Is the Grass Always Greener?

February 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

In our discussion today about the trailer we watched about dark girls, an interesting question came up and that is “is the grass always greener on the other side?”  This documentary weaves the story of darker girls and their struggle because of their skin color. What made me especially sad was when one of them described how she would try to wash her face everyday, thinking that it would make her lighter because she thought that her skin color was dirt. We watched some of these women cry because their own people didn’t want to have darker skin and would conceive babies with those who were lighter skinned just to have a lighter skinned baby. The idea of “whiteness” as a standard of beauty spans across not only the West but also the East as well. These ideals are ingrained into us through the media, our parents and our friends at a young age. An African American child was asked to point to the picture of the “dumber” child in a range of pictures between white child and the darker child, and the African American child pointed to the darker child as being “dumber” and “uglier”. Studies have continually been replicated in this area where African Americans grow up struggling with the idea that beauty is something that they will never have because they are darker skinned. While we watched a video that showed this in a different light. Some Japanese girls purposely tanned their skins and showed admiration for the Black hip-hop musicians in America. They aspired to dress like them and have their skin tone. So it may seem like the pale want to be darker and the darker wants to be paler. Is the grass greener?

I think not. What those Japanese girls have neglected is that musicians such as 50 cent or Jay Z, doesn’t depict a genuine picture of what Africans Americans go through day to day nor do they represent the “black culture” that they seem to want to imitate. It seems like these girls want the color but not what the color comes with and blatantly ignoring what darker skinned African Americans go through everyday. The grass is rarely seen as greener on the other side because not a lot of people actually say that they want to be African American fully understanding their history, culture and daily prejudice faced by this group in this country. It is one thing to covet the color to wear as an accessory but it is undermining the prejudice that comes with it. The video brought up an interesting point that there is a lack of unity between the African American community where they themselves subscribe to the “whiteness equals to beauty” ideal, it leaves little room for any other color.


§ One Response to Is the Grass Always Greener?

  • bibliogay says:

    There’s really only one issue I have with your argument on the basis of the Japanese girls’ approach to B-style.

    You say that they are “blatantly ignoring” the affects darker skin has caused many African-Americans, which isn’t completely correct. Japan’s population isn’t a “melting pot” of any kind; foreigners make up roughly 1.6% of the population without much desire from the Japanese for assimilation. So, with that, you can imagine how little attention is spent on American culture in studies, let alone African-American culture.

    Also, with what the American media sends out internationally, it can’t be that much of a surprise that other nations would assume African-Americans to be this “B-style.”

    When we take into account the fact that other nations don’t have a close understanding of what groups of the American people have gone though, we cannot say that they are “blatantly ignoring” our plights.

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