How has colorism affected your dating experiences? I think somewhat. In an age where the Kim Ks and Beyonces are celebrated and seen as more desirable, dark skinned women I believe experience more missed connections.

How do you overcome any feelings of inadequacy or privilege? I overcome feelings of inadequacy or privilege by reminding myself that  I was created for a purpose. My faith, my family and friends, my digital/extended community as well as my personal commitment to myself to never allow others views or access to limit my value and possibilities.

How do you feel your color is represented by the media? Dark skinned women are unfortunately represented as undesirable and not beautiful. We  are automatically branded as loud, ghetto, or less feminine than our lighter skinned sisters. It’s hurtful and very much misleading. I’m glad to see a shift in current media with more darker skinned women being leading women on and off the screen (Issa Rae, Yvonne Oriji to Ashley Featherson, Viola Davis, and Teyonah Parris  etc). We are covergirls and muses ( Ducki is Rihanna’s muse). We are being portrayed for who we truly are; multidimensional characters who live full and colorful lives and face challenges. We are beautiful. We are dynamic. We are bold. We come in all shapes and sizes. We are full of love and light. And are worthy of being loved and desired.

What does colorism look like today? Colorism today still is very much entrenched in the light hues are more desirable and darker hue are less desirable paradigm. I also see a shift where racial ambiguity and mixed race appearing people are seen as more desirable as well.

What do you feel can be done to combat colorism?Combating colorism is complicated as it is nuanced in history, social economics, and access to power and privilege. I think as people we should wholeheartedly respect and celebrate all hues from the way we educate children about differences to how we discuss one another’s beauty and differences in adulthood to the content and stories we tell to examining the various ways we help to perpetuate and uphold colorism in our daily lives and consumption.  Representation matters and holding people/brands/the media accountable will continue to be impactful. Showcasing the diverse (and very real) people and characters in the content and stories we tell should be the norm.

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