“Is Oprah Winfrey Medium Complexioned?” and Sammy Sosa

Someone googled “is oprah winfrey medium complexioned” six times and some how ended up on this blog.  Um…I don’t get it.  Somebody fill me in, is there some kind of controversy over Oprah’s skin color that I haven’t heard about?  Did she describe herself as medium complexed?  God forbid she say that she’s dark skinned, huh?  SMH, skin color is still a very polarizing concept…well, maybe it’s better said that it’s a polarizing reality in the Black community (Indian community, Latino community, West Indian community, etc).

I’m sure this is just a random occurance, but as an African American woman, I would not be surprised about a color controversy.  Look at the Sammy Sosa situation.  Clearly the man has used some sort of skin lightening treatment.  When you look at an older picture of his previously chocolate brown skin…why would you even have to wonder? I believe the claim that Sosa’s lightened skin in this photo is the result of a skin rejuvenation process and the bright TV lights at the awards show he was attending with his wife.

According to Sosa, who addressed the skin controversy with ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas, he is using a cream that “whitens” his skin. Mostly, Sosa said, it’s a skin softener.

Sosa is from the Dominican Republic.  I’ve seen it noted several times that many Dominican women (and many people around the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and yes, here in the US) Dominican women straighten their hair, which some experts say is a direct result of a historical learned rejection of all things black.  This rejection, seen in many diasporan cultures, has also manifested in the use of skin lightening creams.

Fair-Skin Fashion Boosts Sales of Whitening Creams in India

Sosa is symptomatic of global self-hatred

Indian men hope skin cream will change their status, fortune

Skin-lightening creams face FDA ban: Dermatologists defend treatment…

Cream labelled ‘racism in a bottle’

The Skin Bleaching Phenomenon – Commentary

This is not an isolated incident of self hate.  Sosa is just dark skinned person dealing with issues of self hate that are rooted in the concept that the closer your skin tone is to white, the more beautiful/handsome you are.  He’s just assimilating to the value system he’s been taught to respect.  That racist system of thought devalues dark skin, period.  It is not celebrated.  It is not desirable.  Therefore, I say the correct response is education and understanding, not ridicule.

14 Comments

Filed under africa, assimulation, beauty, black, black man, caribbean, celebrity, culture, hate, news, opinion, race, racism

14 Responses to “Is Oprah Winfrey Medium Complexioned?” and Sammy Sosa

  1. One of the news shows described her as dark skinned when covering the Sosa story, I’m guessing someone else said “she’s not dark skinned, she’s brown skinned”. I agree but maybe because we come in so many beautiful and delicious shades that I recognize them all; not out of preference but appreciation and a chance to think of another deliciously descriptive term (chocolate, honey, peanut butter, cinnamon, mahogany, pecan tan, the list goes on and on :)

  2. likunta

    What I dont get is WHY NOW? Sammy had his success with his natural g*d given brown skin. It is jsut stupid for him to be bleaching. If he has kids I hope they come out as dark as Djimon Hounsou so that Sosa will learn that he should have just loved the way he was born!

  3. Soda & Candy

    Sosa looked better before, he looks creepy in that photo!!!

  4. Whoa, that is a truly creepy photo! Sosa looks like some strangely-young goth version of himself. Not cool. As for Oprah, it’s all relative, yes? She is dark-skinned … when compared to Vanessa Williams. But certainly not when compared to Grace Jones!

  5. lilkunta(reply to girl griot)

    girl griot:
    Sammy Sosa is a fool.

    The comparison you give of Vanessa L Williams
    (remember there are 2 Vanessa Williams, both born in March 1963 … so u gotta given the middle initial. V A Williams was in Candyman & the cable Soul Food show; VL Williams was Miss American & in the movie Soul Food) to Oprah to Grace Jones is a good 1.

    Ive always thought of Oprahs as being a regular complexioned AfrAm person. I know Afr/Afram have many shades, but most are just medium brown.

  6. He has got complex issues!

  7. HJ Blankenship

    I have written a book, call True Re-defining(2009), in that book it disposes of the notion of there being “white people” and calling all Afrikan Americans “black” and its provides new terms like Descriptism, Descriptial Profiling, Descriptist(s). Those are new words. Related to superficial surface skin description, there only 5 finite API appearances (Appearance Perception Intensities) for all persons. Namely, dark complexioned(dc), dark medium complexioned(dmc), medium complexioned(mc), light medium complexioned(lmc), and finally, light complexioned(lc). There are over 100 APS appearances(appearance perception shades:black, brown, yellow-red, vanilla, light brown, ruddy, pink, light undefined shades, etc.) that apply to the people of the world. Every person has an epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous tissue, germinative layer, melanocytes. So Oprah Winfrey is first a woman, a person. Her description does not equate to content of character. Her API is Medium Complexioned, Her APS is about Medium Brown. My book firmly disposes of a lot of foolishness and provides for new universal descriptions for all peoples. The false notion of “race” and “white people” and many other labels have only been rigorously applied in the last 500 years. It is time for us to elevate. Peace

  8. Aimee

    i am white and i sometimes think it funny that the darker you are, the paler you want to be and the paler you are, the darker you want to be! i am white as white can be and i hate it, what i wouldn’t give to have a lovely dark tan! i’m english too so i don’t know who the guy above is but he has a resemblance to dracula in that pic!!! creepy!!!! there is nothing wrong with having dark black skin or ghostly white skin like in my case and the sooner ppl realise that the better!!! i’d still kill for a tan tho!!! haha x x x

  9. Ngina Goan

    Photos of Oprah Winfrey’s in the earlier days show a very dark-skinned woman with a short, flat,wide nose, and puffy eyes. She has done quite a bit of work and now her latest photos shows her as light-skinned as Stedman. She has supposedly told everything about herself, but that is not quite true.

  10. kira

    I agree with Ngina’s comments, she is very dark skinned in earlier pictures, so she must either be treating her skin with a lightening solution or she makes sure her studio lights her perfectly.

  11. karina

    yes,I agree that Oprah either has her studio light her perfectly, or she uses a bleaching solution because her earlier pics show a very dark woman plus her movies she is always dark – she has her secrets.

  12. Kitty

    HELLO! I agree with Ngina,Kira and Karina…I grew up watching Oprah in the 80s and she was dark skin..she has definitely lighten her skin…look at woopi Goldberg and Eddie Murphy in the 80s …they ALL did it..it’s not as drastic as Micheal Jackson so it’s over looked…

    • lilkunta

      I disagree. Why would Oprah lighten her skin but not cut her nose/ I think the cameras of the 80s and earlys 90s as awell as bad makeup is why she looked darker.

  13. Fev

    I saw Oprah in real life when she came to Toronto and she’s still EXTREMELY dark. She only looks lighter on TV because her lighting person is really good and won multiple Emmys. She also has amazing makeup artists who add gold to her complexion.

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