My dark skin is only deemed admirable online but in everyday life, I’m too dark to be pretty. My skin sets me at a lower standard. Dark skin is sexualized for photo shoots and fetishes but the people in the skin are often dismissed after this “fantasy” effect is over, and the oil all over their bodies is dried. Dark skin women specifically are sexualized to be some type of untouchable, barbaric, egocentric, violent beings. No matter how hard a dark skin woman can try to show her “soft” side it will always be deemed an aggressive action because our skin does not allow others to see us as the average dainty woman.

We all see color. No matter how we all try to convey the, “we all are one” message. People are visually alert and your first impressions usually come from how someone looks physically. Colorism is discrimination based on skin tone. Colorism dates back to the slave day where lighter people working in the house and the darker people were sent to the fields. Usually in the conversation of race colorism is ignored even though colorism affects major issues such as; jobs, wages, perception and more.

From all over girls and boys with a deeper skin tone are meant to feel lesser than their light counterparts. Society makes it seem that the darker the shade the less you are worth. Young girls from the age of 10 are thinking that they are not desired in the world. False claims that in order for colorism to end men or women need to start admiring our skin tone instead of just accepting it. What darker people and especially children and teens need is to know that their skin color doesn’t make them an outlier. Dark skin is only seen as beautiful when it’s doused in water, honey, or anything runny and glistening, but that shouldn’t be the only case where beauty is seen. The stigma of self-hatred starts young, there are young girls everywhere already looking up homemade bleaching recipes, mixing lemon juice and baking soda concoctions and rubbing it over their body furiously. From lemons, they go to harsher things like Mercury using soaps and lotions to be “light and lovely” because that is what’s considered beauty; light and lovely.

The mental damage done by colorism is impactful, to say the least. As a young girl, I was bullied for being darker than my peers. I was called a monkey, burnt, and things too much more extreme extent. Mentally and physically I was tired, looking up serums and soaps that could make me just a shade or two lighter so I wouldn’t have to face the bullying. As I’ve grown up I’ve become “pretty”, but only “pretty for a dark skin.” I didn’t grow up hating myself or my skin tone. Growing up I didn’t even know that my skin would later in life set me apart from so many. It’s sad to say it’s not just me, the trauma and scarring can lead to self-harm, mental illness, and even suicide.

Dark skin is only celebrated as a photo-op. How come dark skin is regarded as so deep and beautiful by makeup companies, but these same companies have trouble creating any shade darker than warm honey? How come it’s considered normal to wish for a lighter skinned baby because God forbid your baby comes out with a complexion the color of cocoa? How come even though they experience colorism dark skin men are often preyed on but dark skin women are left in the dust to be considered angry black women? How come having one dark person in a crowd full of hundreds is enough to pass as “diversity”?  The enemy at the front is colorism. Little dark boys and girls spirits should not be crushed by society’s beauty standards before they memorize their ABC’s. From all around the world, people suffer from colorism and it needs to come to an end.

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