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Vanessa Onyema: I Don’t Get a Free Pass Because I’m Light Skinned

Vanessa Onyema

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Vanessa OnyemaPeople always say to me: You are lucky you are light skinned, you can’t go to a place without being noticed. You are prettier because you are light. Girls want to be as light as you are. It is the new trend.

People say all these things without knowing the battles I fight within. I have to wear tons of foundation to cover the zits. I go red when I have a rash or when I hit my face against a wall. Nobody knows how I try to follow a healthy regimen in order to keep the skin in check, due to the harsh climatic change.

I may be light because it is a form of a natural birthright, but that doesn’t mean my life has been mapped out to be perfect. It only means it gets tough for me to get what I really deserve.

I once heard someone say, “if you were dark skinned, you won’t be beautiful. Your fair nature makes you attractive.” I was sorry, not for myself but for the person to think that if I was a darker shade, I’d be ugly. Well, do the honors and color me!

Being a light skinned girl in Nigeria has taught me a lot of things, and the most important one is that life should be easier and simpler for me. My skin pigmentation doesn’t make me better. It doesn’t even make me have a 5.0 C.G.P.A. or make me have an 8% I.Q.
It doesn’t make me humble, dumb, happy, sad, funny, annoying, attractive, or ugly. It only makes me have a layer that protects the subcutaneous layer of the epidermis and if we rip it apart, we all appear the same.

What makes me who I am is who I choose to be and what I choose to become. I’ve been at a point where I couldn’t accept my nature; tall and skinny. I got depressed – always got upset with people’s unwanted opinions: Don’t you eat? Are you anorexic? Are you on drugs?
It made me very insecure that I always start to narrate how I eat up to five-six times daily. I always fantasized about having a bigger bum, perfect curves. I tried using butt spanx but in the long run I chose me; because there won’t be anyone else like me!

People feel insecure because they are uncomfortable under their skin. They want to be like people in magazines, they want to be praised with a thousand Instagram likes on their pictures – forgetting the existence of photoshop. They become their own haters by doing so.

I believe that when you have something good, something positive inside of you, it radiates all over you and no one will resist. It doesn’t matter who you are, and how you look or appear; the only thing that matters is what you can bring to the table.

So please, don’t feel like a nobody around me. Don’t feel I’m taking your spotlight. Don’t think I get all the attention because of my skin color. Because if you do, you will keep basking in your harrowing life, hibernating into a shadow of yourself, losing it, slipping into depression, jealousy, envy and self-damnation, while I go ahead taking your spotlight.

Light skinned people don’t have it easy, because life is not supposed to be easy and I do wish most people understand.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

77 Comments

  1. Bimpe

    February 16, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Shouts “NEXT”

    Boring topic… Moving on!!!

    Ps. For you to say you don’t get free passes, means you do and you class and believe in the idea (to an extent anyway) that light skinned is better. #MyThoughts
    If you felt we were all equal then you will fail to acknowledge the prejudice

    • Bimpe

      February 17, 2016 at 11:14 am

      She’s not even fine sef… One is like what is the point. She’s just really feeling herself unnecessary

    • Ada Nnewi

      February 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      You definitely have an inferiority complex…I’m a chocolate skinned beauty and I don’t feel rattled by what she said. ..you and the cretins that liked your comment definitely have unresolved self esteem issues….

  2. nene

    February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    i don’t know if you’re praising yourself or you’re really fighting for a cause. with that being said, its funny how light skinned people refuse to admit that they have the preferred skin colour in nigeria and around the world. i’m mixed race and most times people tell me how much the love my complexion, my tailor always goes on about it (she’s dark skinned) and she always says “all you fine fine fair igbo girls” (i am from rivers state, and not igbo, and if u go to the east a large percentage of igbos are not fair, but in nigeria as a whole, they tend to have the highest concentration of light skin) I’m not saying dark skinned girls are not considered beautiful, but people would worship a light skinned woman regardless of how ugly, mean, lazy she is just because of her skin tone. i took advantage of my skin tone when i was much younger, it gives u an advantage over others. for example being rich gives an advantage, being slim and fit, having a foreign accent, having a foreign passport, being mixed race, having a known family name, etc. you, my dear, have an advantage, u might not notice it always or you might ignore it because it’s natural to you, but YOU have an advantage because of your skin but that doesn’t mean you should feel bad about who you are or how u look and that doesn’t mean u should assume people are jealous of you, frustrated maybe, but not jealous. with that being said, everyone should learn to love themselves and treat people well.

