Let’s talk about Colorism In the black community! [Rant]

I made this topic on Episode forums before gonna make it here!

Definition:

Discrimination based on skin color, also known as colorism or shadeism, is a form of prejudice or discrimination usually from members of the same race in which people are treated differently based on the social implications from cultural meanings attached to skin color.

Colorism can happen in any state, city, and race!

Let’s break down the categories of Colorism!

Shadeism
Texturism
Featurism

Shadeism:

Shadeism typically works in the form of a tier, Lightest to Darkest. The lighter you are the more favored, loved, excused and praised you are. The darker you are the more tormented, ridiculed, stereotyped and hated you are.

NOW! This doesn’t mean lighter skin can’t be ridiculed or darker skin can’t be praised but on average it typically ends in immense stereotypes and bullying.

Im going off of the Black Community since I know it through and through:

Men’s side

Darkskin Black Men are stereotyped as strong, aggressive, excessively masculine and “scary.”

Brownskin Black Men can be stereotyped various of things since their in the middle.

Lightskin Black Men are stereotyped as feminine, Pretty boys, cheaters, and liars.

All of these stereotypes are beyond damaging due to some creating an ego around it or some making bad decisions on the bullying.

Women’s side:

Darkskin Black Women are stereotyped as loud, unkept, masculine, “ghetto”, aggressive and sometimes dirty.

Brownskin Black Women can be stereotyped either or since their in the middle.

Lightskin Black Women are stereotyped as feminine, graceful, obeying, intelligent, and polite.

THESE STEREOTYPES HAVE SHATTERED THE BLACK COMMUNITY FOR DECADES. Most of the hatred comes from the mindset of slavery that many black people still have. Social construct and at home emotional/mental abuse.

When it comes to Brownskin Men/Women I don’t think many people talk about it as much as the Darkskin vs Lightskin debate but I think they can be stereotyped either way as the “Not dark enough to be bullied on skin but not light enough to be praise-able” ALTHOUGH I have seen a rise in brownskin stereotypes like “Oh you have brownskin your skin tone is perfect, Or Brownskin are just right.”

Me being a brownskin black women I’ve never been bullied for my skin complexion but I have watched my dark(er) peers be bullied for theirs.

If I went into full tier it’d probably be:

Darkskin Black Man
Brownskin Black Man
Lightskin Black Man
Lightskin Black Woman
Brownskin Black Woman
Darkskin Black Woman


Darkskin black women being at the bottom due to the amount of stereotypes and hate they truly get.

Here’s some colorist examples wether light or dark:

image

This one’s a bit y’KNOW. (No it isn’t nudity or anything lol just emojis)

Basically anyone can be colorist or a bully. But that doesn’t mean the tier doesn’t exist!

Texturism:

Black women come with curls in different, lengths, shapes, sizes, and textures. … Texturism fosters the idea that certain types of natural hair patterns are more desirable or beautiful than others.

Typically hair that isn’t as kinky or coily is seen as more desirable or beautiful than hair that is coily and kinky.

Here’s a chart:

image

People with looser hair typically receive more benefits/compliments when it comes to colorist people. Which typically falls under Lightskin or lighte® skinned people, Also people who do have Darkskin or dark(er) skin who has less coily hair can be stereotyped with the “Are you mixed with something?” Question and frankly it’s degrading and rude.

I fall under 4b but 3 when wet.

To summarize this subject Texturism EXISTS TOO! And you can be subjected to Colorism or degrading stereotypes/behavior with looser or coiler hair!


Featurism:

“A form of architectural design based around certain accentuated features* ”. In other context, society accepting or preferring certain features over others (i.e. European features over African/Black features).”

Featurism is when European features are more desirable or preferable over African or larger features.

Example:

A colorist guy sees two beautiful women, One has a large nose and large lips. The other has a smaller nose and smaller lips. Due to him being a Colorism IDIOT instead of talking to the girls to see which PERSONALITY he likes better he’s going to go after the girl with smaller features.

Featurism can cause anyone to be subject to colorism/bullying and stereotypes. I’ve often heard or seen people who has larger features be called “Gorillas or Monkeys” and people will smaller features be called “China Dolls or Babydolls” DISGUSTANG.


