Out of the Mouths of Babes: Kimora Lee Simmons’s Son Wants Lighter Skin

Colorism is real. It’s not something we made up, and it’s not something that can be remedied overnight. Colorism is also something we must be willing to discuss, ad nauseam if need be.

In a conversation with The Guardian, Actor, Dijmon Hounsou expressed his joy in regards to the upsurgence of black superheros on TV and in film

“It’s about time…It’s absolutely great news to have a hero that black folks can identify with,” he said.

Actor, Dijmon Hounsou, who shares a son with Kimora Lee Simmons, has also had to come face-to-face with the reality of colorism during a recent conversation with his 7-year-old son.

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Could you imagine my misfortune when my son told me: ‘I want to be light-skinned so I can climb the walls like Spider-Man’ – just because he has seen Spider-Man and Batman and all these superheroes who were all white. The minute he said it, I was like, damn. My whole self was shattered. I was like, wow, what sort of comeback do you have for this? It’s important to recognize yourself. It’s absolutely important. That’s the value in telling stories. There’s a reason why we create fantasy stories, so we can surpass this life condition.”

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Indeed representation, or rather a lack of representation, is a major factor in the endurance of colorism. Until we truly normalize dark skin, we will always find ourselves in the position of having to make it a “thing” to discuss and celebrate.

For instance, I was recently involved in an exchange with a woman in my facebook group who expressed her frustration with dark skin women always referencing complexion. She asserted that black people were the ones who were keeping colorism alive with our inability to simply denounce the idea that lighter skin is “better skin.”

The reality is colorism wasn’t invented by black or brown people, and while we can certainly work to change the perceptions regarding skin complexion, we can’t get beyond it if we aren’t willing to accept that it’s bigger than us. Sweeping it under the rug isn’t the answer.

What are your thoughts about colorism? Sound off below!

Well Hello! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a lipstick-loving, high heel junkie, mom, and wife. When I’m not here bringing you the latest in beauty, fashion, hot topics, and bits and pieces of my life with my family, you can find me over on youtube swatching lipsticks and sharing my latest natural hairstyles. Make sure you also follow me on Instagram and Snapchat under my brand name Lisa A La Mode. I’m a real person. I promise.

20 Comments
  1. Well, it seems that parents need to let there children know they can do and be what ever they want and to not allow a lighter color to define who they are meant be. It’s a shame that noncolor folks always want to place blame, it’s unfortunate but we learned from the master and perfected it. So we need to break this cycle and it’s going to take a lot for us to start loving the skin we are in.

  2. Realty check. There’s No Santa Clause, your toys are bought by mom, dad and family and friends.
    Spiderman, and Batman aren’t real. They are drawn cartoon characters. No one has the powers that you see in the comic books.
    TELL YOUR SON WHO THE REAL BLACK SUPER HERO’S ARE. THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF AFRICA AND THE BLACK MOVEMENT SAINTS WHO DIED FOR OUR LIBERTIES IN THIS COUNTRY. Its time for black parents to put the fairy tales to rest.

    1. Here, Here! We don’t take away their childhood by teaching our children the difference between fantasy and reality, on the contrary, the truth the people who have raised, loved and supported you give you gifts because your happiness is OUR happiness, your joy, OUR joy….

  3. My hue ( beige to ebony) does not define me nor my abilities. It’s simply the wrapping God chose for my unique spirit to dwell in for a little while. It’s all good… it’s all beautiful.

  4. He’s a such an adorable little boy! I’m glad his dad heard him say that so he work can on the issue with him. He can let him know that color doesn’t define him and that the person he is on the inside is what matters the most.

  5. I have a beautiful dark skinned daughter and looking at the tip of her ears the day she was born I knew she would be as beautiful as her ebony dad. Today she is a confident, dark, sweet, berry. A day didn’t didn’t go by that we didn’t compliment her hue. We, especially her dad, knew what she could be in for. She has ALWAYS loved her tone and herself. She walks this life journey with no worry about others perception. She is our Chocolate, Chocolate Chip!!!!

  6. Give him some comics. There’s a black Spider-Man and a black, female Ironman. Also there’s Black Panther, who is a rich African king from a technologically advanced society and Falcon who are Avengers! There is also Luke Cage down in Harlem keeping it street and fighting with the Defenders! I’m even sure that Falcon was Captain America for awhile too…and I almost forgot Ironman’s best buddy, War Machine who is also pretty cool and Black. Plus the coolest cat of them all, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. So they’re. Cyborg from the Justice League is black, there’s a black Green Lantern, Vixen from Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow fame is black, Mr. Terrific from Arrow and Kid Flash from Flash is black. They’re tons of other examples but I just took those from the top of my head. The Lone Ranger was based off of a black U.S. Marshall…a real life superhero. His name is on the top of head but I’m just not remembering his name right now. He was recently highlighted on an episode of the series “Timeless”.

  7. I had the opposite problem with my daughter. The darker skinned girls would look at her with disdain and to make matters worse she had really long hair as a little girl. I was always watching and praying to make sure nothing happened to my daughter. She couldn’t be with us 24/7, but God was always with her.

  8. One of the best things we can do for our children is to be honest with them and to provide for them real life role models who LOOK LIKE THEY DO. Fantasy is one thing, reality another. Children do not always do as we SAY, but as we do. If we are comfortable in our skin, and surround ourselves with people of all hues and backgrounds, our children will see they beauty in the world that transcends skin color. We must do the work.

  9. It is important that black parents engage in healthy image building to counter the centuries of black abuse. Simple words like black and beautiful, smooth chocolate and wow your natural hair is gorgeous make a difference. Never use black and ugly or stupid in the same sentence.
    It is an uphill battle that must be won.

  10. As an actor i think u ar in better position to change this reality to our advantage by creating the like of Marvel stories with black

  11. I’m a POC myself, so this is more than simple rhetoric to me.
    But honesty requires that we not downplay and in fact acknowledge that it isn’t a case of “evil White people” who have been the exclusive early propagators of color negativity. The Bhagavad Gita and Mahabharata predate colonial bigotry and are guilty of this. Egyptian mythology does the same thing. It’s deeply rooted in humanity and that ancient bigotry towards ourselves makes the relatively recent prejudices that much harder to eradicate. Knowing that it is also self inflicted isn’t convenient but we cannot eliminate what we don’t look at with the same unblinking honesty that we deserve of others.

  12. Colorism is very real and very insidious. Kids pick up on not only what is said but also on non-verbal cues, such as not seeing folks who look like them depicted in the media in its different forms. His parents need to teach him to love himself just as he is while at the same time acquainting him with the realities of racism gradually and in age-appropriate ways. His longing for lighter skin definitely did not occur in a vacuum.

  13. I am blessed to have 4 daughters. The oldest has a fair complexion, while number two is darker, numbers three and four are not as brown as number two but are brown. My husband was what people call a Black Arab and I am Black American with some recent Native American blood. We did not raise our daughters based on skin tone or hair texture. I have tried to teach them that their coloring and hair texture are merely the wrapping paper. Their characters are the treasures covered inside…. Lighter coloring does not make one better than another, nor does darker skin automatically make one worse. Our coloring is obvious but how we treat one another because of it is absolutely a choice.

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