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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm a 19 year old guy (one of the few here!) college student and I'm interested in this topic. I've been reserching quite extensively. Both through forums and dermatologist discussions and also ingredient reserch. I'm a mixture of Black and Cuban so my skin is kinda funny. Its dark but yellow at the same time. I'd say a celebrity match would probably be similar to Will smiths with a yellow/red undertone. Not light but not dark. What is that? Medium Brown? But I refer to myself as black ) Anyways, I like my skin color and how I look, I think I'm pretty attractive and have always gotten compliments on my looks. I've always had success with women of all races and throughout highschool (a 90% white school) I was popular and won prom king my senior year and dated the hottest girl in school who was a white cheerleader. I say this not to give a triumphant bio but because I want to talk about some previous discussions on here about the "reasons for lightening" and specifically about a popular thread started by ondine about how people treated her differently when she became a few shades lighter.

First I think her saying that she would like to reach out to darker people is both ludacris and brilliant at the same time.

Me being a dark skinned man while growing up in a white enviornment and dating white girls all my life has given me some good perspective. When I first got to my highschool. All of the white people passed me by and ignored me and at first I thought, just as ignorantly as ondine, and assumed that it was because of my skin color. But then I noticed that some of the other new kids were just as ignored. And they were white. But...they were "different white" meaning that they either dressed "weird" or were gothic or were small or off main-stream in some way.

So after observing this for a few weeks I decided to try something new. Instead of going a few shades lighter like ondine I decided to simply act like most of the other guys there. I started wearing hollister and became interested in things of the white world. I started talking to the popular white kids who openly stated that they never talked to a black guy before but they were really shocked because not only was I just like them in many ways but me being black was "exotic" and different and "cool." After I got in with one group of white people all of the other white people (seeing that I was aprochable) opened up and I was just another guy in school after a while!

After a while, me being black gave me a kind of "edge" against other guys because I broke the mold so well that I became unique and one of a kind. Girls and cheerleaders and everyone really wanted to be around me. I call this the obama effect. No one cared for the him at first but after he started doing "normal" things and breaking racial norms by "sounding smart" and speaking very intelegently, it was such a shock that him being black suddenly bacame his advantage because he was one of a kind, unique and cool and the "first".

Its exaclty how my highschool days went. Everyone ignored me NoT BECAUSE OF MY SkIN COLOR, exactly, but more because I was simply... Different. But once I started exuberating extreme confidence and ease at hanging out and laughing with white people. White people "flocked to me" and I became the most popular guy in school.

So why do I want to become lighter? First, I'm going for a chris brown color for me. Maybe a little darker actually. So I guess a few shades lighter for me. Personally I think white or even black isn't as attractive as a dark golden brown. At the same time I think that just because you have golden brown skin doesn't make you attractive. Skin color is only one part of the attractiveness equation. AND I also think males can be very attractive in a wide range of colors. From as pale as That twilight guy or even as dark as tyreese or denzel washington or the #1 male model in the world, tyson beckford, a black guy. but females have a harder time being attractive at dark skin tones but it does happen. IE gabrielle union on the hot maxim 100 AGAIN. So basically while I'm not blind and can see reality that some skin tones and colors and more attractive then some other ones, its only part of the equation. U can have sharp, sexy features and a sexy bod and be dark and be a TEN. Or u can be light and have sloppy features and be overlooked.

The moral of the story is that while I believe ondine's claim that becoming lighter has given her different treatment I think that she has interpreted it VERY wrong. People didn't talk to you more because they liked your new skin color parsay, but because you not only became a little more confident (whether you think so or not) but you became a tad bit more identifiable or like them. But if you had stayed the same color and approached others with high confidence, the way people treated you would have snowballed like it did for me. People ignore people because they arn't used to their kind and because its hard to aproach someone different. But once that different person takes the extra step to turn around a jump right into the "majority" with ease and confidence the results can be quite amazing. Just look at Obama and what happened to me

Please discuss and I love this site, u guys are nice and extremely intelegent sounding. And ondine I like you too because you have contributed immensely to this site consistently and arnt afraid to speak your mind and I'm sorry if I come off as negative, its purely opinion. Thanks )
 

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Great post!! you are pretty intelligent for a 19 year old-you should be so proud-

Best of luck to you!!
 

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Hello, welcome to the forum! Thats quite the introduction


I'm sure Ondine will want to reply herself...but i'll add my 2 pence worth lol

I'm glad you figured out for yourself why you appeared to be less approachable, and tackled this. Good for you! However I think what you said may be a broad generalisation. What may have happened to you, isnt necessarily what happens to others, or Ondine for that matter, as you mentioned her. Everyone has different experiences and I don't think there is a general way of 'interpretating' them. What worked for you, may not work for other. In your case, you found your voice, and things that you havd in common with different races in your school. It would be great if this applied for everyone...i.e show a bit of confidence and people will be more accepting, unfortunatley, I really don't think this is the case for everyone.

