If you have ever been the little black girl who looked in vain in magazines for your reflection or ever been told by word and deed that “dark girls always finish last,” then you’ll be happy to know that a YouTuber named Chrissie is seeing to it that the world (and you) gets a more positive representation of dark-skinned black women. Enter Divine Dark Skin magazine, the magazine made for and by the most melanin-rich in the spectrum.
Chrissie (aka Christina Thomas) started discussing colorism on her YouTube channel, which is still relatively young but has grown exponentially because of her willingness to discuss NECESSARY topics of colorism that often make some people uncomfortable. The black community has a long history of denying the persistence of colorism and the corrosive effect it has, particularly when it comes to dark girls and women. It is because of this denial that Chrissie has faced some criticism. She’s been accused of being divisive and misguided. But Chrissie insists that positive representation fo dark-skinned women are both necessary and healing.
“I saw the lacking representation and tokenized promotion of dark-skinned women and girls so I decided to create a space for them. Not a place to sulk, and be sad about colorism, but one to empower and build up, through lifestyle beauty and fashion,” she says.
The inaugural quarterly issue, March/April/May was recently released to subscribers. This publication, ladies and gents, is not one you put into the recycle bin after a cursory look. It’s chock full of beauty, fashion and health tips, just like any other women’s lifestyle magazine–the only difference is the emphasis on dark skin–but hard-hitting think pieces on the politics of colorism and how it affects the magazine’s readers. DDS magazine also has a companion website that releases feature articles updated often. As far and look and feel–this wasn’t done cheaply. It’s slick with high-quality paper stock. This is the type of magazine you save for posterity.
When I asked Chrissie where she intends the magazine to go, she simply said, “I see it going as far as dark-skinned women will allow it. I’m still very much getting dark skinned women used to the idea of having something JUST for them. They’re not all the way ready for such an exclusive, uplifting place. It scares them. But, I have very high hopes for the future.”
Chrissie has cause to be hopeful. The reception of the first issue by her fellow dark-skinned sisters has been overwhelmingly positive.
To order your copy of the first issue of Divine Dark Skin magazine, click here.