In today’s day and age, the judgment that we receive as people seems to be based solely on our skin complexion. It literally comes down to a scale where the lighter you are the more fairly you are treated and the darker you are the more prejudice you face. This even spawns asinine sayings such as “white is right” and “black is whack”. Unfortunately, this is an unwritten “rule” that unrightfully affects plenty of people in varies ways.
Focusing on outer appearance only, it is often the people with lighter skin complexion that gets the most recognition in comparison to those with darker skin complexion. This is something that especially affects women in today’s society. Often, beauty and value is associated with lighter skin women just because of what today’s media chooses to portray on the frontline. You can see evidence of this in your average music video, fashion ads, commercials, etc. with them being the focal point of it all. And the way that media has an impression on people these days, it influences others to have the same mindset.
Unfortunately, this leaves women with a darker complexion without that same association of beauty and value. They are looked at as “lesser than” or “not pretty enough” to get the same appearance recognition as someone with lighter skin. Me being a male and around some of my male friends, I often see them gravitate more towards lighter skin women. And when I ask them why that is or why they don’t want to talk to dark skin women, I often get the answer of “she’s not that good looking.” The only thing this does is cause women with darker skin to hate their appearance and even resort to lightening their skin to get the same attention as someone with lighter skin.
Even the opportunities that we come across are affected by our skin complexion. For example, when we’re applying for jobs our skin complexion is also taken into consideration along side our application. It’s no secret that there’s a wag gap between those with lighter skin and those with darker skin. Companies these days are more willing to give you a chance and even pay you more the lighter you are. And this all comes down to there being value in skin complexion. Unfortunately, this leaves plenty of people with darker skin complexion at an unfair advantage even though they may be as qualified if not more for that position.
Another opportunity that gets affected by our skin complexion is housing. We’re all just trying to find a place to lay our heads at night and call home. Unfortunately, depending on the complexion of your skin can sway that realtor’s decision. Often it is people with darker skin that gets their housing applications denied because they are deemed not worthy to live there or irresponsible to take care of that house/apartment. There is recent evidence of this with Airbnb host denying people housing just because of the color of their skin. With this type of discrimination going on, it just adds to the already long list of prejudice that dark skin people have to face in todays society.
Let’s not forget the huge police and injustice problem that we are facing. These days I can’t even turn on the news without hearing about more innocent people of color wrongfully getting killed by police. For them to not get the justice they deserve is humanly wrong and troublesome. Lately, the cops that have been involved in the killing of innocent people of darker complexion are literally getting away with murder. It’s extremely disheartening to see this especially when you hear news reports of them also killing lighter skin people and they receive consequences for their actions.
The very least you can do is give darker skin people the justice they deserve and have a fair trail. Like I said earlier this is comes down to people with darker complexion being viewed as “lesser than.” When the justice system doesn’t provide “justice for all” it fails all of us no matter what skin complexion you have. That is the purpose of having a justice system in the first place and when it chooses to cater to one group of people over another it contradicts the vision that it has for itself.
At the current condition of today’s society, it makes me seriously concerned for the future. I don’t think many people realize the effect that they’re having on the world. The major thing that concerns me is our actions and mindsets have the potential to shape the youth of today. The same way that media has an impression on us; we have an impression on children. Instead of showing them that a person should be judged by the color of their skin, we should be showing them to treat people on a case-by-case basis. Beauty and value shouldn’t be based on a person’s outer appearance but on the content of their character. We may not see this type of change in our lifetime, but we can get this movement in motion for the generation behind us.
I would like to thank Tanya Sahay for inspiring this post with her Towards Equality project. If you would like to participate as well, check out the Towards Equality project introduction, and feel free to checkout the rest of her website as well.