It starts when children are young: the moment a child is born, relatives start comparing siblings’ skin color. It starts in your own family – but people don’t want to talk about it openly.
I grew up in a family where our skin tone varied from Peanut Butter Truffle to Cacao Chocolate. I was one of the Peanut Butter Truffles and I recall at the age of 11 years old, a male cousin of mine who was about 14 years old and Cacao Chocolate, made up a song to sing whenever I was present, "nothing...but...the...yelllooowww". It stung and I would tear up. I can't recall my two sisters and one brother whose skin tone varied from shades of Milk Chocolate to Espresso Brown ever speaking of such biasness, but I'm sure they had experienced some. It didn't help viewing commercials on television, fashion and hair magazines, school textbooks, where a picture of a fair-skinned girl might be labelled “beautiful” and a darker one “ugly”. I guess my cousin was acting out his hurt for being picked on for being dark skinned. Some children carry the affects of this "rascism" to their adult life and are really shocked that this affects them so intensely.
I believe the message and mindset that’s being passed down is having the perfect life from perfect skin is only for those of the right shade. This has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry in cosmetic creams and invasive procedures such as skin bleaching, chemical peels, laser treatments, steroid cocktails, “whitening” pills and intravenous injections – all with varying effectiveness and health risks. It’s more than a bias, it’s a dangerous cultural obsession.
I am speaking out against and standing up to bias toward lighter skin. This is not “anti-white”, but about inclusivity – beauty beyond color. Diversity is key and imagery is very important to loving the skin you are in. Stop skin color biasness and put an end to this "rascism".
"It's all about being in a natural state of mind"