Have you ever felt excluded from a group? Felt as if nobody was there to help you? Now think of this feeling but relate it with the color of your skin. This happens every day in the lives of people of color. Society's preference for a lighter complexion and the shaming of the darker ones is colorism, and it's alive in well in 2020.
Colorism is detrimental to people altogether. You may have seen acts of colorism in the media, books, schools and maybe even in your own home. An example of this when celebrity Kanye West tweeted that he only wanted “multiracial women” for his runway back in 2016. Or when Lil Wayne allegedly said, “My daughter is the first and last dark skin child I’m ever having.”
This is very sickening and disappointing because these celebrities have a big fanbase that looks up to them. This would also make the darker-skinned people really upset because they're now going to be seen as less of a person.
Colorism is affecting the youth. Young dark-skinned kids may wonder what it would be like to have lighter skin, like the people they see on the internet, TV and other areas of media. According to Thought Co, when actress KeKe Palmer was younger, she would pray for lighter skin because she heard about how wonderful it would be to have it.
From my experience growing up, I didn't feel represented in the media because I didn't see people that had my skin color and features. I would always see lighter complexions. And if there was a representation of black characters, you wouldn't see it as often as lighter skin characters. This made me feel left out because I didn't see anybody of my complexion.
Colorism goes deeper than you may imagine. The colonization of countries by European soldiers and the brainwashing of many generations over the years left a mark on the people. Now in the present day, the mark left behind is trying to be cleaned up with awareness and protesting.
Examples of this is when Zendaya calls out people for colorism because she notices how there's a racial imbalance with it all. “We’re vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to just be the only representation of that.” She said at BeautyCon in 2018. But even if it’s being cleaned a scar will always be present in the worlds of these communities.
Colorism needs to get eliminated and replaced with self-love. Your self worth as a person isn't determined by your skin color. It goes by who you are as a person as a whole. Yes, the roots of colorism are deep and painful, but you should keep on pushing to fight off feelings of hate, punishment and sadness. In the end, we all bleed the same blood and feel the same pain. Together we can stop colorism.