Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh Tameka Foster "Jelly Belly" Raymond....

You falling prey to societal standards and deciding to get a tummy tuck had everything to do with the fact that your jelly belly situation just isn't cute and nothing to do with you being dark skinned. Sigh....she done made F.U. have to speak on it!

Tameka "Jelly Belly" Raymond, Usher's soon to be ex-wife, wrote an article for the Huffington Post about her having to deal with internal racism/color complexes due to the fact that she's a dark skinned woman. I'll be the first to admit that she makes some good points:

"Often dark-skinned women are considered mean, domineering and standoffish and it was these very labels that followed Michelle Obama during the campaign for her husband's presidency and which she has had to work tirelessly to combat. I was appalled when I heard a Black woman refer to Michelle Obama as unattractive. The conversation turned into why President Obama picked her as his mate. No one in the witch-hunt made reference to the possibility that Michelle Obama was smart, funny, caring, a good person, highly accomplished or brilliant. Nor did they mention that she previously was President Obama's supervisor. If she were fair skinned, petite with long straight or wavy hair, would the same opinions be linked to her? I seriously doubt it. It is believed that for the dark skinned, dreams are less obtainable."

There is an adage "hurt people, hurt people". If this is true then we must examine the root of negative words and judgments that are passed on people. Unfortunately, we have internal stereotypes based off of skin color and facial features that stem from years of programming, dating back to the "Willie Lynch" method for creating a slave. In this infamous formula, one of the main factors in separating and creating division was placing the lighter skinned blacks in a higher position in the house, while those with darker skin were made to stay in the fields and deemed "less desirable". Much like the Caste System in India. No matter what strides we make as a people, these issues continue to plague and rot our souls, causing significant decay to a portion of our population and truly hindering our progress. Perhaps we show progress in our wallets and lifestyles but not in our mind set.

Reading magazines, social media sites, watching our music videos, and television shows feed our appetites for all things 'beauty". Rarely, however do I see depictions of grace and elegance in the form of dark complexioned women. I Googled one of the more ethnic models, Alek Wek and I was saddened by the tone of what the bloggers wrote in reference to her complexion, features and hair texture. Ms. Wek's escape from Sudan, her journey, philanthropy, and groundbreaking success as a supermodel in America is not only beautiful, but it displays her tenacity and character. African-Americans seemed to have lost their eye for character. These comments are evidence of the confusion that lies within many black people. It's the cruelty and prejudice that has spilled into the fabric of our everyday lives. It makes me wonder what have we collectively lost as a people? Our Minds."

Of course when we see athletes like Reggie Bush with Kim Kardashian, or when her ex- and sex tape partner Ray-J has a reality show in which his final choices in women are a white girl, a light skinned blonde, and a psycho who da hell knows what, or we see the Kobe Bryants, the Taye Diggs, the T.O.s, the main girl in the videos and the list goes on and does seem like Black women with darker skin are not the preferred choice.

However, I personally don't feel like dark skin women are still fighting the paper bag syndrome like we once had to. From my own experience, the chocolate is MORE than desired, wanted and sexy as all hell. I see dark skin women in all kind of power roles, and yes a beautiful Black woman and her Black little girls are first and foremost in the White House. I know the color complex and the internal hate that Black people in general have for themselves is still relevant and still very much alive in our culture, but I can't say that the reason Tameka Raymond gets all the flack she does has anything to do with her skin tone.

She said: "In fact, I have read similar comments about myself that I am "dark, aggressive, bossy and bitchy." Ummmm, I don't understand why people would refer to her as dark followed by all negative characteristics. One has nothing to do with the others, yet ignorance is more than prevalent so it could very well be true OR Tameka could very well be upset by the fact that she isn't loved by the public and choosing to take much of what is said about her out of context and make it a racial thing. Who knows?

Real talk, Tameka is a nice looking woman. She isn't gorgeous and she isn't fugly. She's just a regula schmegula pretty woman. I think the comments regarding her attitude, personality and the way she treats people could stem from truth. Why would people make it their business to say such things about her...just cuz she's dark skinned? Come off it. Yes people may have wanted Usher to be with someone younger, who didn't already come with three or four kids, who wasn't already married, and wasn't the rumored reason that his relationship with Chilli was destroyed. I'll be the first to tell you that as spectators and consumers of all the hype and bullshit all these artists, athletes and entertainers sell us, we in turn have expectations for what these people do and who they do it with. Yeah, I thought Usher should have been with someone younger, without kids, and more on his level in terms of fabulousness. It don't have shit to do with her skin complexion but everything do with the fact that I personally didn't think they had that beautiful connection that I think two people in love have. I say the same shit about Hello Kitty - I mean Mariah and her little boy and Mariah is light and bright.

Point is, please don't blame your current situation on your skin tone Tameka. Dark skin women are loved, rejected and hated just as much as all women, and even if darker women are still shunned a lil more than the next, it isn't the reason that YOU suffer from your possibly self-inflicted psychological wounds. Maybe YOU don't love who you are, Tameka, and you are choosing to blame your own hurt on the reason you don't feel acceptance within the Black (woman) community.

Just a thought...


The F$%K it List said...

Thank you for speaking on this because when I read it on HuffPost I was annoyed.

I'm dark skin and none of this rings true to me. This just smells of her insecurities and her need to place blame.

F.U. said...

Hey F$%K It!! So glad you see where I'm coming really, her issues have nothing to do with her skin tone. She is tryin her best to find sympathy from people who are OVER HER. She's drownin herself in her own bullshit. It's sad, actually.

She needs time on the couch...

Kjen said...

I'm glad people are really looking at the criticisms that are lobbed at Tameka for all the different reasons that did include skin tone i think.
But I really appreciate how you brought up how things have changed for dark skinned women. it seems like whenever we discuss colorism if you're a dark woman you're cast in the victim role. And while I know colorism and its effects are alive and kicking - i have also received much love as well.

1 more thing - just based on looks alone, I always thought that usher and tameka found their match in one another. Just sayin'.