    • Seriously

      February 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      @nene

      Sigh, before responding to your comment. You don’t know why light skin girls don’t accept their advantage based on their skin color? Because it’s stupid and ignorant. I’m biracial, and I hate when folks assume my life is easier bcos of my skin color or being mixed because it’s absolutely not true. I take it as an insult. So, the only thing I can offer is my skin color. You might get more ignorant men who want to sleep with you based on that or claim your kids will be cute or black/African women think you have a pretty skin and hair compared to the darker skin or kinky curly texture but that’s not an accomplishment. It’s all inferiority complex. Our lives is not better financially, mentally, academically etc bcos of our skin color. People just assume our life is easier bcos of being brainwashed.
      Recently, I was chatting with nigerian aunt. Aunt: When are you getting married? Me: when I meet the right man for me. Aunt: finding a husband shouldn’t be a problem for you especially with your color. Men love light skin girls. Well, if that’s the case all light skin girls will be the only married ladies and will not be single at all. They won’t even get cheated on, beaten but it’s not the case. Women get treated equally the same. Infact, you should marry a rich man bcos you see these rich men they like girls like you. Really? Just nonsense. Then I was complaining to another guy about discrimination at my job. He said, you have the job in the first place bcos you are light so don’t complain. Excuse me, I got the job bcos of my qualification and my interview went well. Before I got the job, I went through a lot, so it wasn’t smth that fell on me based on my skin color. I told him, one of our main boss of the company is a dark skin lady, so your point is invalid.

  3. busybee

    February 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Girl, bye with this article. I don’t see your point???

    • ATL's finest

      February 17, 2016 at 2:58 am

      @ Busybee lmao with Ur comment. In addition to your comment I will say to the writer #BYEFELICIA#. Shit me.. Light skin my ass. My mom is very fair in complexion & my dark is dark. Oh well my Dad’s Gene won. To be honest, I will NEVER trade nothing for my skin color esp when all the acne break out are trying to much on my ski with make-up, I’m good to go; Unlike my mom ????? 1 pimple can make her depress ?????. Dark skin, light skin, brown, indigo, Violet etc we all ALL EQUAL, human & created my God. Once again Bye Felicia with this crazy article.

    • Cocolette

      February 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Can y’all give the young girl a break and see that She isn’t trying to say fair skin is better than ebony skin, she is just highlighting the struggle that fair complexioned people go through… the assumption that all things good come to you automatically BECAUSE of your fair complexion, when it is the direct opposite, it just brings undue attention. During NYSC my local inspector would call almost weekly “Coco i ddnt see you in CDS yesterday, are you sure you were around?” And I’m like “Niccuh do you see everyone that comes for CDS, abeg get on with your government job and leave me alone”. During internship i got the toughest postings because the people in charge wanted to toughen up ‘that yellow girl that looks so soft like she can’t do any work “. It is this same assumption that has made the demand for bleaching/toning/lightening products so high in nigeria and the world over. I actually thought this would be a sort of ranting post about dealing with assumptions based on what one looks like but seems like some people want to turn it into a debate. Light skinned or dark skinned, life still throws it’s lemons at you anyways.

  4. Charles njoku

    February 16, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    This is so inspiring, and would definitely help a lot of people gain more self confidence and love. 10/10

  5. cindy

    February 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    I don’t get free passes because I’m rich. You don’t know how hard I have it. If only you knew the pain it takes to choose one from my many debit cards at a pay point. The Brazilian weaves I wear give me rashes. It is so difficult picking out of my wardrobe filled with clothes *sigh* If only you understood.
    Sounds like first world problems.
    On a more serious note though, I’m not trying to undermine your struggle. It just sounded funny to me because in reality, you know deep down that you get free passes from time to time compared to not so light-skinned peeps. Let me stop here, if I continue, keyboard finger warriors will start shouting ‘inferiority complex’.
    But before I leave, you remind me of a friend who once told me that marginalization of women is all in our heads.

