014 at 9:36 am

    In my experience , the chief toners and bleachers are lightskinned their reason being they want to ‘maintain’ their colour. The average LSM does not want to get darker

    In africa though and Nigeria specifically LSM have the upperhand in advertising both print and tv, branding , event, product launches etc. Notice how all the soap ads feature lightskiined women – its a subtle message.
    In early Nollywood LSM got lead female roles over DSM, DSM that made a name for them selves had to push and push to show their talent.

  39. blackie

    July 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Being dark skinned in my family has been a challenge frm school day where friends, teachers, n Co always ask me if my siblings r actually my siblings or I’m trying to claim relationship… it got so used to me that I don’t see being dark as a disadvantage. And seeing my sisters using different products to ‘maintain ‘ their colour and brighten it whenever they undergo stress makes me love being dark skinned more. If I have a choice, I still will choose dark skin #black truly is beautiful

  40. ebony87

    August 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Being black in my family was never an issue to begin with. I have fair and chocolate skinned siblings and my parents always made us feel like Angels. So,whenever i hear people say things like ” babe, you’re black ooo” or “dudu yemi”, i would be like WTH is this one yapping about?????? I don’t believe light skinned girls get all the attention of men cos if you’re exuding confidence, that is enough to attract any sensible dude. I hold my own and command the attention of men and women alike. Just nourish your body, dress well, raise your head up high and walk confidently. My immediate elder sister is as fair as i am dark and we are both beautiful as we have the same features… You’re dark skinned, take pride in it. You’re light skinned,also take pride in it. After all, it’s what you think and say about yourself that matters the most.

  41. Meg

    August 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    “We are all BLACKS, however, you are darker than
    us. You guys say these kinds of things a lot, and
    we ignore it, and the world says nothing, but the
    moment a light skinned person says,
    “TeamLightskinned!” “Light Skin is the best” or
    “Yellow Babes are the freshest!” Well, you can
    imagine the hell that will break loose from the
    DarkSkinnedMafias.”
    *Just observing in mirth*

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