“Colorism” isn’t racism, at least not exactly. It describes the bias towards light-skin rather than dark skin, and that bias is prominent among African Americans, as well as South Americans
Dark-skinned women around the world are targeted by advertising for skin-lightening products telling them that lighter is better. It doesn’t help that prominent black celebrities have sometimes engaged in skin lightening, notably Michael Jackson. Another is formerChicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa:
(Sammy’s response to questions about his radically changed appearance have been pure “Jumbo”: “Lighter? What do you mean my skin is lighter?”)
The Beautywell Project, is a non-profit group. Its mission: “eliminate biases against dark-skinned people and lift the self-esteem of those who have been harmed by the discrimination.” The Project is claiming a major victory after it delivered a petition with 23,000 signatures in late last month to Amazon , demanding that the retail giant remove skin-bleaching products rom its online platform. Amazon did, too, but those products already violated the site’s guidelines, and were also illegal due to excessive amounts of mercury. The group, says the New York Times, is still saying this was a successful strike against dark-skin bias.
That’s spin verging on a lie. It was a successful strike against dangerous consumer items, and Amazon did not pull the products because they enabled skin-lightening. Amazon still offers skin-lightening creams without mercury, and as long as consumers want such products, it should keep offering them.
The Beautywell Project isn’t just in all likelihood futile, it is totalitarian in spirit. If someone wants to look lighter, darker, or like a Smurf, they should be able to follow their dreams. But…but…the Message! Continue reading