Beasts of the Same Body : Redbone Girl x Yellow Fever
July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
Eating my cereal for dinner and browsing the web, I came across a blog post responding to the Twitterfire around Eric Benet’s song ‘Redbone Girl’. The post implied the backlash against the song tacitly suggests that dark skinned women see light skin women as more desirable. In other words if I, a dark skinned black woman have a problem with Redbone Girl its because deep down inside I don’t feel as beautiful. I think this young man missed the bright, shiny moral of the story by a long shot. The problem is not that dark skinned women don’t feel beautiful, it is that our declarations of beauty are always grandstanded by a bigger monster. While I am over here waving the flag for my chocolatey complexion, I am bombarded with comparisons that hold me in diminished regard. The praise of the Redbone Girl isn’t delivered in good ol’ fashioned” this woman is beautiful”, it comes wrapped in a message for dark skinned women- to attain praise, worthiness, and beauty we must attain the skin color.
Kenyan filmmaker and ethnographer Ng’endo Mukii explores this through the lens of an African woman in her film” Yellow Fever”. On her film she writes,
“I am interested in the concept of skin and race, and what they imply; in the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time. The idea of beauty has become globalised, creating homogenous aspirations, and distorting people’s self-image across the planet. In my film, I focus on African women’s self-image, through memories and interviews; using mixed media to describe this almost schizophrenic self-visualization that I and many others have grown up with”
Redbone Girl and Yellow Fever illustrate the psychological warfare over beauty and value in our very own skin. Read. See. Explore, and share your thoughts with us
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