    • Seriously

      February 17, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      @cindy

      Your comment is senseless without any evidence. Give real examples of where a girl was actually given numerous passes bcos of her lighter skin complexion. Apart from the aesthetic part that has been overplayed by people. Or folks wooing over your skin color. We Lighter skin women sometimes think we are treated special bcos of our color and darker skin women think every problem in their life is due to their skin color. Which Is not always the case. What else proves this distorted assumption that is embedded in people’s brain? Is there any statistics that shows lighter skin women having a better life than darker skin? Or even getting more pass. Is beyonce getting a pass now bcos she’s lighter skin? Is Stacey dash getting a pass for being ignorant? Even in Nigeria, are lighter skin women excluding bleachers getting more pass than others? Are they given more diploma passes bcos of light skin color. Let’s stop this nonsense.

  6. Sammie

    February 16, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Women are so narcissistic! Social Media exposes this! It’s disgusting!

    Ladies like this then to be Sociopaths in society.

    • Idomagirl

      February 17, 2016 at 1:50 am

      I’m pretty sure Narcissism which is a psychological disorder is not gender specific.
      Last time I checked Kanye West was not a woman.

  7. E.A

    February 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I get your point, but its rather simplistic approach to colourism.. As someone who would also be considered light skin, we need to understand we carry some privilege in society. For example having a darker sister makes me understand these, such as the make-up that you complain about, we are fortunate enough to have our shades much easier. But again I do understand your points, our skin tone makes us into sex objects, being a fetish 🙁 or a way to belittle our darker skin pairs. I could have written a better respond but I hope you understand my views.

  8. Bey

    February 16, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    What gets me is d new perception or craze of everyone assuming every light skin girl has bleached.
    Why d infatuation with, she bleached/she didn’t bleach.
    And pls don’t ask me what cream I use? It’s a bit annoying as I don’t even know you.
    How will I keep explaining I only use Palmers cocoa butter. Then some will say ” but it makes you dark”. Like it’s a sin to remotely even darken ur skin. Meanwhile it’s even d smell and richness I like.
    Then becos I’m light skinned pls don’t assume I’m Igbo. I have customers coming up and immediately start speaking Igbo, without even asking if I’m Igbo.

    • Nahum

      February 17, 2016 at 4:31 am

      I know!!!! Everybody assumes I am Igbo and I had to ask someone if Igbo people are the only tribe with light skinned members. Btw, this article is stupid.

    • Magz

      February 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Like! Thank you!!! I am tired of explaining to people that i am not igbo. In fact, i have met people who argued with me over this, “it is not possible, you cannot be Yoruba”, i would be like shuo! Please don’t get me started on the cream issue; many people find it very difficult to believe that i use shea butter/vaseline. i get “how do you maintain your skin?”, errrmmmm dettol/premier soap & shea butter/vaseline, shikena!

  9. @Jennifurbond

    February 16, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Nice one miss Vanessa… “well do the honors and color me” 😂😂 lolzzz

  10. Amysaying

    February 16, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    honey hush , It ain’t dat deep babe really. actually you might find it comforting to know that there exist a whole breed of people like myself included who dont give a rats ass bout your complexion. I’ll even reassure you further by assuring you that some people do not find your complexion attractive. In addition there are some people who find intellect in a woman attractive. This epistle of yours makes you quiet unattractive to the latter. So there sweetie, you can breathe easy and go about your normal daily chores without that sinking feeling of despair brought on by your paranoid notion that people are all about your skin. People have got other things on their minds than your complexion babe. I think you are all bout your complexion maybe you need to focus/obsess about something more important xx.

  11. Lis

    February 16, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I am where yu are.. I get yu 100 percent…. when ppl tell me am beautiful dese days I just laff….I was like if only they knew… my ‘superior’ female coworkers are always threatened by me,cos they think I have it easy… if the first stage of an interview is a woman, I don’t get called back.. light skinned automatically means ajebutter to all… if only they knew I still use b29 to bathe… my genes gave me dis color… but mehn.. it has its perks but it also has its peeves…. then the zits… just one can be seen from miles away…. I get you love…. only God can get us the things we deserve… oda women just love to hate

    • nene

      February 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      biko shut up.

