In life there are pressures to conform to different standards regardless of race, orientation, gender, religious affiliation and so on. For some these pressures are seen as obstacles to overcome and for others the truth. Around the world there is a mentality that white is right and that anything close to white is best. When I began the topic about colorism I stated that it would revolve the black community because that is the community I grew up in, but this post will be kind of broad.
Many boys and girls are bombarded with images of what one should look like, speak like, be attracted to and so on and these same boys and girls get older and become men and women that have internalized those images. They are told these images are correct most likely by their families as well. For those that fit the image of being light-skinned or having certain features they are treated differently than others sometimes good and sometimes bad, but they is always the message that they still need improvement in certain areas. For those that do not fit the image it is a constant struggle to affirm their beauty and celebrate their features in an environment that ignores them or deems them inferior and peers that degrade them.
For those that struggle they either continue their struggle and reach a place where they celebrate themselves regardless of what society says or they become bitter and feel as though God has cursed them, then there are some who take to bleaching their skin to become physically what they have internalized as beauty.
Whenever I would hear of someone who bleached or see a person that bleached I would shake my head and pity them while at the same time condemning them because I could not understand why they would result to such drastic measures and although I understood why I never thought to provide empathy or see it from their eyes.
In every struggle there are those that fight and there are those that give in and the ones that give in do so because it easier than the constant tiring battle. This could easily be considered weak-minded and so on but its reality and a lot of people do it. During slavery when Nat Turner rightfully went about killing slave owners there were those that probably took up with Nat Turner then changed their minds because it was too much for them. During the feminist movement, I’m sure there were white housewives that agreed with the likes of Susan B. Anthony but continued to play the role of housewife because it was easier to continue to be what they already were.
It’s always easier to give in because it’s the road most traveled and without much stress. The same applies to colorism and for those that alter or change their physical appearance in order to stack up with societies standards of what is beautiful.
Whenever a Black person bleaches their skin, especially a celebrity, they are harshly attacked despite the fact that many understand their reason for doing so, but African and black people are not the poster children for bleaching. In India bleaching creams, soaps, lotions, and so on are very much profitable and common. In fact bleaching is seen as a good thing because there are caste systems based on ones physical appearance. The lighter one is the more they are viewed in a favored light, the darker one is the less on the totem pole they are. There is even a product for women to bleach their vagina if it’s too dark.
In the Philippines they have a serious color complex and actually put out a magazine like this. Despite the fact that the original settlers of the Philippines, Aeta, are probably of African descent and dark-skinned are not treated kindly there whether they assimilate into the modern culture there or not. Now that is a female dog, you are treated like crap on your own land.
In Latin America it is the same thing as well. Light-skinned Hispanics are viewed as “real” Hispanics although they do not have a supposed set look because they are an ethnicity and can look like any other ethnicity, but I digress. Dominicans are said to be extremely color struck despite them living on an island with Haiti and are known not to like Haiti or Haitians and stuff. Of course not all Hispanics are like that.
With the practice of colorism being worldwide and the propaganda bombarding everyone and so on is it not hard to see why the pleasure of giving in is so tempting? I’m not making excuses but I can see it for what it is; colorism is strong and is evident in a lot of peoples lives around the world but fighting against it is necessary for the millions of children of color that feel inferior and to stop the cycle for continuing for many more generations.