Written by DC Livers, Special to BlacksinHollywood
(www.BlacksinHollywood.com) – There’s a new bully in town. She’s got the “mean girl” act down pat. In fact, if Hollywood decided to do a new version of the movie, “Mean Girl,” she probably wouldn’t need to audition. If you watched “The Rap Game,” a scripted reality show which followed Jermaine Dupri quest to make his rap label great again by using social media, you likely had an opinion about one character who dubbed herself “Miss Mulatto.”
The name itself wasn’t the problem. It was her superior, oppressive attitude that made it clear that she skipped the lesson on how slaves were violently raped by white slave master and gave birth to bi-racial babies. Or maybe that was was her message: I’m better than you because I’m mulatto, a term largely considered derogatory not a compliment. Recently, she’s been in overdrive pushing the “woe is me, everyone hates me because I’m beautiful” act that is so common with the history of the term mulatto.
Kelly Rowland’s guilty, too
Even the popular actress, Kelly Rowland who has admitted to struggling with being dark skinned, seems to be stuck on race on her new show “Chasing Destiny.”Although she says she’s made peace with her dark skin, Rowland currently seems almost obsessed with one of the singer/dancers who looks mixed race, has dyed her hair blonde but has failed in three different girl groups, can’t really sing that great and her dancing is average. On a recent show, Rowland saying, “I really wish Alex would work,” referring to the girl she obviously wishes she was. Flipping the script, every time she refers to a very talented dark skinned singer/dancer she uses identifiers like “chocolate” and “Nubian.” She’s clearly thinking about what skin tone says about her new group more than talent.
“You know what I had great women in my life to help me overcome [being dark skinned]. I remember I went through a period where I didn’t embrace my ‘chocolatiness.’ I don’t know if that’s a word, but I didn’t embrace my chocolate lifestyle. Just being a chocolate, lovely brown skin girl and I wasn’t proud of that,” Rowland said during an Essence Music Festival speech.
Just last month at SXSW, Rowland addressed the issue again on a panel with BET’s Stephen G. Hill. “The world needs more dark skinned role models,” said the married mother of one. ” But she seems to be trying to strike a balance with the launch of her new make up line aimed at women with darker skin tones.
“My makeup artist Sheika Daley and I are actually starting a makeup line we’re making sure we make, well, we’re starting off with lashes and then we’re going to have it grow for all women,” Rowland said. “But definitely making sure we have our chocolate girls covered.”
Racism in Hollywood Casting
It brought Black Twitter to a full on discussion about the topic of casting mixed raced actors with nappy hair to be viewed as Black while never actually allowing Black people who are darker than a paper bag to get far in Hollywood. Such is the case of the upcoming NINA SIMONE biopic that cast a mixed race actress who married a White man to play a very dark skinned singer. Donning black face, the actress looks like a skit from a KKK movie not the celebrated singer whose own battle with race defined her life.
BET founder Robert Johnson was so adament about having only light skinned or mixed raced people on TV that he created a makeup line called, “Color Code,” that lightened the skin of nearly everyone he hired to appear on his network. Today, there are over 40 skin whitening products sold in stores frequented by African Americans.
Have you ever been affected by skin tone racism?