Fierce

As The Family Morena, I Am Used To Colorism At Home But Was Not Prepared To Receive It From My Husband’s Family Household

Yo soy la morena de la familia, and it became an issue with my husband’s family.

Ever since I can remember, my skin tone has always been a popular topic of conversation among people who barely knew me and my family members. In my mid-twenties, I overheard my own grandmother and her sisters commenting on the color of my skin. They were sitting on the deck by tía Yolanda’s pool. I was getting them beer from the kitchen

“Such a pretty girl,” I heard one of them say.

“Morenita,” said another.

I stood by the fridge listening, waiting to open it to get their drinks.

“Cheryl’s not that dark?”

“Oh, no,” said my grandmother, “Michelle gets her color from her father.”

It was easier to attribute my dark skin than to acknowledge the Afro-Cuban, grandparents that they shared on their mother’s side of the family, and to not notice that each of them was a different shade of tan, and each had curly hair, some with tighter curls than the others.

My marido is the moreno of his family too, and like mine, his family also doesn’t know how to discuss their family’s obvious African roots, but he and I loved our own dark skin so much that we fell in love with each other and married twenty-one years ago.  

Our dark skin, him a Mexican National, me a third-generation Xicana—it freaked a lot of people out.

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“Are you sure that he doesn’t have a family somewhere in México?”

I was at my tío again in West Covina, preparing for our Mexican wedding, getting ready to travel with my mom, tía Yolanda, an eighty-year-old grandmother to Colima for our big ceremony. My uncle Rick, (the formerly racist uncle) who is Greek, Italian, and Mexican, asked the question. Ines and I were already married, having had a civil marriage two years before at our local city hall. They liked Inés too, but still felt compelled to ask if I was sure that he didn’t have another wife, and children back home in México.

“I’m sure,” I said not terribly surprised at the question since I already knew that my family’s sense of self sometimes relied on looking down on “other” kinds of Mexicanos.

My tíos are light-skinned, and I got the impression that my uncle wouldn’t have thought to ask this question if Inés wasn’t moreno, as if to imply that his skin-tone and his immigration status made him desperate enough to lie and fool me into marrying him.

Two years in, we had already experienced a range of reactions about our marriage, from weird assumptions to out-and-out disbelief or racism.

Even our immigration counselor, Nelly, didn’t quite believe we were a real couple, in love, hoping to make a life together. She thought I appeared younger than I actually was with my “alternative look,” and him two shades darker, looking like the cross between a Mexican Idris Alba and the Indian actor Irfan Khan, and assumed ours was just an immigration marriage. She stressed to me, over and over, that I would have to support him for up to ten years if we divorced too quickly. Perhaps, Nelly’s confusion about our relationship had to do with how rare it is for American-born Latinx to marry Mexican nationals. In the US, according to a Pew Research Center study, U.S.-born Latinx do tend to marry other Latinx, only about 12% marry Latinx born in a Latin American country. But it wasn’t the only time that my union with Inés confused people.

“Tu eres la esposa de Inés, de veras?”

I was on the dance floor at a wedding reception in Coquitmatlan, Mexico where my husband is from, dancing with the groom, the childhood best friend of my husband, Enrique. The wedding had been in Colima just ten minutes away in an ornate church on the plaza. A professional singer performed the most beautiful rendition of Ave Maria that I’ve ever heard. The reception was in the outdoor courtyard of Enrique’s family home across the street from Ines’ very humble family home that still had a dirt floor in the kitchen.

My Spanish isn’t great, but Enrique made it pretty clear that he couldn’t believe that a woman like me was married to Inés. Was it because I was lighter than Inés, or did he think I was too young? Pretty güero himself, I got the impression Enrique’s disbelief had something to do with his expectations about Ines, his dark-skinned friend from the poor family across the street. Inés, in fact, had to leave México to find work even after finishing secondary school and getting two different industry certificates, a problem that could be explained by the relationship between skin-tone and wealth in that country. A Vanderbilt survey in Mexico found that people with light skin fall in the 70th percentile for wealth on average, while people with darker skin are concentrated in the bottom 50 percent.

I used to soothe my annoyance at people, including those in my own family, who were fooled by the false superiority of lighter skin by making a list of songs in my head that celebrate morenas:

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“Piel Morena” by Thalia

“Esa Morena” by Ozomatli

“La Morena” by Ilegales

“Morena Ven” by Rosario

“Nina Morena” by Gipsey Kings

There are many great morena playlists, but it’s worth mentioning that there is a certain type of exoticization that happens in some of these songs, a certain type of essentialism, like ideas that all morenas are shapely, sexy women with dark long hair, who shake their hips – mueve las caderas, mueve la cintura. However, ideas in many of these songs that morenas can be pretty, not fea, or a saltapatras is a cause for celebration, in and of itself, when many of us grow up being told to stay out of the sun, encouraged to lighten our hair, sold lightening creams, and colored contact lenses.