To sum this up Colorism is a terrible day to say thing that happens within the black community and won’t be resolved until everyone learns to love themself and stop treating others with disrespect because of their skin/features/hair and believing the stereotype that “White is right.” Love yourself, Love your skin. Love YOU!

Thanks for coming! Feel free to share your opinions or experiences! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::clap:t5:

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Thanks for making this thread! Colourism is always overlooked in the black community as well as other communities of colour and it’s so hard to call its been internalised so much that people genuinely believe calling it out “creates divisions”, which is jarring as a dark skinned black person because there have been quite a few times where I’ve been labelled aggressive even though I’m quite introverted. It’s hard for dark skinned POC to call out colourism without experiencing it or its microaggressions e.g. we are told that we have a good message but we’re “too mean” about it or we get All-Lives-Mattered when talking about dark skin experiences. So again, thank you!

Colourism isn’t “light skin v dark skin”. I hate seeing it being trivialised to that because it’s form of discrimination which has been tied to institutions e.g. brown paper bag tests, blue vein societies, pencil tests. If you are darker than you are likely to have longer prison sentences than a light skinned POC. There are MANY studies on this and I’d reccomend the “Skin Colour Paradox”. It says a lot that on the 1960s AND in present day colourism is still an issue.

Also I just want to be say something regarding stereotypes based on skin tone:

This comes from how lighter skin is treated as feminine so this extends to light skinned men and they get labelled “weak”. However this doesn’t negate how black men are treated in prison or the concept of “light skin privilege”.

The stereotype of dark-skinned men being aggressive is why they get longer sentences. Black men are already targeted at high rates but because of colourism, dark skinned men are seen as scary they are seen as more dangerous than light skinned men. Ls men are seen as “weaker” so they have shorter sentences because they’re seen as less harmful than their darker skin peers.

No, privilege is not the absence of struggle. It just means that you don’t have one extra thing to worry about.

Yes, being treated as a basic human being should be a human right not a privilege but the keyword is should. We aren’t at this stage yet and because not experiencing discrimination is exclusive that is what makes it a privilege. And even if “light skin privilege” is the wrong way to describe this it doesn’t negate the existing preferential treatment that exists amongst skin tones. Intersectionality exists. You can be marginalised by one form of discrimination and oppression and complicit/enabling but not negatively impacted by another. To quote T1J “You can be marginalised and privileged at the same time. A lot of you act like you don’t know that.”

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Glad you shared the extra information, Same thing goes for women as-well when it comes to Darkskin women who can get longer sentences than Lightskin women.

Qoute: “ Villanova University researchers in Philadelphia studied a sampling of the 12,158 imprisoned black females in North Carolina from 1995 through 2009. The findings, which appeared in the Social Science Journal, indicate that lighter-skinned female prisoners are sentenced to approximately 12% less time behind bars than dark-skinned inmates. The results also show that having light skin reduces the actual time served by about 11%.

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Yup. Colourism also affects education and economic status (The Persistent Problem of Colorism: Skin Tone, Status, and Inequality goes into this into a lot more detail and also shows the affects of colourism in the Latinx community).

This is why it’s important to have these discussions because it’s so deep rooted in our community. If we want to dismantle white supremacy we have to dismantle it’s extensions as well.

Gonna tag @PensiveShadow because she’s got some good takes on colourism too

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Thanks for tagging me @itsjenn_a!

This is all true. People tend to flip and flop them from each side. One day, they say you’re too dark, another, you’re not dark enough. One day, you’re light, the next day, you’re not light enough. :roll_eyes: It starts to cause issues considering the fact they’re excluded from both communities.

Darker skinned people will always be considered at the bottom and get the most harm out of them all, especially black women. Some black men even encourage these stereotypes against them. It can be considered the other way around as well, I’ve seen some black women degrade black men to being “aggressive” and “too masculine” but it’s more predominate against black women. Including that black men, especially your darker ones, are more likely to be targeted for police brutality.

It’s just weird how people treat as if colorism is a “new thing.” They say the same about black face. =P (People tend to think that black face was only started in America which isn’t the case since theres many traditions and cultures outside of America that have been doing it many years before the epidemic of it in America was called out.)

It isn’t, it’s just getting called out more now. :woman_shrugging:t4: Colorism has been going on for years and not just in the black community either. There was even colorism during the slave times. People who were darker were more likely to work on the field and other hard labour while people who were lighter tend to work inside the house. It’s just idiotic to ignore these things and call colorism new or treat it as if it’s a myth. Same with light skin privilege.

