This is a topic I wanted to discuss because I have seen quite a few articles mentioning the continued up rise in Colorism and specifically in the entertainment world. Id first like to address what Colorism is, I describe it as color preference within a group of people that have the same nationality. I am going to focus this conversation on African American people, although it is found in other minority races, its a trending topic in the Black community.
My first encounter with colorism actually started as a girl in middle school. It was something so simple that I didnt realize would become a issue within the black community. I remember being in 7th or 8th grade, and this is the era in my life where I started to like boys and they started to like me back or at least weren’t shy about showing it lol. I am a fair skinned girl so I would fall into the light skin category. I remember young boys would have the conversation about which type preferred to date light skin or dark skin girls. It was funny that this was even a topic of conversation but I remember them saying, I prefer light skin girls but I’d date a dark skin girl if she was FINE. As a child I didnt pay much attention to these young boys comments but they ended up following to Highschool and college. Now there were guys who indeed liked dark skin girls but it would always have to be explained which made no sense to me for example, they would say something like ” I don’t like light skin girls because they stuck up or think their all that, dark skin girls are cool and down to earth or I like dark skin girls because my mom is dark skin.” It seemed like it was always a REASON instead of liking all women regardless of color.
I really started to pay attention to Colorism as an adult when it became pretty evident that in today’s society especially in the music industry some of the most heavily promoted entertainers are fair skin, for example: Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Rhianna, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Ella Mai, and these are just to name a few main stream artists. Don’t get me wrong we have many talented beautiful dark entertainers but how many do we actually see as major headliners? I see some mainstream actresses that are brown skin getting exposure but alot of times its only in the black community such as Gabrielle Union and Issa Rae. But how many more are great that don’t really get the mainstream exposure? Another example is Khloe Kardashian, she recently had a baby girl, and the father is Black. Her child came out brown skinned instead of the typical fair skin mixed look that many bi-racial babies have. Her child received criticism from social media on pictures she posted that were comments about her baby being darker than her cousins who were also bi-racial. She had a taste of what it really feels like to raise a black child and some of the negativity we face in our culture.
I watched this documentary on YOUTUBE called – Cake Soap – Skin Bleaching and it covered people in Jamaica bleaching their skin so they can look white or light complexion. Whats sad is that in this film they really believed that the lighter the skin the more acceptable they are even being Jamaican decent where they have naturally dark skin of all shades. It was sad to see because they reason it became popular was due to a Dance Hall Rapper named Vybz Kartel who bleached his skin and said it was cool, and if you want to be cool too you will use the cake soap. Its crazy how lyrics in a song or a preference can cause humans to put themselves in danger of their health to be accepted or considered pretty or handsome. It was very disappointing to see and here is a link if you wish to check it out:
I feel like we are all beautiful in our own way, and what makes you beautiful is your confidence. You can please everyone and you should not try. Black is beautiful because of the melting pot of shades and we are so blessed to have so many in our nationality it should be celebrated. Its okay to have a preference, but to say one is BETTER than the other is what I do not agree with. Preference is personal choice but when one is put on a pedestal over the other that’s when it becomes a issue. What do you think?
Thank you for Reading!