Colourism: – prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
Today I commented on someone’s online post and because this Jamaican man did not agree with my comment, he decided to refer to me as an unattractive “duppy”.
He went as far as to get a photo of a lighter skin woman to make the comparison, and make his point.
Now I don’t take offense to it because no one has to reassure me about who I am.
Long before Facebook, and I say this with humility, I consider myself a uniquely beautiful woman inside; and I’ve earned the right to say that.
Where exterior beauty is concerned, I have been blessed to come from the womb of a woman with distinct facial features, sun kissed skin. To look like my mother is a badge of honor.
That said, the point of this post is that ever since I was a girl, I’ve heard Jamaicans refer to darker skin people as “duppy”, insinuating that they are too black to be “pretty”. I feel sorry for these people, really, because they have yet to emancipate themselves from mental slavery.
They really do believe that in order for someone to be beautiful they must be lighter. Now this man is not much lighter than I am, so he must either see someone else when he looks in the mirror or deep down he thinks less of himself.
Colourism: Why even black people have a problem with dark skin
When I was a child my skin was praised by both white and black women - but more by black women. A new film, Black Girls, is opening up the conversation on colourism, class and skin bleaching.
Marcus Garvey’s observations in 1923 are an apt description
of the topic of this book. But why write a book about colourism – a
term that is rarely used in public spheres and a topic that is equally
rarely discussed in private circles? As a journalist who writes pre-
dominantly about issues that impact on the African Diaspora, I am
acutely aware that a lot of attention is devoted by community
leaders into addressing issues of racism that disadvantage the black
community and in fighting for social, economic and political
equality that is routinely denied to people of colour. But we never
stop to examine the inequalities and prejudices that exist within our
communities that are related to our skin colour, which generally
regards light skin more favourably than dark complexions.
In a word: colourism. Coined by writer Alice Walker, colourism refers to discrimination within communities of colour towards those with darker skin. The preference for white skin is so firmly entrenched, two-thirds of Nigerian men saying they would prefer a lighter-skinned wife.