SARAH

What are your experiences with colorism? What happened?

Unfortunately, as a dark skin woman, I have too many experiences with colorism. My complexion has always been a topic of discussion. Going to school and people telling me I’m dark skin and some people asking why I’m so dark. I even had an experience on a mission in Guatemala where someone asked the translator why is her skin dark. The translator responded by saying she was out in the sun. I was shocked by this response from a person of color. A fellow black student in my freshman year of high school told me I should bleach my skin. I guess my darker skin made them feel uncomfortable. Hearing I’m pretty for a dark-skinned girl, to people being surprised that I’m beautiful while being darker skinned. I’ve heard and experience these things from people who I closely resemble which made for a confusing childhood.

How has colorism affected your dating experiences?

In the past, there was a guy who liked me and at that time I was starting to like him. When I overheard him being questioned about liking me he referred to his coffee and said he likes them light and sweet. I thought it was a telling response from someone who was interested in me.

How do you overcome any feelings of inadequacy or privilege?

The simple and complex answer is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. With many negative experiences regarding my complexion, the positive experiences out with them all. Knowing who I am and who’s I am reminds me daily that I am royalty and made in the image of God. Knowing that God didn’t make a mistake when he made me. Believing the truth about what God says about me.

How do you feel your color is represented by the media?

I would like to see more representation of my color in the media in a positive light. I want to see people who share in my complexion as the hero, the love interest and the boss. I definitely see more representation now than previous years.

Do you think the representation has an effect on you and others around you?

How does it make you feel and how do you think other people view you as a result of it?I believe representation is key. Showing people in their beauty. The representation from when I was a child shape the way I and other people view beauty. My color has increased in favorability in recent years. There are still many media outlets that don’t show dark skin people or beautiful or even exist. I am a firm believer that every race should be represented and with their various shades in every media outlet. Seeing Alek Wek on the cover of a fashion magazine when I was a child showed me that my complexion is beautiful and it makes onto the covers of magazines for everyone to see.

How do you feel about your color as it relates to your experiences?

With everything I’ve experience in regards to my complexion, I am glad to say I love my color. I honestly think it’s one of my best features.

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