If you haven't heard, Usher's soon to be ex-wife Tameka Raymond has spoken, well written. She penned a piece about her inner struggles as a dark-skinned black woman for the Huffington Post. It's titled "She's Pretty for a Dark Skinned Girl." Raymond addressed her haters and how they dissed her because of her age and skin complexion. She wrote:
"In fact, I have read similar comments about myself that I am 'dark, aggressive, bossy and bitchy.' It has been stated that my husband should have been with a "younger, more beautiful" woman. Astoundingly, the majority of the remarks come from African-American women and are mimicked by others. Sadly enough, I don't know nor have I met 99% of those making these assertions."
I've blogged about the vicious remarks people have said about Tameka Raymond. The critics were so nasty one would've thought Tameka was sleeping with their men. I've read things about her and wanted to say to the writer, "What did Tameka do to you?" I know we as women can be catty, but damn. When sistas are dissing another sista because of her age and skin complexion--that's sad. No, that's self-hatred. Black people, we need to move past our color complex issues.
Tameka is an attractive woman and I give her props for snagging a younger, handsome man. I don't hate on people like her. I take notes. No, the marriage didn't work. However, she must have done something right in the beginning to cause Usher to put a ring on it. Plus she's a celebrity stylist. She seems to have a lot going for herself. After all, she is from Oakland. ;)
Raymond was even open about her near-death experience in Brazil where she planned to get cosmetic surgery. She said:
"...while on vacation in Brazil I decided to undergo tummy lipo-surgery. After having an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, I went into cardiac arrest before the procedure ever began. I nearly lost my life over something as superficial as having a flatter mid-section and trying to adapt to society's traditional definition of beauty. As I nursed my psychological wounds, I began to realize that trying to live up to the prototypes of external beauty paled in comparison to the fact that I have undergone labor, subsequently being blessed to raise five handsome, smart, healthy, intuitive, and happy children."
Tameka was buying into the status quo and her haters. It nearly cost her life. But I applaud her for being honest about her insecurities and facing them. I know how she feels. I was teased in elementary and middle school because of my dark skin by black students in my class. Some of them were darker than me. As I grew, they told me I was pretty for a dark skinned girl. I prayed I would wake up with skin like Halle Berry or Vanessa Williams. Then I grew to love myself and my chocolate skin. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Hopefully Tameka Raymond feels the same.