Light Skin vs. Dark Skin



For centuries, there’s been the debate between light and dark skin women. Both have been assigned crude stereotypes that are used as a failed attempted to define them. All of the stereotypes originate from a hateful place and like your annoying family members, they seem to be staying with us forever. Segregating and separating people based on the shade of their skin is an outdated mentality that’s still haunting us today. Why is it that society still can’t shake the mentality that the fairer the skin, the better you are?

I still have old aunts who warn me about not staying in the sun too long. Not wanting to be too black is a mentality that has the possibility of staying with us for centuries. Even though times have changed, there still is a certain portrayal of being Black. Being Black is allowed when it meets certain criteria. When people discriminate others based on the shade of their skin, it’s still a form of racism that we’ve been fighting centuries against.

In order to understand, how people are able to view Blackness we can look to the media such as television, movies, or music, and view how Blackness is portrayed. Consistently in television, there are certain tropes, which appear. For example, we’ve seen the common idea of a dark skin character being viewed as undesirable, light skin characters being forced to play roles where they are only objectified.

One way that we can start changing the way that colorism is viewed is changing the way that light and dark skin characters are viewed in the media. Abandoning old tropes that were assigned during times of slavery and intense racism helps Black people leave the mentality, which oppressed us for centuries. The change won’t be able to happen overnight. It’s going to take some time. However through abandoning these tropes, we have the possibility of coming together as a powerful force.


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