I am a Black young woman living in a corrupt society where prejudice not only lies inter-racially, but within one race alone. This is targeted to my Black audience, but readers of other races must realize this problem as well. Most are familiar with the light-skin vs. dark-skin debate. For those who aren’t, I’ll break it down for you. In this society, people have opinions about the pigmentation of my brown skin. Some believe that light-skin citizens, women in particular, have better bodies, better hair, but are crazy. Others believe that dark-skin women are better cooks, are loyal, but their big features (i.e. lips, nose, eyes) are unappealing against the darkness of the skin around them.
These judgments that are presented daily in conversations and social media set up the same kind of isolation of segregation that existed throughout the past centuries. Different shades of brown pigmentation came about when slave masters slept with their slaves, creating a portion of the wide spectrum of skin tones we see today.
Bringing it back to this year, my sister asks me at least once a week if I want to be darker or lighter than I already am and I say no, every single time. It is hard for people to be comfortable in their own skin when there are so many boxes to check off to see if you fit society’s corrupt idea of beauty. Do you have curly hair? smooth skin? straight teeth? hips, but not too much? Just the right amount of attitude? Women, especially, have all the expectations to meet in order to make the cut.
Instead of uniting as shades from the same Motherland, we break apart with racist attitudes towards our own kind. We are building invisible barriers within one colony, instead of building around the colony and growing stronger. It even gives others a reason to ridicule and berate our Black community.It’s been said that “They don’t think highly of themselves, so why should we?” The impact that these expectations have on people are remarkable. It becomes a deeper conflict that started with just a shallow opinion. It becomes a lifestyle, one that can transform into a cycle of self-hatred. There are some exceptions however, and some can truly embrace who they are. Others, unfortunately hate themselves because they can’t seem to live up to society’s ideas of beauty. Would you?