Colorism

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: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmY0_l6BNPc

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!

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26 thoughts on “Colorism”

  1. It’s sad but true. I have three young daughters and two of them are what we would call light skin and one is considered dark skin, like me. I am very intentional about telling my daughters how beautiful they are and I always make sure I tell them how beautiful their skin is because I need them to feel confident in their own skin. I know the day will come where my children will start to hear comments about this from their classmates and I dread it but I also look forward to instilling confidence and having important conversations like this with them. When I was growing up I would hear things from adults like “you’re pretty to be so dark skinned” and it was meant to be a compliment but I took it as an insult. Luckily I had a mother who would tell me and my sister how beautiful we were every day and I didn’t allow my skin complexion to determine my value and I hope to do the same for my kids. This was a great post! Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My family used to be white – white. That changed 20 years with my grandchildren. I have 7. 3 are half black and one mixed with Hispanic. They all have Choctaw Indian in them, too. For the first time I began to understand my grandchildren will be looked at as inferior to some people. It changed my entire perspective. Not that I ignored it before or didn’t know, but now I experienced the anxiety of knowing how they will be treated by people who don’t even know them. I work to educate people but some people don’t want to understand because they enjoy thinking that they are better than others, even if they aren’t.

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  3. Great post! This past reminds me of how we black folks internalize racism in different ways and it effects all of our lives differently. It also reminds me of the Willy Lynch theory and how we as a community still struggle with a lot of the social constructs left behind from our horrific past of enslavement.

    Keep up the great work and thanks again for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colorism is a thing in Mexico and hispanic commmunitues as well . I had a cousin who is lighter , and her boyfriend is darker , so a few of my dumber relatives were giving her grief for this . Which to me is very sad .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow isn’t this crazy how no matter the nationality there still is issue with color? Crazy. It’s like the lighter the better from whose stand point? It’s so sad. Don’t get me wrong it happens a lot in Asian and African American culture as a well. Thank you for sharing this. Also someone told me this happens in Brazil as well, smh

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not honestly sure why this happens in the hispanic community , unless they were taking age old cues from colonialism. Color perception to me is very wierd . I used to live up north in washington and montana , it was kind of tough being the only half mexican kid up on my town . My mom was white and i would get asked by people at school if I was adopted since I was “dark”compared to her . I had people tell me how dark I was when I was a kid by white kids and people . When I moved down to city in a southwest state , I was shocked that people told me how light I was .And when I went to visit family in Mexico I was the white girl lol . I’m like okay . It really is all perception .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes thank you for sharing. I love hearing others perspective. My parents are black but I’m a light skinned black girl. Although there are some white people racist towards blacks no matter what complexion, it tends to be more favored to be a lighter black persons especially in entertainment. That had to be an experience for people to question your ethnicity as a child especially by white people and your mom is white. I guess if we were all the same race and complexion, life would be too simple 🤷🏽‍♀️ it makes you think why GOD made it this way. To me I think it’s awesome to have so many races, I wish there wasn’t a thing such as racism towards our own race and others. 🤦🏽‍♀️

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        2. Yeah I think its good to have these dialogues and look back at why and how to fix racism , and colorism . Because even in 2019 we have so much to learn as humans to accept everyone . Its nice to meet other people even online since growing up my friends at the time really didn’t understand alot of what I was going through . I like reading posts like this but I’m not really sure how to openly discuss these issues with friends and family .

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        3. Yeah it really is tough! The black community always talks about these issues. I knew Hispanics experienced colorism because I have been told the same challenges are faced. Trump also doesn’t help these issues. For blacks it truly goes back to slavery. Although there isn’t slavery today racism never left, for many reasons. It’s not easy speaking about this topic to non minorities because you don’t want anyone to get defensive. Unless you have been discriminated against questioned about your race, you never really know what it’s like to go through colorism or racism. Do you think that because white what the standard of pure and dominant that mentally people over the years have been programmed to believe the lighter the better?

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        4. Definitely agree about the Trump thing, alot of people who I’ve know , I’ve had to unfriend or just not talk to on social media . It left the floodgates open for racism , colorism , xenophobia and such . As for the other issue of why white is sometimes considered the standard , I think we have to look to who rewrote the history books , and who controls the media . Even things from ancient history has been distorted to fit agendas . Look at something like the marble white greek statues , people really thought That Mediterranean people were very pale . But thats not the case since Romans and Greeks would often marry people from Africa and Middle Eastern countries . Plus the statues themselves were painted bright colors , but the years faded the pigment , so all you have left is white marble . The original peoples of the Americas and Mesoamerica had complex trade systems of society but alot of what is taught in schools makes them out to be savages . Ancient Egypt had many olive , medium and dark skinned people , did trade with people as far south as Zimbabawe and its not taught in school . So I think to really get over this we have to start looking back at how other cultures worked back then and how it wasn’t just one skin color or culture that made society . Thats just my opinion of course , but I think going back and learning history will help everyone .

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m white. I can’t believe people bleach their skin. I had some ugly sun damage on my face. Dark spots on one cheek and forehead. My dr gave me bleaching cream. It was $90 for a small tube. I had to put it on spots twice a day for 3 months. They finally disappeared. But, I have to wear 60SPF sunscreen every day now because even ONE afternoon of sun and those spots will return. What an ordeal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah its crazy! Colorism is real with minorities. I though it was just black people for a long time but its with many races with variation of complexions. I was chatting with a follower who is Hispanic and white and she is darker than her parents so she dealt with Colorsim. I know alot of my Caucasian friends want to tan and have not so pale skin. So they do add bronzers and go to tanning salons. Then you have people who are naturally darker and hate it. This world is a crazy place. 🙂

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  6. Think this is everywhere and as a result of the white is dominant mentality. In Ghana almost all the time light skinned persons are considered more beautiful than darker ones. A dark skinned beauty must have a flawless skin to be considered beautiful. So yeah lots of people do bleach, which then makes dark skinned ones not bleaching also have a sense of pride and superiority because they didn’t succumb to bleaching. Both situations not something to promote. I agree with you that people can have preferences but there shouldn’t be a reason for that choice. We are all equal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judith for your insight! I’d love to learn more about other countries experience with colorism. Yes the white woman has set the standard for minorities but what makes it worst is that they consider tanned skin more beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

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