Colorism Starts At Home

This video was a flashback to my childhood. I got so sad and then angry, are we still there?
I had hoped that we had progressed further from colorism and from shaming kids for their color, but here we are.

Read more about my experience with colorism.

This is the reality for many dark-skinned girls and now boys as well. They have been told from a very young age that they are not as beautiful as their fairer counterpart. This enhances the belief that they are not good enough as they are.

This is the reason skin lightening products are so popular in areas with dark-skinned populations. Most of these areas were under colonial rule for hundreds of years, so the brainwashing is very deeply rooted. We have become our own worst enemy.

How do we stop the destructive shaming of people with a darker complexion?

Colorism starts at home.
Within the colored community, it is well-known that shaming based on skin tone is worse. Everybody is seeking the fairer version.

There are several situations where this is shows:
Parents talking about the “disadvantages” about having a dark-skinned child. Even if they are not talking directly to the kid, kids are listening.
Sisters and friends using skin color as a tool to hurt and tease.
“Well wishing” aunties that need to express “what a shame you are so dark” or shame others in the community.

This needs to stop!


Video by The life of a Social Butterfly (@thelifeofasocialbutterfly)

The feeling of not being good enough gets ingrained in your soul. 

The feeling of shame is very destructive, and when a child experiences it, it forms a negative lens through which all self-evaluation is viewed*. It is not fair to shame a little child into such a huge burden to bear so early on in life, that everywhere they look they will find their color being an issue.

Children growing up in a household without “well-meant advice” will not suffer the setback of seeing themselves in a negative light.

Read more about learning to love yourself.

They might still hear some nasty things and it can hurt. It will be easier to brush off because they are loved exactly as they are and a few stranger’s opinions do not define them. 

How you can be the change:
  • Acknowledge that there is a problem with colorism. Learn to love your skin color and teach your children or brothers and sister to love themselves just as they are.
  •  Don’t use the color of the skin to be derogatory or to describe someone being bad, mean, or evil.
  • Don’t use the color of the skin to describe beauty (especially in front of your children). Instead, beauty should be shown in every color.
  • If you are a Bollywood fan, demand there be dark-skinned actresses too and dark-skinned models on the cover of magazines. You as the consumer has the power to make demands and thereby make the change. 
  • If you hear some aunty or other wanting to give you or your children a piece of “friendly” advice, just stop them. Don’t hear them out or let your kids hear what they have to say.