I know by the name of my blog, it’s seems like all I’m going to discuss are about fashion. But definitely not, because This blog is my platform to raise my voice for those who can’t or don’t have a platform themselves to do so. So I’m not trying to limit myself and do all fashion, of course I’ll will entertain you a lot with some fashion post. But behind all the nice clothes, jewels. Shoes, we have our soul that need to be feed. The same way we take care of how we look on the outside, we need to take care of the inside also and it’s so much more important.
This blog post today is gonna be about colorism,maybe you’ve heard this term before and maybe you’ve been a victim or you might not know about it at all. I don’t know the color of your skin, I don’t know any of your experiences with racism or colorism but I know my experience, and I can definitely share with you.
Colorism refers to the Discrimination based on skin color, also known as colorism or shadeism, is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on the social meanings attached to skin color.
I’ll be lying if I say that I knew all my life this term and the meaning of it. On my early teen, I knew about racism, I thought everything which refers to discrimination is racism. Therefore when I was in high school I faced it without knowing what that really was.
I grew up in Haiti, the most important part of my life spent there. People in this Island are not aware of some serious problems or issues existing in the society. Somehow it’s a good thing for them, less worries. But in the other hand the problems still exist and nothing is done.
In Haiti, people are more likely appreciating the light skin people, men are all about light skin women. But I don’t think the problem come from them, but over a decennial, society creates that image of beauty which refers to white women with long hair, and we’ve seen more light skin being represented the stereotype of black women. To be more precise, in the entertainment industry, you’ll see more light skin women succeed than dark skin women. Everyday you’re watching TV, but you cannot relate because you don’t see people that look like you. So just to say that they created that image to make us feel less valuable. Obviously, we’ve been taking their word and actually feel less valuable. We think that being dark skin is a problem that is needed to be fix, and that’s why we have all these people bleaching, they’re trying to look like what they see on TV, magazine, ads, they’re trying to fit in. I might write another blog post to discuss this bleaching subject.
Apart from this, I experienced something that I never thought could be possible. That was outrageous, painful. When I moved here in the US. I became more aware of me being black, and more importantly being dark skin. I’ll never forget the day that Haitian lady came to me I was at my job. Then she started speaking English, she’s not fluent in English, you can see from 300 miles that she was doing that extra effort to speak the language of Uncle Sam. To help her out, I mentioned to her that I was a Haitian like her and she could free herself and speak “creole” (Haitian language). The lady literally slapped me with these words: “ oh I didn’t think you were Haitian, you are too dark, what part of Haiti are you from?” To be honest The moment she said that, I wasn’t shocked maybe because that was the first time that happened to me. I wasn’t mad either. I don’t even remember how I felt. When I got home I took a moment and deeply think about what this woman said. I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t that black or maybe it’s just the lady and there’s nothing to really think about. I know people, Haitian specially that have darker skin than me so why did she say That I was too dark? After a few weeks of me worrying about that, I Finally get over it after a period of meditation.
You won’t believe me if I tell you that happened again and again, Haitian people have been confusing me with jamaïcain or african, they say I can only be African or jamaïcain not Haitian. This is when that started to be my concern. I was being discriminated for my skin color by my own people. Saying that I couldn’t be Haitian was the part that really hurt my feelings. What is the characteristic of being Haitian? What am I supposed to look like to be Haitian? How am I too black to be Haitian? For over a month, I was mad, pissed. I wanted to hate these people who have said that.
I finally realize that they had a problem and not me. Questioning my( “ Haitianity” I don’t know if this word valid ) based on the color of my skin is so wrong. So I just fall in love with this skin color deeply and minding my business. Since then You can name me as any nationality, it isn’t my problem. I know who I am and where I from. I don’t need any validation to be me. And the color of my skin doesn’t define me as a person. Im more than my skin color, and despite all I love this skin, I feel beautiful in my skin.
I don’t want this to be too long. I just wanted to share my experience with you. Do you ever experience racism or colorism or any type of discrimination? Feel free to comment and share your experience with me. And of course follow this blog so you can stay connected with me, and from there we can build our community.
Until next time…