Today I wanted to talk about racism in minority communities. We all know it exists. Whether that be in stereotypes or plain out right racism, its there.
Within the South Asian community I believe the roots of a specific type of racism, i.e. fair being better than dark. Stemmed from British colonialism, after all they were there for almost 200 years.
Nevertheless I am sure racism was prevalent before their arrival, but it seems as though almost every country where the British had their colonies seemed to have this view. This view that is so very present today.
Today within South Asian communities, and I can only speak for such communities. These are the very same standards beauty is based on. It is viewed that if you are fair or thin you will be perceived as more beautiful and will therefore attract more potential suitors. Whereas if you are dark skinned almost all the aunties look at you in pity and according to them you wouldn’t get much choice.
Now times have changed since arranged marriages and fussy mother in laws. But it seems people still view fair skinned girls as more beautiful than those who are dark skinned. It’s almost as if European body standards have been shoved so hard into society, that people can’t seem to move away from it.
In many countries skin lightening or bleaching cosmetics are booming! Making billions off of the ideals that many people of colour have.
Dark skinned people no longer feel beautiful or are told not to feel beautiful simply because their skin contains more melanin.
To the outside world this may seem silly, but this is very prevalent within society. White is seen as successful whereas black is seen as uneducated. Stereotypes exist within every culture and extend far more than beauty standards.
Now this is something we can definitely change, by questioning the standards individuals have. Especially elders and helping them recognise that the basis for having these standards make no sense. We then have the duty to handle these stereotypes head on whenever we see discrimination. And push new fair standards out within our communities. The first step is noticing these prejudices and speaking out against them, so don’t be afraid to do so.
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