Dear Sammy Sosa and The Men Who Think Like Him
It's easy to look at Sammy Sosa and think he's gone off the deep end. Colorism is engrained in the societal fiber of many Caribbean/Latin American countries, the Dominican Republic being one of the starting five offenders.
Sammy is not off his rocker. He was raised in a culture that blatantly gives advantages to those of lighter skin complexions. The idea that men of the darker persuasion could achieve success, fame, wealth & in general be well liked is as unbelievable as the existence of unicorns. Imagine being taught your entire life that your hair, skin, eye color, and overall being a man of color was unworthy. It sucks. However, as a woman who has loved men of the Amistad shade, here's how that self-destruction impacts the women in your world:
Long before the embracing of my natural hair, there was the constant expectation that my hair be long straight as a bone. Even as "woke" as the world is now, hair texture is still a thing. The natural game has levels to this curl kingdom. Most men expect your natural locks to be in the wash and go lane and envision the luscious strands seen on shampoo commercials as the norm. How disheartening for us 4C curled women.
I never purchased colored contacts, mainly because I don't like things in my eye. However, I have grown all too familiar with #TeamExotic which usually means you have light eyes with skin that isn't white and locks that are curly enough to defy the straight strand European standard. You ever look at a baby with light eyes and the first thing you say is "Wow, look at those eyes!" Yea, we're obsessed with them. Strike 2 for this brown eyed gal.
I can count on one hand how many men I've dated who were not dark skinned. On the opposite hand, I can count the number of men I've dated who were Latino. Growing up, the light skin girls with long straight hair ALWAYS got play. I thought this was just a high school phase that surely college would break. It was broken, briefly by the one Latino man I ever dated. Post college, not a single one. See, Latino men (not all, but most) have a way of favoring my lighter skin peers. To date, it hasn't mattered that I L-O-V-E dark-skinned Latino men. I never make the cut. Too brown, too tall (I'll save this for another post), hair not long enough. Third time is not the charm.
I know Sammy isn't off his rocker because I too am impacted by his train of thought. No matter how much I embrace myself inside and out (cue Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman), I am constantly reminded that the same men I love would not be proud to have me on their arm. I am not the prize. I am not worthy. And so the vicious cycle continues...
I'm tired too.