Colorism-How are Tints Tied to Prejudice?

By Raven Arnold

In a beginning art class, one of the first lessons is about color.  A basic color is called the hue, but when white is added to that color, one then has a lighter version called a tint.

In a perfect life, our skin is healthy skin but for some women, they may think they do not have the right tint.

Most often when someone thinks about discrimination based on skin color, the typical conversation centers around the discrimination of one ethnicity against another one.  Sadly, discrimination based on skin color is very prominent within ethnicities as well.

Too often, people of color showcase a history of treating people of the same ethnicity differently based on skin color. This idea of colorism or shadisom has been researched and found to affect how people are treated in criminal justice, media, politics, and even in homes.

   Outside of the United States, African and Indian women who have a darker skin tone are victims of some of the harshest stereotypes. Darker skin tone women are projected to be less attractive than lighter skin toned women who are deemed more attractive, more successful and smarter.

According to a 2017 report from the firm Global Industry Analysts, “the still rampant darker skin stigma, and rigid cultural perception that correlates lighter skin tone with beauty and personal success” is very much true in Asia, Middle East, and Africa. (https://www.strategyr.com/MarketResearch/Skin_Lighteners_Market_Trends.asp)

The study found that employers even prefer lighter skin tones to educational background and experience. That makes it easier for light skinned black women to land jobs.

Many women in India tried to bleach their skin because they believed it would help them have a better life.  Women bleach their skin using laser treatment and also chemical peels which removes the top layer of the skin.

In the United States, many believe in ‘Light-skin privilege’ especially when it comes to black females in music and entertainment like Beyonce and Rihanna.

Junior Sydney Colding stated “Every skin tone is beautiful, but women with darker skin tones get made fun of  the most, I understand people have preference but you don’t have to talk bad about people you don’t find attractive.”

Luckily, this is changing.  Just look at the cast of Black Panther.