Colorism issue impacts beauty standards

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Sarah Al-Barkawi

Sarah Al- Barkawl, Opinion Editor

Have you ever been told that your skin complexion does not go well with that shade of color of shirt  or “You’re good looking for a dark-skinned (insert race)?” We all come in different shapes and sizes but the thing that seems to affect everyone the most is our skin color. They say beauty lies within the skin, but in the society we live in, we tend to judge people constantly without even realizing it. Colorism is discrimination based on skin color amongst individuals with dark skin color. This isn’t just a social issue, it also affects students at our very own school.

Colorism can be traced back to European imperialism and Colonialism. In the 18th, 19th, and 20th Century, European settlers spread their ideology of beauty standards to people of color. Europeans told people of color their skin color was considered “unattractive” because Europeans were privileged and had more rights than anyone . To this day this idea affects the world lowering people’s self-esteem, leads to stereotypes and dehumanization.

This concept affects many students in Taylorsville High School now, making them feel like they aren’t “normal enough” or feel the need to change themselves to fit in. Students had different responses such as wanting to become lighter to fit in.

Sophomore Yvonne Ontiveros (real name withheld) said, “White people always told me that I was too dark and when I thought about it a lot whenever I was around them there were certain colors that to this day I stopped wearing. [They were] colors that used to make me happy and there were times I would buy products and try to bleach my skin to fit in .” Skin bleaching has become accessible for anyone around the world especially in the Africa, Asia and  the Middle East such as the product Fair and Lovely a skin bleaching cream made from Dove whose motto is  You are more beautiful than you think.” while they have a dark side by  there commercials advertising dark women being rejected by men and their society but once they lay their hands on the product there magically considered” beautiful” to everyone.

Deshaun Mosby (real name withheld) said,”I am dark and always felt comfortable in my skin up until one of my friends told me that I’m so dark that I should try to lighten up my skin. I got angry and left. Why should I have to change my skin color to be accepted by ignorant people like you?” Colorism lowers people’s self-esteem and makes them build their insecurities slowly. Stereotypes play a big role in colorism and it can and will hurt a person’s feelings.

Brianna Yuu (real name withheld) said, “I remember people always telling me I’d be much prettier if I were white and when I responded I said to them ‘I don’t have to be white like you because I’m perfect in my own skin. Stop trying to change who I am.’”

Dehumanization takes a toll to this because it makes people feel like they’re not normal. When comes to society and  to the privilege of race, it destroys the stamina and courage of others.

Fane Sloane (real name withheld) said, “I asked a guy who I really liked out. He told me he wouldn’t date me because my skin color was dirty. All I could do was cry I and ask myself what have I ever done to you deserve this?”  

Colorism has a very negative effect on society  by saying the littlest things like you look horrible in the (insert color) outfit or that’s not your color it’s ill mannered. As for us we must stop and think not judge others based on their looks because everyone is human everyone hurts there is no such thing as one color being superior to another everyone has flaws and that’s what makes us unique in our own way.