But we need more than songs.

We need tías (and other family members) who don’t buy into the idea that lighter skin is better than darker skin, family members who don’t make snap judgments about anyone based on skin color. We need tías who praise children for working hard in school, achieving goals, tending to their mental health, respecting elders, reading books, and exercising, and we need tías who love their own dark-skin too.

The Best Tips For Darker Skin Tones That Will Give Your Melanin Lots Of Glow

Fierce

The Best Tips For Darker Skin Tones That Will Give Your Melanin Lots Of Glow

When it comes to makeup, a lot of what we see in the media is still focused on lighter skin tones. Fortunately, this is starting to change and even some makeup companies have realized the demand for more variety in terms of products. Moreover, there’s a global movement to recognize the beauty of darker skin tones as more artists and influencers are embracing their natural skin.

Whether you are just starting to experiment with makeup or have already picked up plenty of looks here are a few tips for working with makeup on darker skin tones.

1. Don’t skip UV protection.

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Your skin is beautiful with or without a tan. However, it is important to use UV protection even if you are dark. When planning for a day in the sun, add a bit of sunscreen, or at least a foundation and lip balm that offer UV protection to your look. Not only will a little sunscreen protect you from dangerous skin cancer, but it will also keep your skin looking younger as you age.

2. Develop a solid routine.

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Dark skin has plenty of variety and reacts differently to various climates. Whether you need to moisturize on a regular basis or deal with excess oil, a good routine can help you avoid breakouts. And, of course, always remember to take your makeup off before going to bed no matter how tired you feel. Your skin will thank you.

3. Mind the undertones.

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Your skin may have yellow, olive or even reddish undertones. Understanding your undertones can help you select colors to either bring these out or keep them hidden.

4. Moisturizer is key.

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Dark skin can get ashy when it’s dry. This can be embarrassing especially if you live in a climate that you’re your skin doesn’t like because everyone will know when you need to moisturize.

5. Match your makeup to your personal style.

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Makeup can definitely be used to express your style and your individuality. If you love bright colors, you can certainly translate that into your night time, and even daytime, look.

6. Find the right shades.

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Finding the shades of foundation and even eyeshadow that compliment your skin tone can be a bit of a journey. Fortunately, once you find what works, you can use that as your framework for future looks.

7. Play with foundation.

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If you are blessed with clear skin, you may skimp on, or even skip foundation all together for certain daytime looks. On the other hand, you can also use foundation and powder to play up different parts of your face. Most experts recommend using a foundation that is two shades lighter than your natural skin tone.

8. Do some research.

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If you’re trying out something new, or if you’ve generally had trouble with matching makeup to your skin tone you’re in luck; there are several YouTube and Instagram influencers who specifically work with darker skin tones and offer tutorials. You can also ask a friend for help.

9. Make the most out of your concealer.

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While concealer is traditionally used to hide skin blemishes, it can also help make your eyes pop. Simply apply your favorite concealer under your eyes and to your eyebrows in a triangle

10. Makeup after contact lenses.

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This tip is universal but worth noting regardless of whether you are using contact lenses to help correct your vision or are opting for color contacts to make your eyes pop for a special occasion. Putting on your contacts at the last minute will inevitably lead to running makeup and possibly even mascara smudged contact lenses.

11. Balance your eyes and lips:

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Having both eye and lips pop can be overwhelming, which is why makeup artists focusing on one or the other. That doesn’t mean that your eyes can’t look stunning if you’re wearing red or purple lipstick, but having your eyes pink at the same time, can be a bit too much at best, and may leave you looking like a clown at worst. To make sure you aren’t overdoing it, stick to accentuating either your eyes or your lips- especially if you are a beginner.

12. A touch of bronzer gives a bright, sun-kissed look.

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Adding a little bit of bronzer can help your skin look fresh and sun-kissed even if your skin is naturally dark. Fortunately, there are several types of bronzers on the market that have been designed for darker skin. The key is remembering to blend the bronzer with your foundation for a smooth finish.

13. Add primer to enhance your eyeshadow.

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Whether you are going for a relaxed look or want to attract attention to your eyes, applying primer before your eyeshadow can help ensure that every shade looks its best.

14. Go darker with blush.

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If you have darker skin, you’ll need a darker blush color to get your “rosy” cheeks. You can also pay attention to your skin’s undertones and complement for a natural blush or contrast for a more dramatic look.

15. Find your lipstick shades.

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Credit: @makeupglow

You can pull off almost any lipstick including red in the right shade. However, most experienced makeup artists will warn you away from frosty or glossy shades. For a fun and flirty daytime look, opt for chocolate, or peach shades.  For a more adventurous look, try gold, berry, or even purple.

