Colorism is prominent everywhere, but it’s especially evident in the black community. Growing up, I didn’t know about the term “colorism” but I was affected by it on a daily basis. I was automatically put into this box because of the color of my skin – this whole ordeal of light versus dark. When I was younger, I noticed the little microaggressions being told about the color of my skin. I wanted to start bleaching my skin because of the constant torment I would get about it.

Looking back, I wish I would have seen more representation of dark-skinned women. Maybe I
would have learned to love myself at a young age then. In the media you only see fair and light
skinned women be praised. Now, I’m starting to see more representation of dark-skinned women with natural hair in the media but it still isn’t enough. I remember when I was in the 8th grade and I was listening in on a conversation between three black guys on how they would never date a dark skinned black girl and it was traumatizing to hear that. Dark skins were always attached to a negative connotation and it’s upsetting. It always made me feel unwanted and that my skin was unattractive.

I don’t think colorism will ever go away but we need to talk about it more. It took me years to finally love my physical features especially the color of my skin. Self-love is so important and I believe that we need to talk about it more.

Growing up, I didn’t talk about this topic with anyone but my close friends. Most of them have shared similar experiences like mine. I wish there was an outlet for little black kids to be able to talk about this with their family instead of bottling this up. Sometimes I wonder if I was able to express my emotions at a young age, if I would still be the person I am today. I don’t have visible scars from the pain but I will always carry that side of my childhood and think of how far I’ve come.

“Self-love is really a foundation for everything, and however you practice or express that is so, so important.”
– Solange Knowles
— Michaella Saintil, House of Sagan