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What Is Colorism And How Is It Shaping The Way People See The World?

"We think critically about colorism and where it begins and ends with us."

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In addition to seeing colorism in the media they consume daily, many people of color experience it in their everyday lives. A few people decided to open up about the microaggressions that have shaped their life experiences:

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And we aren't just speaking abstractly — this is something that's been seen throughout history. Lanita Jones, USC associate professor of anthropology and American studies and ethnicity, breaks down where colorism stemmed from and how it can be dismantled:


"Could it be that something as early as colonization or slavery is primarily responsible for our beauty standards today? We're talking about who works in the field and who works in the house. We're also talking about the rape of slaves to produce."


When Edgar was growing up, he was ridiculed for his blackness and was the butt of racist jokes. It became so emotionally abusive that he tried to "culturally lighten" himself by listening to rock music and gelling his hair.

Selorm has been no stranger to invasive comments about her race, either. She grew up hearing "you're pretty for a dark-skinned girl," which affected her relationship with her body and her skin color.


Tanha remembers she started using bleaching cream when she was in the third grade. The cream caused an allergic reaction, and it took her finding her individuality and beauty to stop using the creams.