Tristan "Mack" Wilds was on The Wendy Williams Show last week promoting his upcoming VH1 movie, The Breaks. Williams addressed a little bit of gossip and asked whether Wilds was ever in love with R&B singer Sevyn Streeter.
A huge picture of Wilds planting a juicy, sexy kiss on Streeter's cheek appeared behind them.
"She's dope. I'll say that. She's a dope woman," Wilds responded sheepishly.
"She's really pretty to just be good friends," Williams said, goading him to give up the goods.
"Yeah, she is. She's very, very pretty. I love dark-skinned girls, so you know, she's definitely one of 'em," Wilds said.
And that's when things came to a bit of a screeching halt. You see, every now and then Williams complains about how black people sometimes harp on things unnecessarily—one of those things being race and, in this particular case, colorism.
"Who's talking about complexion? See, this is where my people go," Williams said, getting playfully upset that African Americans manage to turn any topic to race and color.
But Wilds, in a tactful way, didn't back down from why he felt the need to specifically state that he likes chocolate-complexioned women.
"It's just—I don't know, my mom is brown-skin," he said, before bringing it around full circle to include all women. "I just have a thing about all the different colors that women come in."
"OK, you don't have to explain it; you're adorable," Williams finished.
But he did have to explain.
Sometimes one has to overcompensate in order to address or do away with the status quo, and the status quo that I think Wilds was tapping into is the one that doesn't show a lot of love to brown black women.
That's where the extra padding comes in as an attempt to undo such narratives.
It's similar to the Black Girls Rock! initiative, a movement that tries to undo the mainstream narratives that would have African-American women feeling less than beautiful, inadequate, bossy and unmarriable. It's why there was the feminist movement to overcompensate for patriarchy and misogyny. Or the “Black is beautiful” movement to overcompensate for racism, discrimination and chattel slavery and the European standard of beauty that is shoved down our throats.
Or, while we're at it, affirmative action, to overcompensate for how non-white-male people (women, blacks, Latinos, etc.) were not given the same level of public education in comparison with their white male counterparts, and how that academic privilege, coupled with generational wealth, put them in a better position in the workforce.
Whether or not Wilds meant to, that was probably his intention in singling out his jones for brown-complected women. He wasn't being exclusive, which is why I think he immediately stated that he loves all shades that women come in.
Kudos to Wilds for the comment. He's my #MCM.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.