Back to A Girl Like Me
  A Girl Like Me Transcript

Every black female has a big butt and big boobs.

Loud, obnoxious, ghetto

Light skinned being more attractive than dark skinned.

That weíre not smart. Weíre this way, weíre that way. And a lot of times we have to prove ourselves it not being true.

At a young age I already knew the standards for a girl like me. As I become older they become more obvious.

You have to have permed hair, relaxed hair.

You know, straight hair or like blond hair, you know, little weaves or something.

And if itís natural, that evenÖ that good hair. Like bad hair is hair you have to relax because itís kinky.

Like itís not like appealing to have like natural hairstyles, or like if they are natural they have to be like the curly haired, light black girl or something that looks mixed or something.

And I remember when I first started wearing my hair natural, at first my mom was ok with it and she thought it looked nice. And then after like the second day, she was like, "oh stop that." She was like, "youíre starting to look African." I was like, "well, I am African." And that really pissed me off.

There are standards that are imposed upon us, like you know, youíre pretty, youíre prettier if youíre light-skinned.

I knew people in the past that like just like wanted to be light-skinned not for any particular reason, you know cause they loved their selves. I mean, they love their selves except for you know the color of their skin.

My siblings are all lighter than me and my mom, she dark-skinned, but sheís lighter than me. So like I noticed and I was like, "hey, how come Iím the darkest and you know everybody else is so light?" And I donít know, since I was younger I also considered being lighter as a form of beauty or you know, more beautiful than being dark-skinned, so I used to think of myself as being ugly because I was dark-skinned.

I knew people that actually like went out there and got you know bleaching cream and everything, they actually like laid in the tub, poured like capfuls of bleach into it just so they could like see if their skin would get lighter.

But yeah, my aunt that like lives in Honduras, she basically started using skin-bleaching cream when she was about 25. And she started her oldest daughter on it when she was about 11. And then she has an even younger daughter that was about 6 when she started using the skin bleaching cream on her.

Iíve seen people say that I would never marry a dark-skinned man because, you know, because I donít want that in my gene pool.

On the other hand, light-skinned girls have their issues too, weíve been called high-yella, conceited, house nigger. I feel like both sides have their issues.

I guess I sort of felt like there was not any attention towards me because of maybe my skin color or because my hair was kinky or you know just basically that. Or even when, also when I was younger like say there was, I donít know, a doll I used to have a lot of dolls, but most of them were just white dolls with long straight hair that I would comb and I would be like, "oh I wish I was just like this Barbie Doll."

In Brown vs. Board of Education, the famous case that desegregated schools in the 1950s, Dr. Kenneth Clark conducted a doll test with black children. He asked them to choose between a black doll and a white doll. In most instances, the majority of the children preferred the white doll.

I decided to re-conduct this test as Dr. Clark did to see how weíve progressed since then.

Can you show me the doll that you like best or that youíd like to play with?

This one.

This one.

I like that one.

This one.

That one?

This one.

Iíd like to play with this one.

And can you show me the doll that is the nice doll? And why is that the nice doll?

Sheís white.

And can you show me the doll that looks bad? Ok. And can you giveÖ and why does that look bad?

Because itís black.

And why do you think thatís a nice doll?

Because sheís white.

And can you give me the doll that looks like you?

15 out of the 21 children preferred the white doll.

Our ancestors came to this country and they were pretty much ripped, ripped out of their culture. You know, they couldnít speak their language. They couldnít, you know, they couldnít be themselves, they had to be like, like what everybody else told them to be.

When you donít know where youíre from and you donít know what country youíre from, all you know is basically youíre from Africa, thatís all youíre given, I feel like it brings on like a lot of ignorance and it builds a lot of anger. Iíve seen, like Iíve seen it build a lot of anger in a lot of black, young females. Like, I donít know, like they feel like because they, like they feel like they have a right to disown any kind of you know African roots.

I think for a black girl in general itís like youíre missing a piece of you, you know? And, for me, itís like oh I donít have any, any actual heritage, not heritage but culture. Like I know Iím from Africa, but different, the different countries in Africa have their different cultures, their different morals, their different values. And not knowing that, it just, it sort of keeps us at a loss and weíre justÖ I feel like weíre busy searching for it while everybody else in society is throwing their ideas and what they believe we should be at us. But, you know, personally we know thatís not what we should be, but weíre going to take it because we haveÖ we donít know exactly what it is we should be. Because we donít know where we came from.

| | |
© 2007 American Anthropological Association. All rights reserved.