    • Kmt

      February 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      LMAO LOOOOOOOOOOOOL.

    • Nahum

      February 17, 2016 at 4:34 am

      Sorry no vex but I feel like slapping you right now. You sound hella narcissistic, calm down abeg.

  12. Betty

    February 16, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    How self absorbed!!!! You can always experiment being black dear, how about a slap of ebony foundation all over for a day? Bet you’ll come back shouting RACISM. Abegi……..try and contribute something tangible to the world you live in. Give back and stop being so conceited.

  13. Amina

    February 16, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    What is this???? My fren go and sit down or better stand up and start looking fir better topics to discuss. Whats all this nonsense

  14. Sheun

    February 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    It must be a VERY SLLLLOOOOOOWWWW news day for Bella! LOL!!! This article is such a joke, especially when there are more interesting and pressing topics to feature. This light skin/dark skin “controversy” is so mundane. You are only inferior IF you feel inferior. Abegi! (Rolls eyes)

    • beauty

      February 17, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Stop saying its a joke, people mix creams worth 60k and above just to get fair…People take pills and inject themselves just to get fair and to get the right body frame they feel would make them feel like they have arrived. That you have boobs and ass and curves doesn’t mean that some other girl isn’t lying on her bed sobbing, asking God why he didn’t give her extra flesh. People’s self esteem have been crushed because someone asked them why are so thin and flat or you look so small and under aged or I don’t like dark girls as I cant see a future with them. So think again when you want rant, insensitive being…

    • Sheun

      February 17, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Again, na your own if you feel that way. Ko kan mi, learn to love yourself. I am dark-skinned, slim, and so on, but NOBODY can make me feel like I am not beautiful. Everyone has their preference. If they choose to bleach, oh well. We can go on and on about this and it still won’t change a thing. So, again, who cares?!

  15. Hawt Talk With Tosan

    February 16, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Pretty people problem. Watch this week’s Hawt Talk here bit.ly/1Wm9p01

  16. tee A

    February 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    “So please, don’t feel like a nobody around me. Don’t feel I’m taking your spotlight. Don’t think I get all the attention because of my skin color. Because if you do, you will keep basking in your harrowing life, hibernating into a shadow of yourself, losing it, slipping into depression, jealousy, envy and self-damnation, while I go ahead taking your spotlight.”

    **in my Falz voice** Iz like pe this girl is having some sort of a kind of delusion abi paranoia

    • Ada Nnewi

      February 17, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      With all the venom in the comments so far, she’s said nothing but the truth.. Am I light skinned? No… but I am confident in how I look therefore her article is not offensive to me. Only people with confidence issues would find this article offensive. ..

    • sigh

      February 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      My thoughts exactly..

  17. Yellow

    February 16, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Lol one yellow girl to another I get her point. Iv had someone say to me you are fine because you are light skinned. At a wedding I was doing my own makeup as a bride maid. At the time my make up skills were not great. Only for the hairdresser to say in this really irritated voice – do you want to do more make up than the bride. Even the bride had to apologise. Yes you have guys on your case but sometimes you wander if it is the yellowness or the you. Gals who really want to b light skinned think you life is perfect because omg you look so good.
    It does come across as shallow but that’s d reality of life. It’s even more than Being yellow sometimes. People dress down at work so that their skills don’t get questioned because apparently if your heels are too high you probably don’t have enough work to do.

  18. Whocares

    February 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    “…without knowing the battles within. I wear tons of foundation to cover the zits”. Lmaooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Wait there is more loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool. That was where I stopped before running to comment o my people.

  19. 'Deola

    February 16, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Nice article.

    I admire your courage and the call to everyone to embrace who they are. Many people will read meaning that you did not write into your article . And you know that they have the right, but may not be right. Experience gives each one of us the lens with which we view others.

    In my own experience though, I have observed the privilege skin colour, race and ethnicity bestow on people. And I have also seen the pecking order in terms of these qualities. Some ‘smart’ folks tent to leverage it making their lives all about it, and some can’t be too bothered.