Sadly, some people will treat you differenly, because of the colour of your skin, no matter how much confidence you ooze. I know you have mentionoed Obama, other than the fact that he is in a league of his own, he had to break huge barriers before he became universally accepted. In fact, despite his eloquence, charasmatic nature, and extreme intelliegence, there are still parts of the world that don't accpet him, why? Because of the colour of his skin. Now I totally agree this is ignorant and unacceptable....but the point I'm trying to make is things arent always as simple as showing what a great personality you have.

Without sounding at all patronising (and I truly sorry if this does) I think your high school years can be very different from the real world...I know mine were. Popularity is a huge thing, if a 'cool' group accepted you for whatever reason, its a chain reaction, other popular kids will want to get to know too. Its incredibily fickle, but I think high school can often be like that. Further when you are young often shcool kids havnt always formed such strong opinions (whether negative or positive) and can still to an extent be changed or moulded.The older you get, and the more set you get in your ways, following the pack won't always be your main concern. You will behave how YOU want to behave. So if someone is less accepting to a darker skinned person, this may just be the way they are now...

Sorry for going on...just thought I'd add that...hope you enjoy your time here
 

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you seem to be a charismatic person, i envy you


But trust me
You live in open society which accepts different and unique people, but in close and narrow minded societies like most Asian and middle eastern societies the situation would be so different.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies! Now I totally agree with the point that I did sort of generalize the instances of a different person in a different enviornment. And I agree that situations like that would be far different in other parts of the world, such as some asian countries, and that ondine's situation could have been different. But I feel very strongly about denying the likelyhood that lightening up a few shades will make people treat you differently. And then how, feeling in such a way would garner a response like "going out of your way to treat darker skinned people better, because I've been there." I wanted to focus more on that part of what she said. About how being extra-polite and extra-kind can defeat the purpose and be taken offesively. About how, in american society, how its felt by some that white people look down on darker people. I don't think its that, I think its that darker people have these stubborn sterotypes that unfortunately prevent some people from accepting them at first because of sub-conscience reservations and cautions. I believe that in more situations and enviorments than not, one can simply break the mold and therefore break the ice....

Well at least in america
 

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You seem to very intelligent and 'with it'.
It may be that some darker people have sub conscience reservations, but for the the large part I think I wouldnt always agree with that. I guess in the states things are more liberal, and you are lucky for that. Unfortuanlty in many other societies, the darker you are the, the less accepted you are. I have a cousin in who is beautiful, and I mean seriously stunning, however she is on the darker side. She's loads of fun, eccentric and bubbly. But because of this ignorant mentality her good looks are somewhat ignored. And a less attractive man, of the same society, may not approach her because of her darker skin tone...ok going off the point in a bit but i hope you catch my drift.

Thanks for starting up the interesting post
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You seem to very intelligent and 'with it'.
It may be that some darker people have sub conscience reservations, but for the the large part I think I wouldnt always agree with that. I guess in the states things are more liberal, and you are lucky for that. Unfortuanlty in many other societies, the darker you are the, the less accepted you are. I have a cousin in who is beautiful, and I mean seriously stunning, however she is on the darker side. She's loads of fun, eccentric and bubbly. But because of this ignorant mentality her good looks are somewhat ignored. And a less attractive man, of the same society, may not approach her because of her darker skin tone...ok going off the point in a bit but i hope you catch my drift.

Thanks for starting up the interesting post
Thanks and No problem just looking, do you mind if I ask where your sister lives?
 

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Elonsius!

What a great read your post was. I re-read it just to be sure I took it all in! Part of the differences we experienced in interpreting events are due to a generational & a geographical difference. You, at 19 are a less than 1 yr older than my youngest child. Your high school experiences would indeed be very different as I graduated high school in 1982 (B4 you were born!). Skin colour/race/cultural issues are very sensitive & no doubt will provoke strong responses. Thanks for speaking up & boldly expresing your own.

I think you misread something I wrote. I clearly (perhaps not clearly enough) mentioned that I noticed different treatment within very specific contexts. I said that white people were treating me in the same manner as they were beforehand. This is the same experience you had!

