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Lighten Up: Colorism is STILL here

Lighten Up: Colorism is STILL here

It seems that there is need to dismiss our brothers and sisters with deeper skin tones because of colorism.


Granted, issues of colorism are not new, however, they keep showing up. The scars of yesterday’s cant heal because there are those that feel the need to keep picking. There are two recent cases of issues with color, in terms of light skin versus dark skin.


The first case is that of Nivea’s new product. This product is not available in the states, but that does not mean there is no need for concern. Sure, this product has been around for a few months, according to Nivea, but when something hits social media, the old quickly becomes new.

Nivea Natural Fairness Lotion

The commercial for this Nivea Natural Fairness Lotion has an African woman applying the lotion to her body. As she is smoothing the lotion out, she quickly and visibly becomes lighter. As the television ad progress to its close, it seems to suggest that she can gain the attention of men. The male lead looks like he is a user of some sort of “lotion” too. He could just be light or a victim of horrible editing, but he isn’t the focus.

nivea natural fairness ad

Next, there are the comments made by Hazel-E. While on social media, Instagram to be exact, she mentions how her mother warned her about the hate she would get from darker skin women. On top of that, she mentioned the paper bag test and called women “black bitches.”

hazel e's comments
photo credit: The Shade Room

We all are aware of the issue of colorism, which has roots back to slavery and the assumption of better treatment if one was close to white or simply lighter. Anything the furthest away from black was good. Sadly, some still subscribe to this. On the market now, there are several creams and products available to lighten skin. If a person wishes to use those products to truly even their skin, it is understandable. The issue comes from being in a place of self-hate and wanting to bleach their skin.


It’s truly sad that this is something that we still have to deal with. There are plenty of beautiful people in the world and all are not just “one shade fits all standards of beauty.” Being cute and desirable are not exclusive to skin color. When issues of colorism come up, the sentiments of Jay-Z‘s “The Story of O.J.” come to mind. The best thing to do is love yourself and your fellow brother and sister, regardless of complexion.



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