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I’m working as the Supervising Producer on a show for BET called My Black Is Beautiful. I’m very grateful for a show like this. It’s important to me that there’s a forum or a platform if you will for black women to be held up as beautiful.

However, it concerns and grieves me that there are so many black women out there who still have issues with how they look. Some black women struggle with having full lips or soup coolers as I was told I have. Many black women are not happy with their broad nose and their distinct features. I think what makes me the most concerned is the number of black women who have issue with their skin complexion.

I recall a not so long ago episode of the Tyra Banks show when Tyra did a hidden camera experiment on women, mostly black women, who were willing to spend an excessive amount of money to have their skin lightened. I could not believe what I was seeing. The women were later confronted and told that there was no machine to lighten their complexion and that the entire thing was simply an experiment. Tyra later asked the women on her show why they were willing to spend so much money to be lighter. One woman told Tyra that she simply believes she’ll be treated better.

Are we as black folks still discriminating against each other based on skin color? I refuse to believe that we can have that mentality in 2010. Okay yes, Sammy Sosa has done something to his skin to make himself about two shades lighter. And we’re all familiar with the late Michael Jackson’s multiple plastic surgeries to not only lighten his skin but to also make his nose so small that it was nearly falling off of his face. I know that other cultures do things to enhance their looks. I get that. But I’m talking about black folks right now. Are we still buying into the idea that beauty looks like a lighter, skinnier, smaller features than our own?

My sincere hope is that we will get past this soon. Besides it seems to me that so many other cultures and races try to emulate our natural and God given looks. I’m talking everything from our ample bottoms to our tanned skin and our full lips. So why do we struggle with embracing our own beauty? Chile Please!

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