16. Highlight your brows.

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This is especially important if you have darker skin but lighter hair and eyebrows. Having your eyebrows disappear while the rest of your face is accentuated with makeup will definitely earn you a few questioning looks.

17. Combine colors to make your eyes pop.

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Most expert makeup looks use several colors. Adding a light color around the edge of your eyes can make you look bright-eyed. Meanwhile adding a similar shade to the edge of your eyebrow can make your eyes look larger.

18. Take time to experiment.

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Most people who are “good at makeup” have spent time experimenting with different shades, colors, and techniques to find out what works- and what doesn’t. Giving yourself time to mess around with your makeup will not only sharpen your skills but can also lead to you discovering that a specific shade or color looks amazing with your skin tone. And, of course, you can always get ideas for your next party look or Halloween costume.

19. Keep your makeup supplies clean.

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Over time, your skin oil, dead skin cells, and extra pigment can build up on your makeup brush causing it to be less effective and leading to unpleasant breakouts. Meanwhile, unclean eyeshadow brushes can lead to eye infections. As a best practice, clean your brushes at least every few weeks or every four months if you only use makeup once in a while. Your skin and your eyes will thank you!

A Dating Website For Uniformed People Claims A Married Cop Suing Them Isn’t As Innocent As He Claims

Culture

A Dating Website For Uniformed People Claims A Married Cop Suing Them Isn’t As Innocent As He Claims

If you’re in a relationship, hold on to them tight. If you’re not, good luck out there because the dating world is mad crazy. Trying to meet people, especially online (is there any other way?) it is rough. Millions of people are trying to find love via dating websites, which means the competition is steep. It’s also challenging to make people not swipe left, meaning, getting someone to be interested in you based on your picture alone is the ultimate goal. So what makes people interested in someone else? If you’re a woman attracted to men, it’s pretty much the same thing since the beginning of time: tall, dark, handsome, and a man in uniform. That brings us to this hilarious yet unfortunate story.

A Florida cop has filed a lawsuit against a dating website for using his picture for marketing purposes. Oh yeah, and he also happens to be married.

Credit: @wackymoe / Twitter

Before we go on, we know what you’re thinking: this cop lied to his wife, set up a dating profile online, and got caught, so now he’s suing the company, acting like he had nothing to do with it. 

However, companies of all sorts have been caught in the past for wrongfully using images without permission simply because they came across a random image online. Also, the man is hot! So, of course, these online dating websites would want to attract users by using the image of an attractive young police officer (in uniform) as a way to lure in people who are starving for love (or something else, wink wink). 

David Guzman alleges that he had no idea his image was being used as a marketing ploy for online dating websites until his friends came across his advertisement.

Credit: @Kaygirl8Lawana / Twitter

According to court documents, last year Guzman said his friends told him that they had seen his picture and informed him like ‘hey, dude isn’t this you?’ Another person who found out: his wife! Yikes!!

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that his wife asked Guzman why his picture was on a dating website, and he responded to her by saying he “had no idea.” Okay, like that’s going to be enough for her to believe him. By the way, the advertisement that accompanied his picture said: “Bulletproof vest? Nah, it’s all muscle” Catchy and enticing! But yeah, he said he did not write that either. 

The 33-year-old police officer contacted the owner of the dating websites and demanded that they take down his picture from UniformDating.com.

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NSI Holdings, owner of Cupid.com and UniformDating.com, didn’t take down the picture. First, they demanded that Guzman show identification, which he did promptly. Then NSI Holdings alleges that they found a dating profile that included his name, his age, and his birthdate and his email address.

Their argument is they have a right to use his picture because he apparently has a dating profile. They’re saying that either Guzman or someone close to him, started a profile and used his information. NSI Holdings also found that the person attached to that dating website did go on UniformDating.com and “that creation of the profile was a momentary dalliance.”  

Furthermore, people who use NSI Holdings dating website sign the terms and agreements which state that they can use your image and information as they please “to reproduce and broadcast the information contained in your profile including your name, photograph” and other submissions “for marketing and other purposes,” without compensating the user. Now that is some kind of bullshit. 

Guzman alleges that the company has still not taken down his picture, and he’s not rolling over and taking this kind of harassment.

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It’s unclear what Guzman is asking for in his lawsuit, aside from the company taking down his picture, but we’re sure some monetary payback is in order.

“Defendant’s use of plaintiff’s image, likeness and/or identity in connection with a dating service impugns plaintiff’s character, embarrasses him, and suggests — falsely — that he, a married person, is presently dating and seeking out other partners,” the lawsuit states according to the New York Post

Legal docs go on to state, that Guzman is “a married man and respected member of his community who has been caught with a profile on an online dating website.” Or perhaps he just got caught with his pants down, so to speak. No! We remain Team Guzman. 

Who do you believe? Let us know in the comments.

READ: Check Out Some Of Yesika Salgado’s Best Clapbacks To Creepy Men Hitting On Her On Dating Apps

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