Blackened Beige & Bleached Beige
By Osaiyekemwen Ogbemudia
Volume 1 Issue 5
February 12, 2021
Image provided by Khoudia Diop
To this world I am blackened-beige, nothing more, nothing less.
Too black to have red bones.
Too burnt to be bronzed light.
Not black enough to speak her native tongue.
When I look at magazines, the girls staring back at me,
Blackened-beige, they are
“Pretty,” if slathered with oil, sauteed naked, and served for the tasting
She’s not regal, never classy, but a trend, a fetish, nothing more, nothing less.
I’m supposedly scraped from the bottom of the barrel.
Too rough to caress.
Too tough to hold.
Not sexy, curvy, thick enough to fit the “preference.”
I long to be a brown girl
In a rainbow of shades and hues,
Where all can blend happily too...
But our vision is fading duller
We keep wasting colors.
The same people divided.
If all’s said and done, if MY melanin’s a curse,
My ugly must be the absolute worst.
My America is bleached beige.
Her hands are discolored, dark splotches defame face, and fair streaks sully the person that once was.
She has claimed to stop bleaching, observing her poached cowhide skin
Eventually, some parts of her skin returned to its original color, but many fair spots linger---
She still smears her afflictions with the very substance that cages her from self love
my America perceives skin color in microscopic gradients or obvious shades of difference