It’s a Shameful Thing to be Dark- skinned.


If you haven’t heard, there’s something called Colourism and it hovers around you and me like a disturbed spirit. Colourism is suffered in all parts of the world, within every non-white race. People of colour — A term I really dislike — suffer colourism withing their own racial circle.
Wikipedia defines colourism as:
“Discrimination based on skin color, or colorism, is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which human beings are treated differently based on the social meanings attached to skin color.”
Regretfully, It’s a shameful thing to be dark skinned/black and I know this first hand. Wikipedia further adds that:
“The abundance of colorism is a result of the global prevalence of “pigmentocracy,” a term recently adopted by social scientists to describe societies in which wealth and social status are determined by skin color. Throughout the numerous pigmentocracies across the world, the lightest-skinned peoples have the highest social status, followed by the brown-skinned, and finally the black-skinned who are at the bottom of the social hierarchy. “
Shadism is like colourism; it is prejudice on the basis of skin pigmentation. This form of discrimination can be intraracial and interracial and is common in African and Caribbean, Hispanic, Indian, Chinese, and Aboriginal cultures.
Unlike rascism and colourism, shadism is a higher degree of discrimination; In addition to the discrimination often coming from a member of the same race, the victim is often compared to another person of the same race, but who has a different shade of lightness or darkness.
It’s a thing of joy when one discovers she’s a lighter shade than a friend as one discovers that he/she is not the darkest of dark skins on the skin colour wheel.

I remember an old schoolmate saying “God forbid” when she was told she was the same shade as I am.
Or when my vice principal at secondary school picked only light skinned girls to represent the school at a parade.
The way boys will pick a light skinned girl over a dark skinned girl just because…
The girls that are born light-skinned naturally feel better than and/or prettier than dark-skinned girls
I went visiting at my younger brother’s school and his mate whom I became friends with said to me that he was better than me because he is fair and I am black (he did not even use dark skinned) I was of course really shocked that a 13 year old boy thought he’s better than me, but do I blame him?
Since Agbani Darego, light skinned girls get to win the pagaents and the dark skinned girls are ignored.
A very good friend of mine was too over-whelmed when she discovered that the Lagos scorching sun had begun to change her skin complexion. I recall her saying something of the sort “I was born fair, why will i now start turning dark? Abeg I need to do something about it”. I’m unsure you know how that felt. She saying that to her dark skinned friend. I did not take offense only because she was my friend and I know she meant no harm. But thinking again, I realise that she mostly driven to take care of her skin because she was turning dark.
But there, it shows how deeply rooted colourism or shadism is in our society. And whether we like it or not, it is, just like rascism, here to stay. Shadism is traditionally deemed to affect women more strongly than men, due to the influences of European female beauty standards and their effect on self-esteem and perceived female attractiveness. However, men too face that reality.
Light-skin is the new black, or blond whichever way you like to see it.
Then there are music videos and the prevalence of light-skinned girls over the booty shaking, think and curvy, dark-skinned girls.
I remember watching the video of ‘Caro’ together with my dad and I complained about how dark-skinned girls are hardly the ones in focus in a music video. His reply was that something must be wrong with us.
That ‘something wrong’ with us is our skin shade. That wasn’t him being a shadist (Hollering also at those who be throwing shade from left to right LOL), but it only emphasises the problem in our society and the world at large.
What exactly is the cause of colourism or shadism?
Why do people bleach their skin? According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 77 per cent of Nigerian women use bleaching creams
Is it merely colonial mentality, or do we blame globalisation or enculturation that begins in our homes?
Or do we simply say the victims of bleaching and shade-shaming suffer culture-cringe or inferiority complex?

Elnathan John called them victims, and I agree with him. Some of them are victims of shadism or shade shaming and it is unfair and repulsive

I’ve been called “Black beauty” quite a number of times and honestly I’m not sure what to think about being called that. Other girls of shades lighter than mine, or light skinned girls are simply called beautiful or pretty but never “fair beauty” or “Brown beauty”, except of course …
It hurts being called ‘Blackie’ and sometimes, as aware as I am of this stupidity, it gets on my nerves and I’m deeply hurt and i know it wouldn’t get better and society will continue to promote it.
But I’ll end this post reminding everyone that beauty is only skin deep.
#EndColourism #SayNotoColourism #Darkskinnedandwinning


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