Colourism is something that exists within the black community and also other communities and has been an "issue" for years.
Colourism is prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone/shade, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
BUT WHY DOES COLOURISM EXIST?
-Is it that the media portrays lighter skinned as prettier/better
=Do all men appreciate the lighter skin tones. Do dark skin men also only appreciate the lighter skin tones, and if so, is this not also a form of self hate
-And has this just stuck around since slavery?
Brown Paper bag test
The Brown Paper Bag Test arose from the practice of discrimination based on skin colour.
This was a test where a brown paper bag was used as a way to determine whether or not an individual could have certain privileges; only individuals with a skin colour that was the same color or lighter than the brown paper bag were allowed certain privileges.
As a woman of colour. A Black woman. I can predominantly speak of what I feel we/I experience and what I witness.
Colourism has had an unnecessary impact on the interaction of dark-skinned women with light-skinned women. Its crazy to think that black women can be at loggerheads or have a hatred inside for each other just because of the pigmentation of their skin.
I also pose these questions:
Do lighter skinned girls think they are better? Or do darker skinned girls think that lighter skinned girls think they are better?
And are darker skinned girls angry/jealous of lighter skinned females or do lighter skinned girls just presume they are jealous and have insecurities?
I wonder if these feelings are radiated from lighter skinned black men or women themselves? Do they give off the impression that they are better , or is it an insecurity within darker skinned black men/women?
Who is teaching us, is it our mothers, or fathers and family members or is it the media?
This is why self appreciation is necessary, but also appreciation for others!
I'm sure you've heard the term "pretty for a dark skinned girl"
What an absolute insult. As though to say it is NOT normal for a black girl who is of a darker shade to be aesthetically pleasing.
I was once told by a designer, that my lighter skinned model friend was more likely to succeed in my industry because of her skin tone.. And to be fair you can not blame that designer because this is the standard that has been set!
There seems to be a huge call for Diversity at the moment, yet there is still not much equality!!!
THE RISE OF MELANIN
Recently in the past few years we have started seeing a couple women of a darker skin tone in the spotlight Lupita, Alex Wek, Oprah, Gabrielle union, Danielle Brooks and the long running infamous supermodel Naomi Campbell (yet she is still an anomaly.)
The blatant lack of ladies with a darker skinned tone in the media is of course some of the root cause as to maybe why some females do not appreciate the skin they are in. The God given skin they were born with.
Bleaching I think stems from the women around you, culture for some also plays a major part.
The media also creates further insecurity which leads some women to want to bleach
We cannot become desensitised to the fact that this is completely wrong.
It is outrageous to promote that having lighter skin is "better" in any which way or form.
I found the recent ad by the brand Nivea appalling!! Practically promoting soft bleaching! (if thats even a thing)
I also found the recent ad by the brand Dove outrightly rude. How can we expect people to love themselves unconditionally. Meanwhile these kinds of images and advertising are being thrown in their face, and passed off as though its nothing.
What a slanderous campaign, who are the people behind this.
Image taken from social media, shows the original darker skinned cast members from hit T.V shows Fresh Prince of Bel Air and My wife and Kids who were later replaced with counterparts both of a lighter shade.
When it comes to Media, be it social media or mainstream media, does it actually determine what is seen as "beauty".
Essentially even most music videos tend to portray what is more "desirable", they show a certain group of women that seem to be more desirable alongside a lot of money ,nice cars, nice houses and usually these women are lighter skinned women. Without realising do we become addicted to these ideals that are not necessarily real.
When it comes to social media it provides a platform where that a lot more people can voice and show their views and opinions. You do now sometimes see some music videos promoting darker black skin and black beauty..Now that Social Media "says so", darker toned black skin is "IN" But wait, theres still another catch, the darker skinned black women must have a tiny waist and a huge behind.
This just continues to plant subconscious seeds in women. Making the struggle of love and acceptance for who you are and others harder.
A popular tv show most recently exposed the attacks that Amara la negra afro Latino artist has been getting in her daily life as well as in the media and it has been outrageous!
Afro Latinos are people of significant African ancestry. Many Brazilians, Dominicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latinos can fall under this label
Amara is absolutely gorgeous and embraces both her African heritage and Dominican heritage
The Afro-Latino issues with colourism have not been as apparent in mainstream media but does very much occur and there is a huge collision in relating between your Black and Latino identity.
Being Afro latino is not so much about being Black AND Latino, but truly a black latino. Race and ethnicity differ in the sense that you usually have one race, but can be of many ethnic origins. Afro Latino means to be a Black Latino. Latino is not a race. So you are in fact racially Black and then can identify with whichever latino bakground you are from, be it Cuban or Dominican, etc.
On the show Amara was belittled for being comfortable in her own skin, and laughed at by a fellow latino as though being black or her look was some kind of costume. A clowns costume or something.
The European standard of beauty seems to have caused divide and confusion in black communities and more, where that people are of a darker skinned tone and are told they're basically not acceptable as they are. Where by we are being told be it directly or subconsciously through other outlets that lighter skin is better, where by many of those with darker skin result in having an affinity for lighter skin.
This is precisely why we need more visuals of darker skinned women in the media loving who they are and also being confident in their beauty. Not just as an anomaly or a one off trend but for good.
This recent incident on a popular show like this, shows that colourism does exist and and is very much real across the board. Not all dark skinned women are bitter and not happy with themselves.
Unfortunately this is how a lot of people think.
We have to teach the contrary of what has been taught, and change what people are use to.
And although some media outlets continue to perpetuate colourism, we must continue to break stereotypes.
LOVING THE SKIN YOU'RE IN
I believe we need more pioneers for darker skinned women. A movement of appreciation
More women are starting to embrace themselves mind, body type, skin tone and all.
Every skin tone should be raised and appreciated. We are all different and that is what is beautiful about diversity. Diversity is vibrant and all skin tones and shades should be celebrated without an issue.
Raising up women of a darker skin tone does not mean reducing women of a lighter skin tone and vice versa.
All women are beautiful, no matter the shade of their skin.
No women should feel embarrassed about the skin colour they are born with. It hurts me to think of how real this is for some women and that they would go as far as changing themselves in any way even chemically.. even if it is dangerous.
I will continue to take a stand against colourism and push for all to accept themselves no matter what beautiful shade they are.