DARK VS LIGHT, NO MORE!Written by Rumana Sayed
Why is this still a thing?
I want to challenge the issue that we are meant to look a certain way. This is because the way women get represented in different platforms of media – television, film, journalism, video games and other platforms. We already see that women are there to “be sexualised” or are Photoshopped heavily to look lighter and imperfections air brushed. I never see darker girls and women, this is the problem of how society starts to think and how we all want to start looking in a certain way.
The history of light and dark skin comes from when darker skinned women had to work in the fields and the light skinned women would work in doors or have the privilege of not working at all. This was a sign of wealth for lighter people.
“The whiteness of British was never challenged”
This is because of colonisation where British were at the top and the darker your skin got the further you go down. This would mean that your social structure in which status, class, education, occupation, was and is determined by skin colour.
This is why when the British ruled India they also left the part where everyone looked up to the lighter skin people who had wealth. This is still a massive issue where you see so many adverts selling products such as bleaching for face and people trying to make themselves lighter.
The adverts for these products such as Fair and lovely or fairness facial target young women that are darker in India where the society puts them down for being darker. Bleaching is very common for Africans, African Americans, Caribbean or Asian women and girls. It’s become a routine to be bleaching your skin, just like when I was a young girl I thought it was a normal thing to start doing.
“The more European, or lighter, you look, the better off you’ll be.”
This is not true and society needs to know the reality.
The opposite is tanning in the UK, which is a sign of wealth now and people want to look darker but people don’t understand the white privilege they have and when someone says to me “Oh I can’t wait to get a good colour on me” What does a “good colour” even mean. Now these words may not mean anything to you but this make me so angry because white people will never know how racism feels. This is where people really need to be educated and the media needs to show women and also men in all shades.
This is to all my brown and black girls in different shades out there, you are all beautiful and never forget that! Our skin is GOLDEN!
The image below and the banner image are by Shehzil Malik. Designer. Illustrator. Passionate about design for social change. Her work is amazing and it has inspired and moved me.
“This is about embracing the sun and stepping out! Stop holding back for something as insignificant as the colour of your skin. You are already beautiful and you were always meant to shine. Use your body in all the ways it was meant to be used- it’s the only one you’ll have in this life.” Shehzil Malik
Rumana Sayed is a graphic designer and an activist. She is currently programmes and digital intern at YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement. Whilst she is a freelance designer she is also into politics and equality. A lot of her work is based around social, political issues and feminism. Find Rumana on Twitter @rumzzzy or Instagram @rumzzyy