The Colorism Double Standard: Why Is It Okay for Men to Be Dark but Not Women?

Written by on 27 April 2017

The recent Gilbert Arenas ignorance brought this to mind and while it might be a silly question, let’s go ahead and ask it: Why is it “acceptable” for black men to be dark but not black women? Why is there so much bias, vitriol and intolerance thrown toward dark black women? Why must dark black women always feel as if they aren’t “good” enough or “pretty” enough, especially compared to their lighter-skinned counterparts? And, why do we allow this counterproductive attitude to prevail in the 21st century?


By now, we all know the prevalent colorism that exists not only in the black culture, but society as a whole. We know how light skin is viewed versus dark skin, but isn’t enough, enough? It’s time to stop grouping people into categories based on skin color, when at the end of day, it really doesn’t mean very much – we have the same shared history that should be celebrated among us, not used to divide us.


All the team light skin and team dark skin needs to stop, especially when it comes to women. Women, too often, are judged solely on their looks, like that’s the only thing that they were put on this earth for and their only sense of worth. Let’s be better than that. Let’s encourage our young girls (and boys) that complexion is just a part of life and not indicative of their value, intelligence, capabilities of future. Let’s empower them to get over complexion and know they are simply part of team human race.

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