    Sha that skin thing e be like say na female thing.

    • abi

      February 17, 2016 at 1:55 am

      Definately a female thing as women historically have been objectified/objectify ourselves. Either way, I have never met a light skinned Nigerian female who does not regard her complexion as an asset. Not a single one of any age. And PS in this climate you CANNOT stay your ‘natural’ shade, light or not without some form of melanin hiderance system. I believe its called tanning.

  20. Whocares

    February 16, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    OK I skim read.. Smh. And to think this topic in more intelligent hands who have sparked good conversation as the topic really is important to the black community. This is very simplistic I agree. But she never claimed to be einstein or to be extraordinarily intelligent. Na she own she talk jare. But boy this is jokes for days!!!! My new phrase is : do you have any idea of the battle within? I have to wear tons of foundation”

    • californiabawlar

      February 17, 2016 at 12:25 am

      As in ehn! na serious battles….oshi eran ori iresi gbaaa!

  21. Engoz

    February 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Huh? What a joke.

    I’m just the average black girl shade. Have I personally been slighted for my skin color…No. Them never born the person well. But am I aware of the slights darkskinned ladies often get not only from the media, BUT culturally, socially and historically? ABSOLUTELY YES. So when darkskinned ladies talk about their plight, I am empathetic to them. Not some light-skinned over-privileged pikin.

    There is nothing more irritating than a privileged group vying for attention using the over-used line of ‘I suffer too as well.’ We see this attitude when women talk about their plights, you will now hear men clawing at straws to find where they are suffering too. When black people cry about racism, white people start shouting reverse racism. Everyone will go through one hate/insults or the other, but for some groups, such insults and hate destroy them socially, politically and leads to DISCRIMINATION to the finer things of life. Darkskinned women have to deal with this, so a sappy article of like this would not get any empathy from me.

  22. gurl_wendy

    February 16, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    What’s this drivel supposed to be about? All I heard was poor me I have light skin over and over. *sigh*.

  23. Ona

    February 16, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    WtF kinda indirect praising is this one? Hiaaan! Im laiskin too and pretty and people dont come up to me praising me because of my skin tone…wtf bush does she live in? Id be devastated if people related my good looks to being pretty tbh…thankfully i live among enlightened folks who dont uplift skin tone but rather see ur beauty independently.

    • Ona

      February 16, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      *related my goodlooks to being lightskinned.

  24. KMT

    February 16, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    So wait wait you saying we need to have empathy for you cause you is ‘pweety with light skin” ?O…..kay………………………………………looooooooooooooooooool. ?LMAO ??

  25. Author Unknown

    February 16, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Really? Lmao. Ehen, has anyone made any moves about better social service in Nigeria?

  26. chichi

    February 16, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    This problem is soooo Nigerian or African at least. I live in the Uk and of course I know many people bleach and are obsessed about who and who is not light skinned in the UK, Asians included. But my goodness I didn’t know how rampant this problem is until I lived in Lagos for awhile. The only reason we keep revisiting this issue is because we place alot of importance in it, confirming to us that lighter is better. Every comment section is focused on if or not someone is bleaching even when the article is soooo far from that subject. I kind of know where she is going but the fact is unless parents stop saying supposedly innocent remarks about kids complexion’s in front of them, our generations to come wont stop obsessing about this issue. It starts from home. Ps a light skin in a sea of darker skins, stands out. Fact.

  27. sheeeesh

    February 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Y’all should give her a break biko… seems like she’s talking from a place of confidence despite her flaws. this is her own reality even if you don’t agree with it
    The ugliness spewing out of the comments section is something else

  28. Kenya

    February 16, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Young lady you are very self absorbed. It’s not an attractive trait. The only people inspired by your yellow skin must be the moronic crew you hang out with. If their unwanted worshippy attention is getting too much for you Maybe it’s time to ditch them and move on to higher more evolved social circles, were your skin complexion dulls in the face of intellect.

  29. Nonny

    February 16, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Nice one Vanessa Ongodi Onyema. Keep up with your writings dear.

