Usher’s Ex Ponders Racial Stereotypes in Blog Entry
Tameka Foster-Raymond, the soon-to-be ex-wife of R&B star Usher, recently addressed the issue of “light-skinned” vs. “dark-skinned” women in the African-American community. Being of a darker complexion, Foster-Raymond tackled the controversial issue by incorporating personal experiences while examining the origins of the matter.
“I am a dark-skinned African-American woman with features that reflect my ancestry. Debates regarding Light vs. Dark and other biases have plagued our race for years and continues to impact millions of Black women,” she wrote in a blog post boasting the sentiment ‘She’s Pretty for a Dark Skin Girl’ as the title.
“The deeply rooted intra-racial contempt that lies beneath this inane ‘compliment’ is the reason I’ve chosen to spark dialogue surrounding the topic of self-hatred in our culture. It saturates every aspect of our lives, dominating the perspectives of our generation as a whole. We culturally are so influential, at times inadvertently, that we affect all with the words we utter and the images we portray. It lends to the theory of systemic racism. I’m authoring this piece because I’m miffed by this reality and would like to share my views on these subjects.”
Since her 2007 wedding to Usher, Foster-Raymond has received a hefty amount of bad press. She goes on to addresses the negative comments made about her, concluding that some are a direct result of her complexion. “I have read similar comments about myself that I am ‘dark, aggressive, bossy and bitchy.’ It has been stated that my husband should have been with a ‘younger, more beautiful’ woman. Astoundingly, the majority of the remarks come from African-American women and are mimicked by others. Sadly enough, I don’t know nor have I met 99% of those making these assertions. Funny, how we can judge another without having personally seen, interacted with or experienced a person’s character.”
The 39-year-old mother of five also speaks on her recent medical scare in which she suffered a severe reaction to medicine while attempting to undergo plastic surgery. “While on vacation in Brazil I decided to undergo tummy lipo-surgery. After having an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, I went into cardiac arrest before the procedure ever began. I nearly lost my life over something as superficial as having a flatter mid-section and trying to adapt to society’s traditional definition of beauty. I emerged from my ordeal realizing that my body is an amazing vessel that has given birth to life and that being healthy is what’s important and nothing more.”
Usher filed for divorce from Foster-Raymond in June. Since the split the two have not revealed specific reasons behind the break-up. According to the Grammy winner, his forthcoming album ‘Monster,’ will cover personal experiences including his divorce.