I watched a video today from a YouTuber I follow who primarily focuses on social justice content and pop culture.
I can’t lie, most of the time he doesn’t know what he is talking about, which is why he should stick to pop culture. He acts like he’s such a devout activist that it makes me cringe to no end. I’m not saying that he’s always disingenuous. He keeps acting like he’s such a deep activist when in reality he’s pretty surface-level — and that’s okay.
The topic today that he claims he knows a lot about is colorism.
The underlying basis of colorism is light-skinned privilege in the Black community. People prefer light-skinned black girls over darker-skinned Black girls. Why? Because whiteness is the standard and anything that looks farther from that is unacceptable. All Black people experience racism, but light-skinned people don’t experience colorism.
This guy went on his YouTube channel to talk about colorism against Black female rappers in the music industry. Do you know what he said? “Megan Thee Stallion (who is a famous female rapper) is light-skinned…”
My eyes popped out of their sockets.
I understand that there are different perceptions of what light and darker-skinned girls are depending I where you live in America. My grandma is light-skinned but since she was born and raised in Maryland, she says that she is brown-skinned.
I’m not here to change your optics or anything.
What really set me off in the video is when someone in the comments vouched for the creator and said Meg Thee Stallion was light-skinned because she’s not dark-skinned. So this is what we’re doing now?
Any girl who’s not dark-skinned (whose skin tone isn’t extra dark black) is a light-skinned girl?
If that’s the case then that means we’re all erasing the fact that brown-skinned girls exist.
I hate how we discount people who fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. This gives other people the assumption that colorism is all about a light-skinned vs. dark-skinned dichotomy and it’s not that clear-cut. I’m a brown-skinned girl myself.
I’m definitely not light-skinned, but I wouldn’t consider myself dark-skinned either because I’ve seen other Black people who are way darker than me.
It always frustrates me when I see other people who claim to be “activists”, speak about issues they aren’t well-versed in. A lot of these people have tons of followers across social media. If you can’t acknowledge that there are brown-skinned people in the community then you shouldn’t be preaching about colorism.
Brown-skinned girls go through a unique experience that isn’t acknowledged because everyone is only looking at light-skin vs. dark-skinned.
Actionable tip: If someone is not clear-cut dark-skinned, don’t bite the bullet and say they’re light-skinned. All you have to do is put in a little more work to see where they would fall on the color spectrum. It’s better to meet in the middle than to be so off that people have to correct you in the comments.
Brown-skinned girls have a unique experience.
We go through colorism, but not on the scale of dark-skinned girls. But we do face more colorism than light-skinned girls. This experience must be heard so we’re not just thinking in dichotomies in the future.
So please, let’s do a little better.
Previously Published on medium
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