How many of you have never faced any insecurity in life? How many times has that insecurity been the proportion of melanin in your skin? In a culture, where every other advertisement is about skin whitening creams with “less explicit” brand names, the question in itself is rhetorical.
Colorism has been practiced even before its name was established. Years ago, the black community had a lower monetary value because of their skin color, and even today, people of color are treated differently by society for their skin color. It s almost hysterically funny that how darker accents are elegant on anything, starting from a simple dress to a vintage car, as long as it’s not your skin color.
Racisms of all categories- internalized, interpersonal, systemic-level, structural- are the byproduct of this practice. This practice simply attributes beyond the beauty standards of the society and limits up to diminishing a person’s sense of self-worth. Always being told that you are not beautiful enough can give birth to an inferiority complex in a person, and might also lead to depression.
The impacts of colorism on mental health are so extreme that it has been compared with the impacts of psychological and emotional abuse. Colorism diminishes self-esteem and often leads people to a journey of self-pity. Some major illnesses that stem from colorism are –Body Dysmorphic Disorder, body image issues, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and stress. Long run researches have stated that people with darker complexion get diagnosed with psychological disorders more often compared to those with a lighter complexion.
How can you stop yourself from falling prey to the ignorant beauty standards of society?
Charity starts at home. Learn to be kind to yourself and accept the way you are. If your skin color is the reason, you meet fewer people and stay locked up in your room, cry in front of the bathroom mirror, or slam your face with skin-care products.
I think now is the time for that to change. Reading blogs and listening to podcasts about body positivity is actually effective and could be a great starting point. Do not forget to instill in the innocent minds of the younger generation that all shades of brown are beautiful. Trust me, positive affirmations are better than mindless bedtime stories and lullabies. The journey of self-acceptance is often tumultuous, so do not shy away from taking professional help if needed.
Written by: Salsabil Aziz
Salsabil Aziz is a writer and PR officer at Pensive Stories.