Let us start off by understanding what colorism actually is, it is prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
It is this absurd idea that the lighter your skin tone is, the better you innately are.
It is truly shocking that even in this day and age colorism is prominent within every culture. Why is that lighter skin tones are associated with beauty but other colors aren’t? Why does the color of one’s skin make them superior or inferior? Why is that color is still associated or is it a factor by which people judge another’s status in society?
Instead of appreciating the beauty of these diverse skin tones, we as a society have rated them. How I wish instead, we would just see people and not their color, and if we did see color it would only be to appreciate and be in awe of its various ranges and shades.
As a kid, I never really cared about my color, let alone anyone else’s until I was told, “Don’t play outdoors when it’s sunny, you’ll get darker.” The worst part of that is that it is still stuck with me. I think twice before I step outside, whether I need to wear clothes that cover my entire body, or carry an umbrella, etc. By saying such things you are perpetuating colorism, and you are keeping those kids from loving themselves. Let them be carefree, let them live!
Oh, and saying “you’re a pretty for a dark-skinned girl” IS NOT A COMPLIMENT!
I don’t think people realize how deep an impression such things can leave on young minds; not only are you crushing their confidence and tarnishing the way they see themselves, but also the way they see others.
Now that people have established that your color isn’t “beautiful,” they hand you toxic chemicals to “lighten it” or “to make you beautiful.”
Don’t even get me started on how unrealistic the advertisements are for such products. According to them, you can go from being unemployed to be the bloody CEO of a company in under two seconds simply by using their product.
The streets are bombarded with billboards and ads of skin lightening products, and worst of all educated celebrities endorse such products. Why not use your power to influence people in a better way instead of promoting unrealistic standards of beauty?
I asked a few people why they used those products and responses I got were “to become fair,” “to become more desirable” or “to feel beautiful and confident.”
One of them went on to say that she was told to do so, as it would otherwise be difficult to find a suitable mate.
All of this is truly disheartening; imagine being conditioned to think that way to the point where it is seen as normal.
I labeled these fairness products “toxic” because:
- They contain strong bleaching agents which may lead to making the skin sun-sensitive.
- In most cases, fairness creams contain chemicals like Mercury, Hydroquinone, and even steroids. If exposed to your skin continually to these it may, in the long run, cause lethal skin damage and may even lead to skin cancer.
- Prolonged use of such products can also lead to pigmentation problems.
Please think before you call people names that make fun of their color; people might not react but it will still affect them, it will hurt them.
To anyone who has ever been told that their skin color isn’t beautiful, ignore them. Some people are just too blind to appreciate the beauty that you have to offer. What’s beauty without color? Light or dark, we all are equally worthy shades of beauty!