Catching up on my RSS feeds (issues with Safari have put a serious crimp in my blog-reading habits) I came across this from Long Bench, and I want to say "hear, hear".
To suggest that a light-skinned woman is not authentically Jamaican – ie. is a foreigner – and therefore should not even be in competition with or selected over a dark-skinned (more authentic?) Jamaican woman makes absolutely no sense. While I agree with the basic critique concerning the everlasting lightness (with a few dark ones sprinkled in between) of the beauty queens, and agree that the judges’ choice reflects a pervasive racist notion that is rubbed in our face in an expensive and public way each year ie. that the closer one is to European-ness, the more beautiful one is considered. However, I want to deal with the “authentic vs. foreigner” issue which keeps coming up – “she look like a foreigner” – because I think this way of framing a legitimate issue is historically and socially inaccurate, really disrespectful and utterly divisive.
One day I will say more. But in the meantime, ponder this: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the danger of the single story about anything.