The difference was experienced among the many people of South Asian/mid Eastern ancestry in my area. People from these regions have spoken here & elsewhere of the pivotal role a few shades of colour can make in their lives. I posted an article, yesterday, that you ought to read as it speaks directly to this issue within this specific context. The article is in the thread 'The Psychosocial implications of skin lightening' (or some similar name). It is written in India by Indians speaking candidly about this. I'd love for you to read it & add your comments. I'm sure you'll have a lot to say!

As for me becoming 'more confident', I am the same confident person I was beforehand. I am married to a successful & affluent man. Both he & I are University educated as are both my parents & soon both my kids. We are multilingual, well traveled & we live well. I am lightening NOT to attract some guy, be popular or anything like that; I just think lighter skin would go better with my ultra fine features. I inherited 100% European features from my mother's side BUT the dark skin from my father's side & the dark skin made my features disappear! I never though of myself as 'ugly' & I too got compliments on my unusual red/brown skin. People often mistook me for one of those white people who tan themselves ridiculously dark.

Words to the wise: be careful labeling anyone as ignorant or using your personal experiences to deny someone else's. That being said, you seem to be a very intelligent & articulate young man who is going places. Please post often & add your voice to the many threads. I'll be watching for more of your great posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hey ondine! Nice of you to clarify, I was suprised to think that you graduated in the early 80's! I can imagine the differences... I never thought that your reasons for lightening were for those reasons, I was mostly interested in the part where you stated you would treat darker people better, because of your new experiance....

But after your reply I kind of get where you're coming from and I think i'll hop over to that other thread and see if I can pitch in some opinions there as well.
 

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Great! I'll look forward to reading them. In India, a woman's skin tone can affect the course of her life. A couple of shades can alter who she is able to marry & therefore her socioeconomic class. Just googlw a site for Bollywood actresses & you will notice how brown skinned women are excluded from this group. GENDER is a major player in race perceptions in America too. Think of the great male black actors: From Sydney Poitiers to Danny Glover to Denzel Washington; they can be decidedly black & play major roles (not just 'comic relief') Now think of their female counterparts: Lena Hoenw, Dorothy Dandridge, Halle Berry & Vanessa Williams...HMmmmmm. Note the absence of any 'really' black women! The same rule holds largely in music. the ones touted for their beauty are never 'too black' (beyonce, Alicia Keys...) A guy CAN look like Ludacris or JayZee or PDiddy but in their videos, the girls are often on the fairer side & sport long hair weaves. At your young age, this double standard might not have caught your eye. The cosmetics endorsements will go to Beyonce NOT Lauryn Hill no matter how 'confident, talented & charismatic' Mz Hill may be.

Hopefully, as we discuss this issue & shed light on it, we will be able to diminish its impact.
 

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Nice of you to say, justlooking! This forum seems to be attracting more & more intelligent & new members with a lot to say. It keeps getting better & better.
 

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ondine, i couldnt agree more with you on the cosmetic endorsements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
GENDER is a major player in race perceptions in America too. Think of the great male black actors: From Sydney Poitiers to Danny Glover to Denzel Washington; they can be decidedly black & play major roles (not just 'comic relief') Now think of their female counterparts: Lena Hoenw, Dorothy Dandridge, Halle Berry & Vanessa Williams...HMmmmmm. Note the absence of any 'really' black women! The same rule holds largely in music. the ones touted for their beauty are never 'too black' (beyonce, Alicia Keys...) A guy CAN look like Ludacris or JayZee or PDiddy but in their videos, the girls are often on the fairer side & sport long hair weaves. At your young age, this double standard might not have caught your eye. The cosmetics endorsements will go to Beyonce NOT Lauryn Hill no matter how 'confident, talented & charismatic' Mz Hill may be.

Hopefully, as we discuss this issue & shed light on it, we will be able to diminish its impact.
You are absolutely right about the double standard in America. Eventhough I'm still young lol, I have noticed this. In my original post at the beginning of this thread I also talk about how men seem to be attractive in a wide range of color shades and how the number 1 male model in the world for quite some time was tyson beckford, a black guy; and also denzel, tyreese, and the list goes on. But how significant women with similar colors are hard to come by.

Its unfortunate. I remember telling my younger brother, who's three years younger than me at 16, one day that me and him have to work twice as hard as the next guy because we're black. We have to be AMAZING at everything we do in order to compete and win in every area of our lives, from academics to women. In my highschool days I was the most popular guy in an all white highschool and had the hottest cheerleader there but I was also, the star of the football team, the star and lead of the theater club, 2nd in my class, I had an expensive car and so on. My point is, to compete with my white counterparts I felt like I had to be twice as good! Thinking back on it, it was exausting! Lol, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I look forward to the day when black women will have the chance to compete like that as well.

