1. “You are so pretty for a dark skin girl.”
Thank you for saying that you usually don’t find dark skin girls pretty but I am the wonderful exception to your standard of beauty that is significantly based on the lightness of someone’s skin. Have you ever heard of colorism? Because that’s what you’re practicing right now! Congrats, douche.
2. “You would be so much more attractive if you had lighter skin.”
Ugh. You see most of us who understand beauty in its truest sense know that it is inclusive of all shades of all people. The reality is most of the time in POC communities, the internalized racism is so much that lighter POC = closer to White = better. How sad. Also, did it occur to you that I like my skin color? Shocking, I know.
3. After a lighter-skinned person has tanned/been out in the sun for a while, “I’m as dark as you.”
While this is supposed to be funny, it’s not; it’s just uncomfortable for everyone involved. You can spend all day in the sun, and I’m pretty sure you’re still never going to be as dark as me.
4. “Were you always this dark?”
Well, I guess people darken over time sometimes but yes, most dark-skinned people didn’t wake up one morning and roll in permanent charcoal of some sort. Also, please explain to me what’s bad about being dark again? Last time I checked, melanin-rich skinned folks usually have pretty freaking flawless skin. Just saying.
5. “You look like [insert name of dark-skinned celebrity that you definitely do not look like].”
You know what’s a failed compliment? Getting told that you look like a gorgeous celebrity that you couldn’t resemble if your life depended on it. There’s really no need to make comparisons that are just way, way off. Oh, and just so we’re clear: Not all dark-skinned people look alike.
6. “You’re so lucky you’re dark. White boys usually want darker-skinned WOC!”
You know, like a lot of dark girls, growing up you feel really inadequate because of your shade. And it’s a pretty awesome moment in your life when you get to self-acceptance in your skin, literally. And as much as I love the love from the White boys, I don’t put it above anybody else’s. Moreover, let’s not pretend that some White boys are not just trying to fulfill a creepy, fetishized, fantasy.
7. “You should definitely marry someone lighter/White. So your babies aren’t so dark.”
Wow, so basically the idea having children that look like me, and have my skin color is repulsive to you. Cool, thanks. How about no? My children are going to freaking flawless regardless of who I marry, and whatever shade they have.
8. “The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”
Okay, it was cool when Pac said it way back when. And you know what? I’ll probably get a shirt with those words some day. But if this is an attempt to flirt, please try again.
9. “Don’t wear dark colors. They will just make you look darker.”
You know one of the awesome things about beings about being dark-skinned is you can pull of just about any color in the rainbow. And while I definitely believe in Coco Chanel’s idea that “the best color is the one that looks good on you,” I’m going to go right ahead and wear whatever the hell I want.
10. Any and all references to “Dark Chocolate.”
Ugh. PLEASE. JUST. STOP.