No, I’m Not Engaged Because I’m Light Skin

“Do you ever think maybe your fiancé is just into you because you have a light skin tone?”

I opened up my email one day last week and this comment was left on a YouTube video where Bae and I chatted about wedding updates, and y’all, God has really done a work on me because I did not curse anyone out (even in my head!), dig up dirt on folks to snatch edges, or do anything even seemingly petty to what I would’ve done before He turned it.

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Now I’m no stranger to rude comments both on YouTube, other social media platforms, or even in person. What is strange is that as I share more and more about my personal life – since y’all are nosy and the Google Analytics data shows that’s what the peoples care about – people get more and more salty.

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You know, I don’t totally blame anyone with the “he loves you because you’re light” mentality. After all, there ARE black men who only seek out fairer skinned women to date. Colorism is all the way real. But I am nowhere near basic enough to want, hope for, or even mildly tolerate a guy who liked me because of my skin color.

The thing is – if anyone knows me in real life (hey fam!) – you know that I’m actually a LOT to deal with. I am opinionated. Loud. Stubborn. Extremely emotional. I always think everything is a conspiracy against my kind (women, black people, immigrants, etc). I will argue with you about something I don’t even fully agree with simply because I’m bored. I switch so quickly from hold me and don’t let go to don’t even touch me with the hair on your forearm.

KK and Bae
This has nothing to do with skin color silly!

I am the immigrant child of scrappy and scrupulous Nigerian parents who asked about the remaining 3 points when I came home excited about a 97. I have two Ivy League degrees. I am in a PhD program while running a successful side business (receipts here). I do my best to keep my hair moisturized. I read my Bible and pray as often as I remember. I am passionate about the people and things I love. I am a good cook. I have a slight hint of hips and a booty. I am sorta kinda funny. On most days, I am happy with who I am and confident in who I’m becoming. I am a child of God.

THAT is why my fiance loves me. Not because I happen to look like peanut butter despite my best efforts to look like nutella.

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  1. damn, it is super rude to insinuate (straight up claim?) that bae is interested “just” because you’re light-skinned, as if that’s all you have to offer. ugh.

    this is like the black men-white women discussion. obviously, colorism is real and harmful, but coming for individual relationships has no utility in terms of the broader discussion. like we can point out that yes, it’s far more common for a dark-skinned man to date a much lighter woman than the converse, or for a black man to date a white woman than a black woman to date a white man. we can point to all the norms, history, antiblackness, etc etc that make this the case. we can even acknowledge it might cause a pang of sadness/hurt as darker skinned or black women. but it has to stop there. because coming for people’s relationships, ESPECIALLY when you don’t know them or their story is also hurtful.

    i have so many thoughts here though. how do you disentangle your skin from the rest of your attributes? i don’t know him, but maybe he loves your skin too? After all, it’s beautiful, it glows, these are available to melenated woman across many hues lol. Ultimately, it might be one of the many things he loves about you, which is also okay.

    1. Ivy, thanks for reading & commenting – you disentangled the larger conversation that I kind of didn’t want to get into because there’s such a thin line between preferences and self-hate. You’re totally right though that it’s rude to apply generalizations to individuals without knowing their story.

      I haven’t thought about the “whether he loves my skin too” aspect, and whether that’s ok. I’m fully comfortable saying I love his skin, but something inside me raises a side eye if he were to say the same.

  2. Hey Ijeoma,

    I like you, I’m a big fan!!! I wish I had thick hair like yours! Too bad for me 🙁 It’s as thin as it can get. I like you even more because you are engaged to my homie, a Kenyan like me 😀 After reading this post, you know what, don’t let it get to you especially when it’s not worth discussing, he’s nutella, your peanut butter, so what!!! One thing that I’m trying to practise as I grow older (I’m 25 as well) is this… If I have made my point, I stop talking. Easier said than done but not impossible. There is so much negative vibe that can come at you and it ain’t worth your time especially if it’s from strangers. I’d say, keep doing you, as long as it doesn’t offend God, your fans like and love what you’re doing. Good day and cheers!!!

  3. Thank you for setting the record straight… (as well as for the receipts…plus some change????) the love between the two of you is so obvious and real… I wish you both the best in your union.

  4. ????????????Well said boo some people are so ignorant and does not reply a response. What is color has to do with love? I probably sure Bae would not mind if you were dark chocolate he fell in love with the individual not her color. On a side note, do you want me to go and scalp her like the Indians used to do. I’m a Christian too I let my father handle her.

  5. Gurl… NO SOMEBODY DID NOT ASK YOU THIS?!?!?! Yo. People sure are bold behind a computer/smartphone/tablet! But you told ’em! And applause on not gettin’ petty because… you know I know! LOL! 😉