A Girl Like Me

The perspective of young, African-American girls honestly expressed in the video below called A Girl Like Me. As a blond haired, blue eyed, white skinned woman, I find it sad they don’t realize how much their beauty is admired.

The other day at the gym, this young black women was putting lotion on her legs in the locker room. She had the most beautiful, dark, golden skin. Her image stopped me in my tracks and I just stared at her. Her features so bold, and pure. I was mesmerized by her beauty. I was going to tell her, but I didn’t. I am not sure why. I wish I would have.


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12 Responses to A Girl Like Me

  1. kay says:

    Hey Mama…

    I am so glad that you posted this video, because i completely relate to it. I am mixed (my dad is white, my mom is african-american) and i find myself constantly comparing myself to everyone else. I have had the opposite problem. When i was young, we moved to a predominantly white upper middle class neighborhood.

    I was physically abused by my black classmates, and the only people who befriended me, were the white students. My mom told me it was because they were jealous, of my green eyes, long hair, and bronze skin complection. I have always felt i would be pretty if i were just one race instead of two.

    I see beautiful black women and think wow how gorgeous..too bad i can’t look like that. Or i will see a beautiful white woman think the same thing. In some way, i think it has contributed to my eating disorder, because i hate myself so much for the way i look.
    At any rate thankyou for the post and happy easter

  2. mamavision says:

    Hi Kay: I am sorry for your struggle, sounds like a mix of identity and ED…I hope you find the path to accepting yourself and your individual beauty.

    This video really struck me. I have heard this all before, but something about how the video shows the kids with the dolls, and the young black beauties talking about their inner thoughts just really hit me.

    I have to admit, I have not heard of skin bleaching though. I didn’t even know this was something that is done, and does it work? I was telling my husband this and he said, that’s weird since white women try to get darker tanning.


  3. sIM'One. says:

    there are so many different ways to be beautiful. i’m lucky to have so much diversity in my city & see so many gorgeous african americans walking around

  4. kay says:

    Hey mama..

    In regards to skin bleaching..i have seen it first hand, my step-father uses it. The sad part is, he is already light complected so why he bleaches i have no clue. My little 7 year old sister wanted to try it (scary i know) when she found out what that stuff in the jar was…

    It broke my heart one day when she asked why she couldn’t look like me or my two other sisters who are the product of my mother’s first marriage. She said that we looked like cupcakes, and she looked like dirt. She is just cute as button, and for her to compare herself to dirt, just absolutely astounded me.

  5. Thank you for posting this! Watching the video was really revealing and stirred up all sorts of memories and feelings. I’m “white”. When I was a child, I had a nanny who was African-American. I adored her. She was so warm, down to earth, so real. It felt good to be with her. I loved her skin. I told her I wanted to have skin like hers. She pricked her finger to show me her blood. It was red like mine. She wanted me to know that we are all the same on the inside.

    Our culture pays so much attention to the “outside”. Image is everything and very few people feel they measure up, regardless of race. Even though I’m white, I could identify with what the women in the video were saying. Over my lifetime, it’s been being too heavy, then too thin, not pretty enough, big nosed, small breasted, and now grey-haired and getting old. That’s only some of it. I’m sure every woman has her list of perceived inadequacies. Sad, sad, sad.

    I in no way want to diminish the plight of African-American women in our culture, but at the same time I hope all of us can learn to love ourselves as we are and see the beauty that we all possess. Most of all, I hope we can learn to focus more on inner beauty. India Aries song says it best:

    I am not my hair
    I am not this skin
    I am not your expectations no no
    I am not my hair
    I am not this skin
    I am a soul that lives within

  6. bri says:

    that video…it’s so sad. i have always admired black women…and wished my skin were more like that. it just really impressed upon me that no matter the situation or their skin color or background, people have to stand up for themselves and their own beauty and not spend so much time wanting to be soemthing else. it’s such a waste.

    what’s hard for me is that even as i type this, i haven’t eaten today, and realizing this doesn’t make me want to eat any more than before. i still feel terribly inadequate, and feel like the task of feeling good about myself is insurmountable…i would rather die than give my eating disorder up and have to face it.

  7. Melissa says:

    The doll part was so sad. I admire black women so much. I wish I could have skin like that.

    I also am extremely jealous of how heavy black women can carry their weight so much better than heavy white women. Heavy black women are still so beautiful, they don’t seem as dimply or disproportionate as heavy white women. Not fair at all. =P

  8. That is so sad. As someone who grew/is growing up in a prodominent african american area and have issues with BEING white(as in.. um.. not necesarilly wishing to be white.. crazy I guess I know..) … it makes me sad …

    I know I wont be marrying a white man and I hope I can be of influence and try to teach my future biracial children that they are absolutely beautiful. Whether they are light skinned or dark. Skin is just a color. Its whats beneath that counts… I hope I can teach them that and they will be proud of who they are.

    I wish I could scoop up every child in the world that feels that way, whether african american or any other race and hug them and remind them how beautiful and precious and unique they all are.

  9. María Alejandra says:

    Thanks for this blog… Your dedication to this topics has gave me hope that this world can be a better place… I´m so worried about all those proana and promia sites and all their thinspiration because the influence that those sites can have in people´s mind is huge… especially on teens, because I know I´m 29 years old and I can´t help to be fascinated by it… Keep on doing this… you really are helping out

  10. Eddie says:

    I am a white male and I have a wife and 2 kids.

    I cannot believe the mentality that is out there, white girls wanting to be darker, black girls wanting to be lighter….. The media is to blame for all of our mental disorders.

    The women on this video need to realize that they are VERY beautiful, and that goes to everyone of every race, we all are beautiful and we all represent the miracle of life.

    And the girl who said her mom told her that she was starting to look African……she and every one of African decent need to realize, unless they themselves were born in Africa then they are AMERICAN not African-American.

    With all the biracial marriages going on there will be a new race of Americans who aren’t to dark or not to light…but just right. I give it 30 years.

  11. Tash says:

    I just wanted to leave a comment in response to this video. It is very sad that black people feel like this. As a black british citizen I can relate to this wholeheartedly. I have heard many stories of skin bleaching, some very horrific ones at that. I’m not sure if it works but I do know of the dangers of some bleaching products that have been on the market. There are manhy physically scarred, as well as emotionally scarred people out there due to skin bleaching products. I can identify with wanting to be white as I grew up in a predominately white family. I no longer wish that as i love my beautiful black skin, just not the person who sits within it.

    With regards to the term African-American it angers me as it is not acknowledging that most people today were born in America and yes they are American first and foremost. Whoopi Goldberg describes it best for (in plain terms) in Book in the chapter named Race.

    When I fill out an ethnicity form here in the UK it asks if I am Black African, Carribean and then other. It never says Black British which is my category. What’s up with that!!!

    Just as I think that wanting to bleach your skin is abhorrent (although I really can undertsand why) I also think that leathering skin on a sunbed is just as bad. I think all sides of the issue need to be addressed and we all need to accept our colour for what it is, a colour. I am hoping that I will teach my children, my bi-racial children just that.

  12. Sarah says:

    I think that it’s not about people wanting to be white, it’s about people wanting to be what they’re not. I could be wrong, but as I watched this I thought about how when I was little I had a white friend who always chose black dolls because she thought they were prettier. I also thought about how when I was younger, in middle school all the way up until 11th grade, I wanted to be black. I finally grew out of that when I decided to embrace my pale skin. I don’t know if my initial statement is 100% true, in fact, I’m sure it’s not, but I do think that wanting to be something that you’re not may have a big impact on the desire for some black girls to be white.

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