  30. Krasavitsa

    February 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    Hmm……. I think I should write an article about getting a free-pass at everything because I’m very dark and very tall and how some people are intimidated by my height. *sigh* #talldarkgirlproblems. Srzly though, RME at this article. I thought she was gonna address the epidemic of bleaching and shadism in our society.

  31. tobi

    February 16, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Sorry I’m all out of empathy. I gave it to real people with real issues like the little albino girl with nasty blisters on her skin that hawks bread and despite her plight smiley and happy. You need to get over yourself. Mtchewwww

  32. Olayemi

    February 16, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    LMAO. This article made me laugh. What’s wrong with you all today. From a “light skinned” girl that wants more praises than her mirror gives her to this Aunty justifying the cost of her handbags. I can’t deal abeg. You all should go to learn humility.

  33. ElessarisElendil

    February 17, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Its ‘fair complexioned’

    light
    noun
    1.
    the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.
    “the light of the sun”
    synonyms: illumination, brightness, luminescence, luminosity, shining, gleaming, gleam, brilliance, radiance, lustre, glowing, glow, blaze, glare, dazzle; More
    2.
    an expression in someone’s eyes indicating a particular emotion or mood.
    “a shrewd light entered his eyes”
    verb
    1.
    provide with light or lighting; illuminate.
    “the room was lit by a number of small lamps”
    2.
    make (something) start burning; ignite.
    “Alan gathered sticks and lit a fire”
    synonyms: set alight, set light to, set burning, set on fire, set fire to, put/set a match to, ignite, kindle, burn, spark (off), fire, touch off, start, torch; archaicenkindle
    “Alan gathered sticks and lit a fire”
    adjective
    1.
    having a considerable or sufficient amount of natural light; not dark.
    “the bedrooms are light and airy”
    synonyms: bright, full of light, well lit, well lighted, well illuminated, sunny, sunshiny, undimmed, brilliant
    “a cool and light breakfast room adjoins the bar”
    2.
    (of a colour) pale.
    “her eyes were light blue”

    complexion
    kəmˈplɛkʃ(ə)n/Submit
    noun
    1.
    the natural colour, texture, and appearance of a person’s skin, especially of the face.
    “an attractive girl with a pale complexion”
    synonyms: skin, skin colour, skin colouring, skin tone, skin texture, pigmentation
    “an attractive girl with a pale complexion”

    skinned
    skɪnd/
    adjective
    having a skin of a specified type.
    “a smooth-skinned complexion”

    Learnt that at the feet of a cane wielding teacher, be damned if am letting it go. I see women are still trying to win the battle men already won. My advice, stop obsessing over it. Yes fair women may have fewer advantages, attract more admiring glances but its not the end of the world, they aren’t enough of them anyways.

    • Noname

      February 17, 2016 at 1:32 am

      How old did you claim you are again? Born in the late nineties or when?

  34. Las

    February 17, 2016 at 1:22 am

    It is true that colourism is the black man’s bane and burden, but we all have things we get free passes with; I will be honest, I use mine when and where I can. There is a reason we have this advantage, whatever it may be – the greenest of eyes, the pointiest of noses “for a black person” (did you have work done and other stories), Ivy league education, family name, old money, famous friends, huge breasts, big buttocks, great skin, “good hair” etc. Why deny it?

    If I think making my foreign accent a bit more extra will get me that contract, or that job, I will invoke Queen Elizabeth if I have to. Embrace your light skin my dear. If it helps open doors, walk through them.

  35. Cancel Reply

    February 17, 2016 at 2:39 am

    LMAOOO! I needed this comic relief, abeg! This badly written article cracked me up. What a self absorbed girl. Who cares if you are light skinned? Is it that serious? LOL!!!

  36. lifeisbeautiful

    February 17, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Yes, you are right. Some of the top models and black female executives are definitely NOT light skinned.

