No Surprises Here

The recent remake of the infamous 1950′s “Doll Test” by an intrepid 17 year old filmmaker, Kiri Davis, has been making waves recently. Davis has been interviewed on CNN and many other mainstream news networks, and the reaction to her film always seems to be a variation on surprise. I found the results to be heartbreaking, but not surprising. I can’t be surprised that any of the little kids chose the white dolls, when so many of our modern day black celebrities seem to strive to look like white Barbie.

I for one would rather see India.Arie or Janelle Monae or Leela James at the top of the charts, and all up on MTV and BET.

Kiri Davis is a brave and talented woman for putting this out there. And all of the girls she interviewed are also gorgeous. Natural hair, dreadlocks, or relaxed; with skin in shades ranging from dark cocoa to chai latte. We have to learn to accept our beauty as a fact, and teach the truth to our children. We are all beautiful, and our futures are just as bright as anyone else’s. But it’s important that we believe it to the fullest.

So today, I want every woman (regardless of color) who reads this to go look in the mirror and smile. Know that you’re gorgeous, honey. Don’t let the world make you feel otherwise.

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Comments

  1. you better say it.. there are too many of us color struck and hair struck , and on top of that the music industry promotiing looks over talent. that sends a message that is very harmful. there are so many singers out now that are just there to be cute and really have nothing to contibute to our community. there is definitelly a light skinned/mixed look that is very popular right now, and our own people are doing it to us.

  2. I cosign Coffy! All this reminds me of that old saying

    “If you’re light, you’re alright”
    “If you’re black, better stay back”

    How can we keep continuing to ignore what are simply the facts? People want to argue and say that black is black and why do people still make a big deal about skin color……because it NEVER went away, if anything it’s worse. You hardly ever see a darker skinned love interest in movies and videos. It’s really sad. If our people come in so many shades and colors, why is only one being represented to the fullest? And don’t let me even get started about hair!

  3. jerseybred says:

    As a young girl i loved my skin color(India Arie’s complexion). I knew i was beautiful. i honestly didn’t know anything was supposed to be wrong with me until someone said it, “your lips are big or someone has longer hair than you”. That really messed me up.
    Luckily, I was blessed to be around other brown big lipped, short hair women to feel secure in my own skin.
    I LOVE BEING ME.

  4. and things are to the point that we cannot blame society,this brain washing is done to us by people who look just like us.it is the same as when women look at fashion magazines and feel less than , or not good enough. watching too many music videos can begin to give you a complex, so imagine the younger girl watching and how she feels,the issue is with the artist that feels he cannot have someone who looks like him in his own video. I think we to remind ourselves that those women in print and video have fake hair, body makeup,professional lighting, and a stylist. hell with that much help who wouldn’t look good

  5. Hey. I just read the post and saw that you made a reference to JANELLE MONAE!!! I LOVE her! One time for the atl shawtee (where I met her). Anyway, yes, learning to love ourselves, AS we are is soo important as black women. Half the time, we are so messed up and we pass down our own beliefs (read: misconceptions) of beauty to our children and the cycle continues. But I just move forward with faith, and tell every lil black girl I see that she is beautiful just as she is WITH her beautiful chocolate skin and kinky/ tightly coiled STRONG healthy beautiful hair!

  6. bronxafrochick says:

    I’m speechless beyond utter thought. Your site is incredibly brilliant and socially pointed. keep up the great work.:)

  7. bronxafrochick couldn’t have said it better. I have been praying for a blog this. A postive uplifting social concious blog, where people engage in informed dialogue. Keep up the work. I will continue visiting for sure.

  8. Thanks, everyone for your amazing feedback. You’re totally encouraging me and I love it! I know what you mean about the video girls, and that’s why I would say that one of the best recent videos (in my memory) was Common’s Go. The women were beautiful, natural, and not dressed like hoes. We can never expect Three Six Mafia or the Ying Yang Twins to go the same route, but I’d love to see Luda or Kanye do a video with REAL women for a change, ALA LL Cool J’s “Around the Way Girl.”

  9. writer126 says:

    I too am a Brown Baby (luvs it). What I have come to know is money speaks louder than words. I don’t purchase or support products that denegrate Black women. If these images in music videos, magazines, television, and film were subsidized by the very people they vilify (Jesse Jackson moment) they would cease to exist.
    The music and fashion industry along with the media have fooled the public into longing for a fantasy when real life is so much more sensual (gratification of the senses) and stimulating.
    I only buy haircare products from Black proprietors and I WILL NOT purchase music that calls me ugly. Snoop can continue shriveling up, Puffy will never see my benjamins, Kate Moss can kiss off.
    I support talented people not the mannequins of image makers.