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Added tags: discussion, equality, and diversity.
Colorism shouldn’t be a thing… I can’t believe that people are STILL not giving respect to those with darker skin.

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Can I also say that it does exist in the Asian community as well? I’ve noticed that there’s so much colourism in my family i.e. claiming that light skin is beautiful whereas dark skin is “ugly.” What happened to every skin colour is a good skin colour? I guess it doesn’t apply to them. Especially when they have these strange products called “Fair & Lovely” which is very common in South East Asian countries.

I pretty much count as gold/caramel (hence the previous username Salted Caramel).

But yeah, it’s ridiculous that colourism is becoming a huge issue in POC communities. I’ll say this again…EVERY SKIN COLOUR IS A GOOD SKIN COLOUR!

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Yes, I have noticed this in my country as well. Even in Mexican soaps, dark-skinned actors usually get cast as maids, gardeners, or “comic relief”. Light-skinned Mexicans get cast as the rich people, or the protagonists even when they’re poor. Some darker-skinned actors have either gotten surgery to have more eurocentric features once they became more famous, or have used creams and treatments to lighten their skin tone. (Or maybe they wear layers and layers of makeup lighter than their skin tone?)

It happens in the workplace as well. At my previous job, two girls applied for the preschool assistant position, but they didn’t get in because, according to one of the preschool teachers, “The boss sent them home because they look like maids.” :rage: :rage: :rage: :rage: :rage:

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This applies to the Asian communtiy too, kinda-sorta. It’s almost the opposite, tbh. I get a lot of dirty looks from older Asains (espescially women) because I’m Mixed and my skin is lighter than my Mom’s.

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Wow…

One thing I’ve noticed is in Latinx representation is that there are barely any Afro-Latinx people. Amara La Negra spoke about this and it’s quite alarming. Even in Episode some Episode stories, some authors will write about Latinx characters but never show Afro-Latinos/Afro-Latinas.

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Wow that’s freaking annoying! I’m glad I’m not the only one that sees colourism in the Asian community. I have cousins who are mixed race and man my grandma is passive aggressive when it comes to them just because one of my aunts is married to a white man it’s absolutely ridiculous! She’s like that with my other cousins that are mixed race (dad’s Bengali and mum is white). I just hate it when people look down on mixed race people.

I often get mistaken as mixed race because of my skin tone :sweat_smile: though in the story I am planning to write, my main character is mixed race.

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Honestly, it worse for my Mom than it is for me. She’s quarantined, like being married to a white guy is some kind of disease and people are afraid they’ll catch the open-mindedness. So stupid!

What’s your book about? I could give it a read.

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Wow that’s messed up! People need to stop being so against interracial relationships and marriages, they’re just as normal as a same-race relationship and marriage. Love has NO colour!

It’s not out yet as I am writing the story on Word Document, it’s an erotic thriller. Basically about a woman who gets a job at some nightclub and is favourited by the owner of the nightclub who is the love interest (he’s the love interest) but there is a serial killer on the loose (a female serial killer) who murders the women who work at this nightclub. I can’t spoil much anyway because I am just writing up the first chapter of the story.

Ooops, I have gone off topic here though I did mention that my story is going to have interracial relationships and marriages since my MC is mixed race (dad is white and mum is South East Asian), love interest is a white male and of course there will be characters of different ethnicity. I am not doing this to please other readers, I feel that I need to add different characters of skin colour and ethnicity.

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This sounds interesting :eyes: I’d read it! I barely touch the Episode app nowadays

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The story won’t be on Episode or Ivy unfortunately because I am not good with animations but I’ll think about it if I can do this one day. It will be on Wattpad or Inkitt but we’ll see. Plus, I would rather write it on Word in case I make mistakes on the storyline and grammar.

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Bump!

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Bump!

The music industry is definitely guilty in perpetuating colourism. Look at how Normani is being treated at the moment (and tbh how she’s been treated since the Fifth Harmony days too). I really want her to succeed but with her management plus all the other things stacked up against her make it so difficult. She can’t afford to be average not just because of her race but her shade.

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Added a rant tag :eyes::sparkles::green_heart:

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Say it louder!

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Thank you my much!

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