Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Have light-skinned brothers finally made a comeback?

Black people of a certain age know that light-skinned dudes were supposedly "in style" back in the day. Guys like El Debarge, Prince, Christopher Williams, Al B. Sure, etc. dominated the entertainment landscape and the fantasies of women everywhere with their high-yellowness in the 80s and early 90s.

At some point, mid 90s I think, dark-skinned dudes overtook their light-skinned brethren on the attractiveness scale and never really looked back. Michael Jordan probably single handily started the chocolate, bald and sexy movement, and Morris Chesnut's dark chocolate sexiness was ubiquitous for much of the 90s (and a little bit of the 2000s).

Since then there's been this running joke about light-skinned brothers making a comeback. In my mind, and probably the minds of others, this was never going to happen. But, I'm woman enough to admit when I'm wrong. I'm probably late, but I think the comeback is in full effect. Case in point:

Michael Ealy

OK, Michael Ealy has been on the slow and steady come up for a while. Now that Think Like a Man has made him a household name, he's now starring a cutesy cop show on USA called Common Law. Common Law is OK, in my opinion, but USA shows are usually successful and enjoy long runs, so it's nice to see the blue-eyed bandit finally getting the recognition he deserves.

President Obama

Ok, obviously what's most important is that a Black man is president of the United States. It wouldn't matter if he was butterscotch, caramel, milk chocolate or dark chocolate. In this case, Black is Black. But, by being leader of the free world, the POTUS is repping for light-skinned bros whether he realizes it or not.

Jesse Williams

I haven't watched Grey's Anatomy since the whole Isaiah Washington debacle, but it's still one of the hottest shows on the air, and ladies everywhere and of all shades are digging Jesse Williams. He's definitely a cutie. It will be interesting to see how he parlays his Grey's success.


I'm not the biggest fan of Aubrey/Drizzy/Wheelchair Jimmy, but when he's not fighting with fellow light-skinner and woman beater Chris Brown, he's still one of the hottest rappers in the game. He's like the hip-hop version of Al B. Sure, minus the unibrow.

Honorable mentions


Yes, I know that Common has been around forever, but since he's broadened his horizons into acting, we get to see his freckled, high-yellowness even more and that's a good thing.

Tyson Chandler

I don't think I have to say anything else. *drops mic*

Ryan Bailey

Who? If you watched the Olympic trials a few weeks ago, you noticed this tall, dimpled dude qualify for the Olympic 100 meter team and possibly the 4x100 relay team. He may  totally tank at the Olympics or he may bring home a medal, but whatever he does he'll be repping for #TeamLightSkin

Now, please don't take this post as a declaration of some ridiculous, problematic "preference" for yella dudes. I like Black men of ALLLLLLLLL shades. Anyone who knows me knows this. But when I notice something I'm gonna speak on it, as unimportant as it may be :)

As far as this "comeback," it's probably not as dramatic as light-skinned brothers would have wanted. I mean, if you ask Black women who's the sexiest of them all, a lot us will probably say Idris Elba. Butttttt, sexy is as sexy does, whatever the shade. UPDATE: This post has a sequel, with more chocolate ;) Check it here.


  1. I love it! Cute post.

    I must say though, my fellow yellows never went out of style in my opinion. LOL! (And, please don't take this comment too seriously either.) I love my Brothers of all shades and hues.

    1. What about Chris Brown, and Tyga! They definitely are key figures in this comeback!