  37. Dr.N

    February 17, 2016 at 6:57 am

    This is for the writer and believe me, I liked your article.
    Priviledged people cannot complain. Read my lips…
    Can you imagine how people would respond if I wrote an article saying, “I am a doctor, you don’t know the battles I face. People call me at midnight to ask me if it’s okay that their baby is snoring. Smh. I have such a difficult life. Once I get recognised in shops, prices go up. In fact, ladies don’t want to make friends with me because they feel threatened. I barely found a husband cos men felt I was too career-minded etc”
    How did that sound?
    Your feelings are genuine but your last paragraph was cocky, to say the least. I have a friend who makes it a habit to stop me in church and say, “You are losing weight. What’s wrong?” I feel like telling her “You are facially- challenged. What’s wrong?” But she will become suicidal.
    My dear, wear your multiple layers of foundation with a smile. Those critisizing u have noticed that it gets to you. Find a way to gently change the topic. Peace
    P.S Cartoonist? How lovely

    • Duchess Maria

      February 17, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      This was great and very constructive criticism, unlike some of these other individuals in this comment section. Good job Dr. N.

    • Jane

      February 22, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      I agree with you regarding the contents of the last paragraph.
      I read the article without any bias and tried to see things from her perspective. I understood most of the things she said because,sadly, some of them are harsh realities. The society’s standards of beauty are flawed in most cases. Her last paragraph and comments drew the line for me. Her last sentence was condescending and cocky. Sounded like the typical ‘privileged elite’ looking down on and talking others down.
      She may have made some good points but the delivery and tone of speech invalidated them. In my opinion, that tone eventually betrayed her true feeling of superiority complex.

    • Jane

      February 22, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Reply to Dr. N –

    • Jane

      February 22, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      Errors: “the statements in her second to the last paragraph”; instead of “last sentence and paragraph”

  38. Rhonyi

    February 17, 2016 at 7:34 am

    I never experience such a preference in color, agreed, fair complexion seems to attract people (from what people say) but all I know is that if I am in a room, whether you’re fair or yellow, my shade of dark and intelligence wins over you. There is this healthy ebony complexion that dims a fair one. Ever experienced it?

  39. Jo!

    February 17, 2016 at 9:42 am

    What a load of crap!

  40. Tessa Doghor

    February 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Black is beautiful
    Brown (me) is beautiful
    Light skinned (African) is beautiful
    What you need is to value yourself and take good care of yourself.
    You are beautiful when you realise it.

  41. 360musicng

    February 17, 2016 at 11:31 am

    People will just rush to the comment section to spew forth rubbish without reading the content.

  42. tiana

    February 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    this is so boring – who cares if you are light skin – don’t know why women are so obsessed with peoples complexion – more to life – i think she has a lot of time on her hands to write such a pathetic article – am waiting for the next article called – can you spot who is bleaching and who is not. this is the next obsession now. i think a lot of this comes from envy – if you are happy with you then why the obsession with others complexion.My sister is very dark and i don’t see this holding her back at all – we all just get on with life.

  43. jasmine

    February 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    My dear this is lovely. I don’t expect everyone to see your point from the same angle. you’ve given people reason to be themselves and trust me,someone out there is grateful for this article. keep it up.

  44. Fashion and Style Police

    February 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Nigerian women and their skin tone complex issues.

  45. Redbone

    February 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Sigh… So here’s the thing: I get where this writer is coming from because I am fair complexioned as well. I appreciate the intentions of this write up. However, I also understand the angst of the commenters because the writer has denied the privilege that comes with being “light skinned”. To say that light skinned people don’t have it easier is not entirely true. And not just in Nigeria. All over the world, there is a precedence that is accorded to fairer skinned people if we’re being real about this shit. The problem is that it shouldn’t be so. But you can’t tackle a problem if you don’t first acknowledge that there is one in the first place. That is where the writer has failed in this write up. There is a privilege. There is a preferential treatment. There is bias. It is a result of centuries of Caucasians inundating the rest of the world with the message that white is good and black is bad. What we have to do is perish that thought and replace it with the message that black or dark is just as good. We have to change the conversation about beauty standards and societal perceptions.

    What I think she tried to say is that light skinned people are not exempt from struggle and insecurities. That part is true. But you can’t deny that most times, we do have it better. That is why people attempt to bleach. They want to be seen as more beautiful. They want to get ahead. And that’s because society has told them that being lighter is one way to do so.

