Mel B we need to talk. Matthew Knowles, we need to talk. Matthew… do you realise how many young girls’ hopes and dreams you shattered last week because you verbally confirmed that Beyonce took her mother’s colouring and not yours? Matthew……… sit down.
Skin lightening has been a huge topic for years, but has truly risen its head over the last few weeks in the media.
Colourism is defined as “prejudice against people of a certain skin tone, especially from members of the same race,” and it remains a very touchy subject.
Beyonce’s Dad has been doing the media circuit for the last few weeks as he has a new book out, Racism From The Eyes Of A Child . Whilst speaking on his book he made some comments that struck me hard.
Matthew Knowles spoke to Ebony magazine on his experiences of racism in the industry, and said:
‘When it comes to Black females, who are the people who get their music played on pop radio? Mariah Carey, Rihanna, the female rapper Nicki Minaj, my kids [Beyonce and Solange], and what do they all have in common?
The reporter replied: ‘They’re all lighter skinned.’
‘Do you think that’s an accident?’ Knowles asked. When the journalist exclaimed: ‘Of course not’ Knowles quipped: ‘So you get it!’
Mr. Knowles also spoke about black eroticized rage, where black men only date white women or light skinned women to “get back” or “get even” with white people.
Wait… WHAT? Yes that was my reaction too.
And then in the UK there was this…
This Morning guest Irene Major left Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield reeling after whipping off her wig mid-way through a debate on skin lightening. The former model was discussing skin lightening with AJ Odudu when she removed her wig and challenged the TV presenter to do the same.
“You’re Nigerian right? Where is your traditional wear? Take your wig off, let’s show them Africa,” she said.
Odudu refused, and Schofield stepped in telling Major: “Let’s have a sensible discussion”.
But Major wasn’t finished and began to insult Odudu, saying: “Little miss perfect here can pretend to be so good.”
An unimpressed Schofield intervened, commenting: “You’re being terribly defensive, what we’d love is a sensible debate on this.”
And then there’s Mel B…
Mel shocked the internet with a ‘Gram post that was supposed to show off her 42 year old figure. But she got some clapbacks about something completely different than her abs…
The response was immediate…
People will say, if you don’t like skin bleaching then you should criticise people for getting their nails done or their hair straightened or getting a tan.
But here’s the thing… your hair will grow, your nails will too, and tans fade. But once you put chemicals on your skin to bleach it, you can’t change it. EVER. In some cases, the colour will come back, but you’ll never be the same.
In my opinion, it’s a form of self-hatred, and I believe Matthew Knowles’ comments have shattered the dreams of a lot of darker skinned females who are passionate about the entertainment business. Whilst there does appear to be lighter skinned artists whose music is available to hear on the radio, let us not forget that there are other avenues to media and the industry. Have you seen the beautiful darker skinned women in the Black Panther movie?? We need to talk!
Let’s talk about it!