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How Colorism Affects Children & Adults!

How Colorism Affects Children & Adults!

It's still a novel concept for people to see people of color in roles traditionally reserved for white people. There seem to be so many "rules," and assumptions about who should play which roles, and they're all based on the color of one's skin. It's not just obvious in casting decisions; it also shows up in how we treat and view people in the world.


It's commonly assumed that lighter-skinned people are more attractive, smarter, and friendly than their darker skin counterparts. We've been trained through movies, television, and advertising that lighter-skin people are more beautiful. Colorism has been around for hundreds of years, but just because it's longstanding doesn't mean it isn't harmful or damaging.


Darker-skinned people have been the targets of discrimination by lighter-skinned people.

People with darker skin are often teased for being too dark or not white enough. Some parents have complained that their children refuse to go outside because they don't want anyone to see them. They fear being ridiculed or bullied because of their complexion.

The problem is that many kids suffering from mental health issues never seek help because they're afraid of being judged by adults. If this kind of behavior continues unchecked, it could lead to serious problems later in life, including eating disorders and addiction.


Colorism is defined as "the preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color, or the discrimination against individuals of different races based solely on the color of their skin." This prejudice is a problem because it can cause unnecessary pain for people of color. Colorism also affects kids by making them feel ashamed of their own race and culture. For example, many African American girls are told to straighten their hair because it doesn't look good, curly, or natural — even though curly hair is beautiful! This influences young girls to conform to European standards of beauty instead of embracing their own unique culture and identity as black women. Colorism can also affect relationships and friendships. Children who are made fun of because of their skin color may lose friends or stop going to school altogether because they don't want to be teased or bullied any more."


Colorism starts in the home, where lighter-skinned family members often tease their darker-skinned children or siblings, who then grow up to dislike their own complexion.

The idea that beauty is tied to race is not new. It dates back to ancient Greece and Rome—philosophers argued that white skin was superior to black skin and that people with lighter skin tones were higher in social status than those with darker skin tones.

Beauty standards have changed over time, but some still adhere to old-fashioned ideas of what's beautiful and what's not. Parents often fail to realize that they, too, are reinforcing stereotypes when they teach their kids certain things about beauty at a young age.

Some parents pass along negative messages about an appearance to their children without realizing it. They might tell their kids that they need to change something about themselves or encourage them to wear makeup or other products (like earrings) as a way of feeling more confident or beautiful . . . even though such practices are one example of colorism, which is racism disguised as something else.


As a parent, it's important to teach your children to value themselves and others for qualities other than appearance.

Colorism impacts many races and ethnicities, but it can make children feel self-conscious about their skin color, which can have long-term effects on their self-esteem and social skills.

It's up to parents to teach their kids about colorism — but how do you explain the concept to them?

Here are some tips:

Teach your children that they're awesome no matter what they look like. This can be hard for kids who have been teased or bullied because of their skin tone, but they need to understand that they're beautiful just as they are. You can talk with them about this topic using age-appropriate language or reading books that address the issue of colorism. Make sure they understand that there are many different kinds of beauty and value in our world — not just one kind that only looks one way — so let them know how much you love them no matter what they look like!

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