BLACK VOICES

This Poem Annihilates Anyone Who Says 'Pretty For A Dark Skin Girl'

No. We are just pretty, full stop.

Most dark-skinned black women can remember at least one instance in their life when they've been made to feel or were just outright told that they're only pretty "for a dark skin girl." It's the ultimate backhanded compliment, conceding that a dark girl is beautiful but also reminding her that her beauty is an anomaly because dark women aren't supposed to be beautiful.

But if there's still any confusion for people about why saying "pretty for a dark skin girl" is absurd and offensive, look no further than the epic poem shared by a U.K.-based spoken word artist on YouTube in April. 

In the two-minute video of the poem, spoken word artist Princess Latifah (joined by her beautiful black girl squad), calls out the colorism inherent in the "pretty for a dark skin" compliment.

"As if beautiful and black are opposing words," she says. "Maybe I'm just beautiful." 

Latifah also points out the irony of dark black men who think dark women are ugly, adding: 

"Even to dark guys, dark girls never win. Even if the guy's mother is as black as the bags in the bins. And the funniest thing, even if he's blacker than the skin I'm in, to be with a dark girl is this sin." 

The poem ultimately ends with a message of encouragement and hope for dark girls who have unfortunately internalized the colorism and misogyny they face on a daily basis because of their skin tone. 

"That bubble of doubt within? It's time to stick a pin in it. And wear your dark and lovely face with a grin on it."

Amen. Shine on, ladies. 

Watch the full video above. 

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