Hey my weirdos,
I finally have made time to sit down and write after enjoying the first few days of my holiday. I have been watching Stephanie Nicole videos as well as the usual Jeffree Star videos in particular “Racism” video and it sort of got me thinking…
It’s 2017 and we still have complexion issues. However, from the title of this post, I am sure you have gathered this is not a post about racism. This is a post about shadeism. It is defined as “a form of discrimination based on skin color. Shadeism, however, is typically an intraracial issue rather than an interracial one, meaning it is based on the degree of skin tone rather than categories such as “black” and “white” on Wikipedia.
Growing up in an Indian household skin complexion is a major thing. The first thing anyone notices when they see me is “how dark” I have gotten. This is the very first thing always mentioned even when I returned to South Africa after a year living in the United States. We “darker” skin toned people play it off lightly. We continue as if this is a normal thing as it’s apparent in most Indian households. I am not really sure whether this is an issue in other races.
Life abroad taught me that this is not the norm. Some Indians still view “fair” skin toned Indians as pretty. I am aware this is not the belief of everyone but I wish companies such as “Fair and Lovely” were non-existent. They feed this belief that in order to be beautiful one needs to be fair skinned.
Certain celebrities not only lightened their skin tone but some took an 180-degree turn and turned into another race altogether. This is not throwing shade, to each their own. It just makes you wonder how far people will go to appear lighter? Is this really how much we focus on complexion that people are willing to undergo the knife and harmful ingredients in bleaching creams just to become “fair and lovely.”
Jokes are often made about it, “Hey, where are you? , cannot see you with the light off!” I am guilty of it too. I have learned this is not something to kid about. Growing up I would not wear swimming costumes because I thought I was too dark to show my skin. I am considered one of the darker skinned toned people. I am completely comfortable with it now as long as my foundation matches my skin tone.
A male Indian guy once told me his girlfriend cannot be darker than him. This was only two years ago. I thought what a superficial thing to say. Would you not give a person of a darker skin tone a second look just because they are dark? In India, lower castes were predominantly darker skinned. The inverse of this is true for fair skinned people. But this is 2017 in South Africa, can we move on already?
I do not watch much television hence I do not know whether darker skin tones are getting onto more televisions advertisements. The issue is not just within the confines of South African Indians but it is a larger one. As the years go by there is more representation in terms of people of darker skinned people and I really hope this improves. I hope to see much more local brown girls on Youtube as well.
I hope at any time in your life as a brown girl(or any colour) you never feel like you are not worthy. I hope that no one makes you feel inferior or tells you to lighten your complexion or stay out of the sun.
In conclusion, I just want to emphasize that whatever skin tone you are, you should love your skin. You are beautiful as you are. There is nothing more beautiful than a person comfortable in their own skin.
Beauty comes from within,