  46. @Jennifurbond

    February 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I agree with you cocollette…. The girl isn’t praising her complexion… She is just trying to say that color actually doesn’t matter.. Instead of people assuming light skinned people get free passes… Everyone can get a free pass and not because u are dark or light skinned.. That is what the lady us trying to say…and don’t go assuming that your friend got a job and u didn’t or she got toasted and you didn’t because she is fair and u are not… It’s because you didn’t pass the interview or you simply ain’t pretty.. instead of attacking her you should blame your sorry ass for not understanding……..

  47. Uchenna

    February 17, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Light skinned people are normal every day people with real problems like every one else. IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING. What is ridiculous is that you had to go and write an essay about YOURSELF. And what irks people is that obvious “poor little rich girl syndrome” that comes across. Quite frankly it’s obnoxious .nobodys jealous of you,,, you wish!?. Making a mountain out of an anthill. I mean why dont you just praise God that you are healthy and well, no sickness instead of ‘lamenting about how hard done by you are . Please let’s give pity to those well deserving of it. Child count your blessings and SIT DOWN. Ain’t nobody got time for your spoilt self. Mtchewwww.

  48. bibie

    February 17, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Its a shame to cee that young Nigerians can’t read a simple article nd comprehend its contents.. I tot we all are educated and can analyse d contents of an article.. Well Vanessa ur article is so inspiring.. I fr one have seen d examples lined up here play out in real life.. Buh anyway d most important tin is dah we all are awesome pipo d way we are made.. Ur doin grt gall.. Nice job..

  49. Amaka

    February 17, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    My friend I know what you mean. See I got real pretty hair, like peruvian hair growing from my my skull everyday these tiresome woman start asking me where did I buy my hair. I keep having to explain it’s my hair I did not buy it. But will they listen? No not. That how they bother me till I start to cry. They don’t know how much effort I put into maintaining my hair. All they see is my beautiful lovely hair. I don’t know why they assume I get a free pass because of my hair. We with fine hair we done suffer for this naija. Infact I think we need to set up a support group for beautiful people like us. I can see a few bleeding hearts on this blog that will see reason with us and support our cause. Vanessa thank you for your article it has given me the courage to speak up.

  50. BijouxthisBijouxthat

    February 18, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I now seriously believe it when people say a lot of people are very very frustrated walking around! Damn!
    Are we not (or its a different set of people) who scream about the number of women bleaching everywhere?
    Why do you think they are bleaching? Because there’s a perception that white is always better!
    She is very right! I believe she communicated!
    People look at fair girls differently and assume they get things for free!
    Most men would look at the fair girls and would want to know her better even if she has shitty character!
    Most of the people around me are no longer black! Their colors have been diluted all due to the perception of fair girls stay winning! I mean look at Mo C?
    I bet most didn’t read to assimilate what she was trying to put across.
    I mean who hasn’t said : if she was dark, she wouldn’t be soo pretty?’ You, you and I are all guilty!
    Isn’t it Nigeria we dey that some men would import light skinned women just for their sexual escaped?
    I mean cut the writer some slack. She said nothing but the truth!
    Girls are bleaching because they have been made to believe fair girls are winning! That is their construct.
    As to whether it is the reality.. The jury is still out but deep soul searching isn’t far from the truth

  51. zoe

    February 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

    i just realised some people are daft…..she is just trying to say that u shld b comfortable with urself as life itself is not easy whether for the fair,dark,tall or short….u ppl shld cut her.some slack…illiterates

  52. obi

    February 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    After going through the body of this article, comments, concluded it was a great post..Am sure if it was useless or irrelevant, you all wouldn’t waste your time in commenting… kudos to you Vanessa…. keep writing…

  53. Sweet

    February 21, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I must be living in another planet though cz I’ve never met a yellow pawpaw who puts herself above me for what nah, I’m a chocolate skinned , curvy beautiful girl with a brain to go with it, did I mention my impeccable manners and the most beautiful heart anyone can have? Now only a girl with these qualities and more can come and compete with me, still I won’t be bothered. I love myself so much and I bask in the confidence of being me, I can only love u more if u exude more radiance than I do.
    I think everyone should just find what God has given them over others, I bet we all have it, God is sweet like that.

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