How One Black Woman Responded To A White Man Suggesting She Bleach Her Skin

By: Giovanni Zaburoni

Black women are the least protected and the least respected women in the world. Whether in the workplace, school, neighborhoods, on online forums, their look, demeanor, and intellect are constantly in question and under attack from people within and outside our communities.  

According to The Grio, one woman experienced a racist encounter on Tinder and she took to social media to voice her frustrations.  While on Tinder, Takara Allen received this message after going out on a date with a white man:  “Don’t think I’m a creep and I don’t wanna be offensive or anything but I was just looking at your insta photos and just curious, but have you ever thought about bleaching your skin?? You’d look so much prettier if you were whiter!”

Her direct response to him was, “Have you ever considered drinking bleach because the world would be so much prettier if you did,” but she went on her Facebook page to express her feelings a bit more.  

She wrote, “Waking up to this f***ery on a Friday morning. What goes on in people’s heads that makes them think this is okay to say to someone? As if people of colour don’t already struggle enough with the pressure to conform to a Eurocentric beauty ideals and standards, people like this add even more.

‘Don’t wanna be offensive.’ How the F*** is this not offensive in your head?! Like literally how can you come to the conclusion that this is even true? I’ve grown up hearing ‘You’d be prettier if you were lighter’ and ‘You’re pretty for a black girl,’ as if black women are just generally unattractive, and so it’s a surprise when one of us is. Not to mention the fact that as a mixed race woman people are constantly hitting me with the ‘but you’re so pretty, what are you mixed with?’ bullshit when I simply say ‘I’m black’. As if black can’t be beautiful on its own and that I should be grateful to be mixed with something because whatever I’m mixed with makes the black ‘okay’ all of a sudden.

People are always complaining that I post too many things talking down about white people (Pointing out systematic racism and ignorance that they seem to take personally for some reason) but none of you realize that this is the sh*t that myself and other black women have to deal with on a daily f***ing basis. It’s easy to say ‘don’t let it get to you’ and what not but this isn’t a onetime thing. I’ve been hearing this crap ever since I moved to Australia and I can guarantee you that women who are even darker than I am hear it even more. If you have to say ‘not trying to be offensive/racist/mean’ before you say something, DON’T SAY IT.”

AN

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