Colorism Needs to Stop

Jordan Shorter, Staff Writer

“The Black skin is not a badge of shame but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” –Marcus Garvey

This statement by well known figure, Marcus Garvey is as at the heart of something called colorism. defines colorism  as “prejudice or bias against persons on the basis of their skin color or complexion, often among persons of the same racial identification.’’ Colorism and racism aren’t the same thing; however both need to end. The issue is evident in a very positive form lately on social media. I go on Twitter and Instagram, and see positive posts about dark-skin beauty, and images of beautiful, dark-skinned women all over.  However, this online positivity does not always translate to real life.

Just  a teenager, I have already experienced many negative comments about the color of my skin. I have personally never seen a problem with my skin color;  it is who I am, and I never thought that it was a bad thing. Beauty should never be based on how light or dark you are. There is beauty in the diversity of all of our skin tones, but this is not always appreciated or expressed. In fact,  many kids get teased by their peers about their skin tone. Kids may think that they are telling jokes and being funny, but comments that one person thinks are funny may really be a blow to that individual’s self- esteem. Comments like “the lights are off where did you go?” and others like this just shouldn’t be made. Some kids have thick skin, but others are very sensitive. The best way to avoid hurting someone is to not make these types of jokes.

The positive social media posts are great, and very empowering, but we need to make sure that we are lifting each other up in person as well. This world is filled with beautiful people, people of a wide array of skin tones who all deserve to be celebrated. One race, or skin tone, or background should never be left out. Dark-skinned people are gorgeous, as are brown-skinned people. Society should never make people feel like they are less than the other.