Colourism – A Global Problem

There is colourism in the black community. It’s quite upsetting actually. I’ve even seen it within my family. There are light brown people in my family and there are dark brown people in my family. We share a family resemblance (I’m talking about one side in particular) and yet they’ll talk about the lighter folks being prettier. As a kid I used to be like, “But how? We share the same features, is it just the skin that you find ugly?” That was messed up in my eyes, so from that day on I vowed to fight them. No one was going to make any family member of mine feel bad for their skin tone.

To this day there are men who won’t date dark brown black women and yet they’re dark themselves. It’s like do you hate yourself? Do you not see that the melanin is popping?

I, for one, am forever glad that we’re finally tackling this issue. People like Nyakim inspire me. She is forever preaching about the beauty of dark skin and I love it! She never lets anyone bring her down. She is such a good role model and I’m sure other melanin rich women will see her and be encouraged. Representation does indeed matter.

Also it’s important to call people out, especially when you know them. I mean even with celebrities, if you support a rapper and they come out with some colourist ish don’t stand by and watch, call them out!

Chime Edwards did a very interesting video on the topic that I feel covers it from the African American perspective, check it out here.

From an African perspective I think the whole colourism thing came from colonisation. Perhaps we saw the white people succeeding and we thought that is what we should be. I don’t know where it started honestly but that’s my guess. However we’re not colonised anymore. We are free. Being dark or light does not really matter, we are all one race and we come in many shades of brown, it’s about time we embraced that.

However colourism does not just exist amongst black people. It exists amongst Asians too and when I say Asia I mean all of Asia. I’ve seen it amongst South Asians and East Asians. With East Asians I’ve learnt that it comes from the concept of those who were darker in the past were darker because they worked in the fields all day, thus were poor. Whilst the rich East Asians stayed pale as they were always sheltered at home. With South Asians I’ve seen lighter Asians being favoured over darker Asians for things like representation in media. Being light is considered beautiful whilst being dark is considered ugly.

You may not be aware but I’m into kpop. And in the industry there are artists who are considered dark by South Korean standards. In my point of view they’re not as brown as a black person but they are darker than white Koreans. There are artists like N and Kai. I’ve seen N wear a shade too light for his skin or mess around with filters because he thought he was too dark or have people constantly commenting on his skin. It hurts my heart honestly. I’ve seen the same with Kai too and other artists. What impressed me about Kai is that he turned around and was like, “I love my skin.” When he owned his skin tone and loved it no one could tell him nothing!

But why are people still going through this in this day and age? I mean we have a better understanding of DNA and melanin so why are we still so backward? Is it really so hard to make foundation shades for all (I’m talking in East Asia)?

Brown is beautiful. People who are white go out in the sun to tan and when they achieve a tan they’re praised for it. Yet us who have naturally brown skin are discriminated against. And then to make it worse we discriminate each other turning on those who are darker! It’s hard enough that we have to deal with racism so why do we add colourism?

Brown is beautiful. All shades of brown is beautiful. Whether you’re black, South Asian, East Asian or Arab if you’re brown you’re beautiful! Own it! Don’t let no body tell you anything different.

I’m sick of colourism. I said as a kid I would fight it and back then I was referring to my own black community but as an adult I see it’s everywhere in the POC community and I will fight it there too. I will fight until it is no longer a global problem and brown people everywhere love the skin they’re in.

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