I think that this is in part due to the colorism conversation we are having. I think a residual effect that we often forget about is the courage I think these conversations gave dark skinned black girls and women to start being themselves.
I know for me personally, I didn’t know much about the subject until I was in college. I didn’t grow up in an overtly colorist family, and like many other dark-skinned girl, I don’t have a tragic colorism story. Yes, that still means I experienced colorism but not to the damaging and personally lengths some dark-skinned black women have. Even still, I felt like being quirky wasn’t something that I could be.
Growing up, although there were many more dark skinned women and girls on the screen, the representation itself wasn’t varied. I don’t remember (that doesn’t mean there absolutely wasn’t) representations of dark skinned black girls with very quirky personalities, other than maybe Moesha. I think however, this new relatable black girl trend shows a shift in our representation and that our horizons are broadening.
For so long usually, If you were a dark skinned woman on YouTube you were a beauty vVogger, or lifestyle Vlogger and there was always this look of perfection and perfect slayage. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, quite the contrary, for even longer, the scene was dominated by white and mixed beauty gurus leaving a much undeserved crowd who wanted to get into makeup as well. However, if you were a dark skinned girl and not into doing hair or makeup tutorials, you weren’t really popular or marketable.
I have never believed that there should be only one type of black girl, so I am all for the phenotypic black girls with personalities, who don’t necessarily fit into the ordinary are getting their shine!