Isn’t it funny how we judge people within our same ethnicity by the amount of melanin in the skin?
Around the 1700s and 1800s during slavery the slave masters would have the lighter skinned women as house slaves whereas darker skinned women would be on the fields picking cotton, tobacco, etc. It had gotten to a point where lighter skinned people would feel superior to their darker skinned counterparts. The feeling of superiority has been carried on from slavery which created the war between “dark skin and light skin”.
You mostly see colorism within the age group of 12-25 and sometimes even older than that. It takes place all over social media and pop culture. Also what really perpetuates the situation is joking about it amongst each other. Some people might find it funny and harmless while others find it offensive. We’ve seen firsthand on Twitter different people tweeting a vast amount of offensive tweets “dogging” dark skin girls when in reality all skin is beautiful.
Fairer skin is often used in magazines describing a lighter skin. Fairer meaning perfect, beautiful, attractive or light in complexion.
According to “15 Things Darker Women Are Tired Of Hearing,” a post written by Meg Butler of Madamenoire “you’re pretty……for a dark girl,” is just one of many ignorant statements that needs to be abolished from our conversations. It is not only an ignorant statement, but it is very offensive, making women feel as if their skin is not beautiful. It has gotten so out of hand that women have begun to bleach their skin so they will not be as dark. These unwarranted insults have made women feel that there are more opportunities afforded to those who possess lighter skin.
Another common misconception is that colorism is only an issue among women. Prime examples of skin bleaching. For those who don’t know skin whitening is used to lessen the production of melanin using numerous chemicals. Originally it was used for spots if you have minor skin discoloration. Some creams causes thinning skin, permanent blotches, etc. More fatal effects are skin, liver, and kidney cancers.
What is this telling our young girls? That it isn’t okay to be dark?
It looks silly for us to discriminate within our own race when we already have a history of being discriminated against by other races. Although respect should be given regardless how can we possibly expect to get it from others if we don’t respect each other first. How can we change this?
A lot of insight came from an interview I read on details.com with Grace Gealey, known for her role as Anika or “BooBoo Kitty” in the Fox hit drama, Empire.
“DETAILS: You moved to the U.S. when you were 18. What surprised you the most about American women?
Grace Gealey: For me personally, it’s the whole light-skinned/dark-skinned dynamic
With that being said as women of the black culture we’ve divided ourselves and with everything going on we should be working together. I don’t believe it’s just women doing the dividing it is also men, men who try to justify why they prefer a certain skin complexion. All this does is create more jealousy, self consciousness, and low self-esteem. “On dark girls” by The Association of Black Psychologists states that African American girls who’ve been the butt of colorism tend to have higher sexual risk and substance use behavior.
There’s so much more going in the world as far as racism and yet we’re discriminating against darker skin. Remember its offensive and its rude to judge someone in general but especially on what they can’t control such as skin color.
Although darker skin is most hated there is some hate in lighter skin. Has it gone back to slavery? Adding more division in the black community? For example once people found out Kendrick Lamar’s fiance was light skinned they had some of the nastiest comments. Specifically Rashida Marie Strober who is a dark skin activist.
She may think she was supporting the darker skinned women but with an attitude like this some may think there’s no hope to resolve this issue.
I conducted a survey to get everyone’s thoughts and opinions on colorism. Based on the survey I found out that colorism is a huge issue. Majority of the surveyors says it takes place on social media as I mentioned earlier but how can we as a whole stop discriminating against each other?
If you haven’t taken the survey, we would love to hear your thoughts so click on link to take the survey: