All my life I’ve been constantly reminded of my skin color. Not by other cultures as one might think, rather in my own.
Its #TeamMelanin, #TeamDarkskin, #TeamLightSkinned…
Honestly, this is ridiculous! According to Google, the definition of Melanin is “dark brown or black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris to the eye in people and animals.” All races could, indeed, have traces of Melanin present in their culture. Melanin is beautiful; I am not arguing that as a fact, however, to ostracize someone for lacking the “correct” amount is demeaning is outright absurd.
As a light skinned woman, I’ve been called all sorts of names, “High Yellow Heffer,” “White Girl,” “Puerto Rico,” and best of all an “Undone N****.” Some of these names were used jokingly, but it begs the question of why colorism in the Black community still exists?
Now having this discussion with my parents recently, definitely proves my point. My parents are on the lighter spectrum of color. My father urges that I, as a light-skinned person, do not have the right to bring up this discussion. My father also goes on to say that my intelligence and appearance is never questioned or looked down upon because of my skin color.
My father is a very intelligent man, but I have to disagree. Others question my “blackness,” the way I talk, how I carry myself, and even the music I listen to. One person I can relate to is actor Jesse Williams. Williams gave a stellar speech about racial inequality during last year’s BET Awards. Once again because of Williams’ skin color, others criticized his Pro Black agenda?
As soon I bring up the issue at hand, I am immediately debated. “You don’t what it’s like” or “That’s that light skinned S*** again” are rebuttals I here again and again. I understand what beauty standards and cultural indifference face people of color. Globally, most people tend to believe that “fair” or “white” skin is more desirable. Even skin whitening, via creams and ointments, has become overly popular.
I think self-love, or lack thereof, is the true center of all of this. I am Team Black, Team Woman, and most importantly Team Human being. We are all human and I hope one-day differences are celebrated not viewed with such hatred. We have to do better as a society....
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