I think it is happening. 2 of the last most powerful women in the world have been full black women! Condeleeza Rice and our first lady, Michele Obama. Back to back! There's still a lot of work to be done however. As a young black guy I feel I have the whole world in my hands and I have all the tools I need in order to make an impact and succeed in any way that I want. That's how anyone in college should feel. I think black men have really begun to be able to compete and succeed in this world. But as for black women, I think the road ahead can be truely daunting and discouraging when you see only light black women on the cover of magazines and on stage. But black men are succesful everywhere you look. I can't imagine...
 

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im only 2 years older then you, but im a little jaded by the world so i'll put this bluntly.
Im asian, i was one of two asians in a white school; but everyone liked me because im outspoken.
When you talk about black people, i cant help but think your focused on black african americans. I for one have never met an african american, and i live in a multicultural city.
There are many other black cultures like indians, aboriginies and africans from sudan and stuff i think your overlooking.

I have no real argument here, im just putting in my 2 cents.
 

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Thanks for all your 2 cents. It is true that there is great diversity within the group people identify as 'black' & skin tone is NOT always the defining factor. People in India & Sri Lanka (esp the latter) are often dark. Some Sri Lankans I've seen are darker than most black Afticans. they do NOT, however, consider themselves to be 'black people'. then there are mixed race people with white skin (mostly in America) who refer to themselves as black.

'Black people' who come form cultures in which they were never minorities have a different outlook than those coming from 'African American' post-slavery bkgds. Many in the latter group cannot trace their ancestry back more than a few generations before losing the thread due to the effects of slavery. Those North American blacks who do not come from an inner city bkgd, are solidly in the middle class & well educated professionals are different from those who lived that experience. Melanin shapes appearances but other factors determine how we interpret them & the meanings we ascribe to them. As for 'powerful black women' I concur with Condi Rice. She is a rare & exceptional genius with more brains in her *** than George W has in his entire body. As more Michelle Obama, she is a smart & well educated woman but she's the wife of the alpha male. HE has the power. She reminds me of Eleanor Roosevelt: another extremely intelligent & useful first lady.

The beauty & fashion industries do not give a hoot about how smart, clever, likeable etc. a woman is. Even talent can count marginally sometimes: esp for the white female stars. Had Anna Nicole Smith been a black woman, no one would've ever heard of her. Britney too since she's no singer. Black women in this position have to be ridiculously talented (like Mariah who is barely black & Beyonce). Double standards often pressure young women esp to go to extremes to 'conform' to an image. This is why whenever someone posts here that they are under 20 & looking to lighten, I engage them in a candid discussion about their motives & expectations. 'Real' dults who are truly 'grown up' have a broader understanding of colour politics & the role media influences can play.
Too many young people lighten because, as I read on one message board, they want to attract male attention at 'the club'. Is this a viable goal worth spending hundreds of $ & altering your appearance for? In a few short years, these people will likely have forgotten all about this club & all the Romeos in it as they will be focused on education & career! Realistically speaking too, there are very light people who are unpopular skin notwithstanding because they are dislikable characters! If, whether it is at 'the club'
or somewhere else; if you are repelling people, it is likely much more than skin deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
im only 2 years older then you, but im a little jaded by the world so i'll put this bluntly.
Im asian, i was one of two asians in a white school; but everyone liked me because im outspoken.
When you talk about black people, i cant help but think your focused on black african americans. I for one have never met an african american, and i live in a multicultural city.
There are many other black cultures like indians, aboriginies and africans from sudan and stuff i think your overlooking.

I have no real argument here, im just putting in my 2 cents.
Thanks for the input. I referance to black african americans because, even though I'm also cuban, the black african american side is the only part I feel I can share genuine input and opinion on. I'm not trying to overlook the other black people, I was hopeing that this thread would eventualy look into it more. I invite you to share your experiances since we're about the same age and shed some light on the asian area of things. I asume its about the same but I'm not certain. Do you consider yourself a black asain? Or dark? What were your experiences?
 

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ive always had a nice even tan, prob due to the australian summer. I too loved high school, even tho been asian + glasses + chubby (prime ridicule material) i was never teased cause well.. people respected me as i was a smart ***
,
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
i wonder what people in other countries, Asian and such, thought about Obama and Michele and him winning the election and the importance of skin color? I wonder if it changed some minds, ecspecialy the ones who had an intent on becoming white in order to better reflect the western world....
 

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election and skincolour should have nothing to do with each other. american politics is more of a specticule and a game. People should vote on policy and not on popularity..
Winning the election means jack all if he doesnt do anything, so far from what i read hes more talk then action atm.
 
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