It is unfortunate that Fantasia had to address the issue of colorism at a time when unwise decisions and straight gutter behavior in her personal life undermined the truth of skin color preference in the media that has been going on forever.
Before I start my piece, I too as a married woman would’ve been on the hunt for Fantasia, right after I dealt with my hubby. So I speak as a sister who is in love, and celebrates the sacredness of marriage.
Now let me continue…
I cringed at Fantasia’s reality show (especially her coon brother Teeny) and oft-bad hair days of many unflattering shades; but I cannot turn a blind eye on how much negative press she has gotten since her emergence into the limelight or should I say blind-light.
Fantasia, a functioning-illiterate, high school drop-out and young single mother when she won the American Idol competition became the butt of jokes that many people snickered loudly after she publically confessed her educational flaws and social status.
She became the ignorant welfare-mother with the predictable dead-beat black baby daddy that we oft-hear too much since the Moynihan reports of the 1950s.
Fantasia fits perfectly into the quintessential black woman that mainstream America imagines—uneducated, lonely and poor. The fact that she is darker in her brown complexion with broad facial features and big-ole booty, made it easier for the jokes and perceptions to continue.
She is the Jezebel, the Mammy, the Sapphire, the Aunt Sarah and Peaches in Nina Simone’s infamious song, “Four Women.” Hell, look at how Nina Simone herself got treated. Or for that matter, Shirley Chisholm, Cicely Tyson and even Gabrielle Union who can’t land a job if she sucked every director in Hollywood.
Fantasia is aesthetically displeasing from the lens of a supremacist mindset that has never embraced brown-skinned ladies as the epitome of beautiful.
Truth be told, America is still trying to convince themselves that Michelle Obama is pretty with its overemphasis of her grace and charm.
It took an exposé of her affair for Fantasia to articulate what she had been feeling and thinking for a long time. Hollywood, America, and the black community still operate from a skin color hierarchy.
Of course her claims were done in wrong timing. I agree that her accusations were misplaced and serve as no excuse to contributing to the disruption of a family and fellow black woman; but her charges of a biased, color-eyed media are dead-on.
This is the part of the industry I loathe. High-yella folk (still) get all the fun, and frankly much of the good jobs. Of course they are surveillance and limited, but it is a truth that they enjoy a certain movement than those who are more closely associated to our African ancestors.
And in my opinion, folk like Alicia Keys are privy to celebrating an Afro-centric flair (braids and all) and a hood swagger more than an India.Arie who is blasted and maligned as a bohemian hippie and alternative artists who is pushed to the periphery.
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