Colorism is a practice of discrimination by which those with lighter skin are treated more favorably than those with darker skin. In the African-American community, this is traditionally played out via the paper bag test. In the past, those lighter than the standard paper lunch bag were allowed entry into fraternities, sororities and other realms of black upper class life, while dark-skinned blacks were excluded. Colorism has become a very serious, emotional and psychological battle among the African-American community.
The Jiggaboo’s vs. The Wannabe’s is still ringing loud in 2015. (School Daze)
It’s heartbreaking to me when I think about how much we as a people contribute to our own mistreatment. Things will never get better until we start doing better. Until we stop competing with one another, and begin to love and embrace and support one another. We do more harm to ourselves than any other race ever could ever do. The drama that we put each other through is unnecessary. To some, the battle between Light skinned long hair, Brown skinned short hair, Dark skinned natural hair is petty and non-existent, however to most teenage girls and grown women alike, the stresses of trying to look the part is very overwhelming . . . and even though some like to say, “it doesn’t really matter because (technically) we’re all still a part of the same race” the battlefield in the minds and the hearts of our little Black girls is real. The media (Music, Television, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube) tells them how to dress, what their bra cup size should be, how small their waist needs to be, and what type of booty would drive a black man wild. Social media is teaching our girls that what you look like is more important than how smart you are. As Beyoncé said, “Pretty Hurts.”
Being a young Black girl in 2015 is difficult. The pressure is real. That’s why we must take our girls back. We must be the examples. We must be the light. So that means we have to do some self-evaluation, and get ourselves together because our little sisters, nieces, cousins, daughters are depending on us. They need some role models and mentors to look too for guidance.
Let’s start encouraging one another. Let’s start lifting each other up. Let’s love more. Let’s break this destructive cycle. We are the most versatile ethnic group; we come in all shapes, sizes, and shades. God made us special. We are intellectual. We are trendsetters and trailblazers. From music, to the arts, to sports, to food, we are in the spotlight. We are innovative, we are creative, most things that are used every day we invented, we came up with the concept. So let’s use our power and influence to help benefit US, instead of using it to belittle one another. We are strong. We are intelligent. We are beautiful. We are lovers. We are powerful. We can change the world.
“Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts
Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery.”