Motherhood

“Light Skin Looks Better!” Things My Son Said After Watching Blackish

I was in my comfy bed watching Blackish a few Tuesdays back. I quickly knew based on the jokes that the show was about skin color. The episode started out with their middle son, Jack (Miles Brown), showing them his school photos. Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) were extremely upset when they noticed that Jack’s twin, Diane (Marsai Martin), could barely be seen because the photographer didn’t use proper lighting for her brown skin. 

Around this time my oldest son was walking in my room and talking to my husband. He started to walk out of my room when he heard Diane say, “No one in this family is as dark as me,” from the tv.

He stopped in his tracks and his eyes zoomed in on the television.

Blackish episode, “Black Like Us”

He then listened to her continue to speak about the way she’s been feeling. I saw that this touched him but I wanted him to see the entire episode, titled “Black Like Us”.

The next day, he watched the entire episode with his sister. I happened to come in his room after the episode ended. My daughter said she enjoyed the episode and my son shook his head in agreement, but it looked like he had more to say.

I asked him can he relate to Diane. He said yes. That’s when he proceeded to tell me that he’s always wanted to be light skin and that it looks better!

My stomach dropped.

If we’re talking about skin color shades, my son is the brownest one in our family. However, out of my family of 5, we are all different shades of brown. We’ve never talked about our shades because we’re all black! We didn’t want to teach our children that one shade is better than the other.

I’m not sure where he got lighter skin was better.

My husband and I both talked to our son about skin color and really wanted him to know that there is no better or worse skin color. All shades are beautiful.

Unfortunately, we can’t change the world’s perception of color. I love how Blackish touched on the history of colorism (the racist belief that light skin is good and dark skin is bad) within our own community.

This show gave me an opportunity to share with my son my own struggles I had with my skin color growing up. I shared how I wanted to be lighter like my mother and how she would even tell me I was jealous of my younger brother who was lighter than me.

It was true. I was jealous.

However, her pointing it out every chance she got didn’t help me.

I shared that as I grew up, I saw the beauty in my own color and started to love the skin I’m in. My son is a teenager now, so he’s not into sharing all of his feelings. I will continue to express that he’s perfect just the way he is until it sinks in. I pray it sinks in.

Did you see the “Colorism” episode? Did you make you feel any type of way?

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