YOLANDE

What are your experiences with colorism? What happened? Seeing my mom suffer with colorism. As a little girl she was often told she was dark in a negative manner. She tells these stories now as a joke but I can tell those words effected her.

How has colorism affected your dating experiences? I feel unattractive at time because the world is often favoring lighter skin.

How does your culture handle colorism? The colorism conversation is very split in my culture. People know that they don’t want white people to say anything about our skin tone. Those rules aren’t always the same for each other. Within the Black America culture there are people who make fun of dark skin people, associate dark skin with bad connotations, and forbid our relatives from dating darker skin people. Some of us have expectations for white people that we don’t have for ourselves.

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? My mom’s self esteem definitely was affected by colorism. It hurts because she did everything she could to make sure I didn’t feel colorism. I wish she could feel like she made me feel.

What does colorism look like today? Brands throwing “diversity” in their ads but not in their office. Hiring light skinned women if they do hire black women.

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