  10. I just wanted to say this is an amazing site. I have to poke my head up as a white girl but I have four beautiful biracial daughters and I found your site trying to find something to help keep their hair natural and beautiful (I refuse to relax!). Your writing is inspiring and I hope you continue to get more exposure, because things like this help us all see how much we invest in trying to acheive that unacheivable perfection.

  11. yeah i love intelligent feedback, the only thing i would like to add is that on my natural hair quest i have found many products not made specifically for African American hair that work really great. and there are many Black owned companies that have no problem playing us greasy. just a thought

  12. Laura, Afrobella is for women ALL shades of beautiful. Happy to have readers from all walks of life. I’ll poke my head up too, as half of an interracial couple. I’ll be posting a little about that soon enough, trust me!

    Coffy, you are correct. I’m going to be reviewing some non-traditional African American hair products – like Garnier Fructis Soft Curl Cream, which I love – really soon.

  13. I saw Kiri Davis’ movies and it broke my heart I volunteer at this media company and we were watching her movie, and as a black woman it broke my heart, I’m from Haiti and colorism is much worst down there. It is a shame that this is still going on even after the whole Black movement. The only message young black girls are getting is that black is beautiful only when you are light skin. I’m sick and tired of it and we need a revolution Ladies!!!

  14. It is refreshing to see that I am not the only one who still feels the sting of this Dark/Light skin thing that continues to be a cancer in our community. I hope that with people still willing to talk about it and show that things have not changes will in some way bring about a change. All shades are beautiful!

  15. I love this website and what it stands for. I produce a local new york television program that focuses on people of color in the fashion industry. It is called Beauty Within TV. We would like to discuss future projects if you are interested.

    Beauty Within TV debuts on red

    Looking to promote diversity and development Beauty Within TV is a multicultural program that looks to spread beauty and fashion on a global front. Its preeminent lifestyle programming resonates with people of color exposing them not just on the current fashion trends but the history, versatility and global diversity that the industry commands.

    The content highlights diverse innovative designers, stylists and creative geniuses in the fashion and beauty industry. As a promising program, Beauty Within TV has begun its rise to the top, Covering red carpet events and NYC and LA fashion week, elite designers such as Tracy Reese, Zang Toi, Esteban Cortazar, B. Michael, David Rodriguez and celebrities such as Angela Bassett, Fonsworth Bentley, Zoe Saldana, Nicky Hilton, Lynn Whitfield, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams, Naomi Campbell and many more are amongst the few featured in the show’s programming. At Beauty Within TV, we educate our audience by going behind the scenes and in depth with the people who are on the verge of today’s trends.

    Beauty Within TV has also established itself online entity with a interactive Web site at beautywithintv.com. While surfing the web, visitors can look forward to fashion and beauty tips, quick-fix fashion recipes and information regarding health. They can also subscribe to our online newsletter, BWT Global that offers an alternative and informative outlook on fashion and lifestyles aboard. In addition, beautywithintv.com provides visitors with a forum in which to meet, discuss topics related to the community and offer personal opinions about the online newsletter and Web site content.

    The show continues to prove that beauty is not just skin-deep; rather it is acknowledging that true beauty is inner beauty.

  16. Sumayyah says:

    Great work hats off to you and what your doing. It’s good to see that some of us know who we are. My draughter who’s 13 is a very chocolate brown and she loves her color as much as I do. Some people call me yellow and thinks it’s okay to say that but don’t understand that it use to hurt hearing that from those I thought was like me just Black. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing.

  17. Great work I love the fact that some of us Black people know how other black woman feel and that we all go through something in life that people talk about how we look and how we as black sister act and I love the fact that I am 13 and CHOCOLATE BROWN and would never change that to be a different color then what I am today GREAT WORK

  18. People -including my mother- told me I was absolutely nuts for saying what the young lady at 0:56 is saying. I feel like that all the time, when I see the Puerto Rican day parades, or the Irish Heritage Festivals or what have you. I DO feel like somethings missing. I love the skin I’m in, and I love being me, but I wish I had more a solid identity to attach to

  19. I love this website! I must admit that i am white but my hair could prove the contrary ! I relax it otherwise I have an afro ! I used to be teased about it but now everyone thinks its awesome ! Don’t let yourselves be destroyed by us white people who think they have the world at there feet!

  20. Together with every thing which seems to be building within this area, all your viewpoints are actually fairly refreshing. Even so, I appologize, because I can not give credence to your entire strategy, all be it refreshing none the less. It seems to us that your comments are not entirely validated and in simple fact you are generally your self not really entirely confident of your argument. In any event I did appreciate reading it.

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