The fatal flaws with colorism

The self-installment of colorism harms the Hispanic community

A woman self reflects on her own insecurities that arent’ accepted in society.

Adriana Hernandez

A woman self reflects on her own insecurities that aren’t’ accepted in society.

Colorism in the Hispanic community is why racism isn’t going to end at any point. We want the Hispanic community to be united but it never will be if the discrimination within us never is spoken of.

Communities of color have pushed racism within themselves by changing their appearance to please others or to get better opportunities. When coming to America many often change their given name to fit standards and survive in certain situations, along with bringing the culture of skin whitening to the states to push on to others.

There are many advantages to being light-skinned, which is why so many aims to get fairer. The goal is to pass the look of being “American” since being dark-skinned isn’t accepted. The concept of whitewashing is rooted in racism and is meant to erase cultures and ethnicities. Yet we have also pushed this upon ourselves in the way we view paler skin tones as more successful with more opportunities in America.

Being light-skinned is a privilege to assimilate; whiteness is a luxury of survival. Sometimes you are recognized for being a person of color, but you are considered the acceptable kind because you look more similar to what an “American” is supposed to look like: white. Many may feel like true citizens after these types of positive encounters and use this validation to put others from their own communities down.

Many immigrants come to the United States with the customs of using creams to keep your skin pale. So when a child turns out to be darker than their siblings, they are prone to be treated differently. Children with lighter skin usually are seen as better, smarter and more presentable. While if you’re the darkest in this circumstance, you’re seen as dirty or slow. Seeing how much better life is when your paler is convincingly enough to go through certain treatments to “fix” your appearance.

Throughout the years having a paler skin color has been the ideal look in many parts of the world. As seen on Hispanic television shows, they mostly cast Hispanics with paler tones. When a dark-skinned person is cast, they are portrayed as ugly, dumb, or have the role of a side character.

In many Latin American countries, we use nicknames like “blanca” or “negra” that we have convinced ourselves are terms of endearment when in fact, it separates you from others. Some go as far as getting with a person who is lighter than you so your children will have a high possibility of being light-skinned. These are customs that will continue to grow colorism in Hispanic communities.

There is this facade that Hispanics can’t be racists since they are oppressed. Many want to be identified as white so bad that they look down on darker-skinned people. The standards we have installed upon ourselves have mentally enslaved us. This is why we must have a conversation about why we place importance on physical standards reinforcing colorism.