Light, Bright, and Dangerous: What is Colorism

According to Audre Lorde, “racism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one race over all others and thereby the right to dominance.” By this logic, colorism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one color (white or lighter skin) over all others and thereby the right to dominance. Colorism is a problem within the African-American community specifically because it has a huge influence on black beauty standards and products. Fading creams, for example, are used to change one’s skin color from lighter to darker. They were heavily promoted in the 1940’s-1960’s.

 

fading cream 1

 

“Has your phone quit ringing lately? Perhaps your complexion is to blame.”

 

I REALLY wish I was making this up. Fading creams are marketed specifically towards Black women, so they are most suitable for a Black man. Yes, I said “are” because THEY STILL EXIST TODAY. Check it out:

 

fading cream 2

 

There are legitimate reasons to use fading creams like for medical/dermatological uses; however, fading creams, medical or recreational, have harmful affects on the skin. Many people have reported adverse, and permanent reactions to their skin. The existence of fading creams promote White beauty standards, that light is right, and dark is bad. It also affirms the exoticism of Black women to all males.

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