Colorism in Hollywood

Colorism in Hollywood

The Lack of Representation of Dark-Skinned Women on TV and Film

“Tell them, dark don’t mean dirty, nappy don’t mean nasty, loud don’t mean ratchet, bold don’t mean problematic. They say the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice, but at these times the blacker the baby the longer the noose.”

- Masterpiece Poet - "Black Girl Blues"

There needs to better representation of dark-skinned women in media and in advertising. Point. Blank. Period. I am tired of us being the sidekick, the runner-up or the punching bags of all the jokes. The same narratives are constantly being retold and it is frustrating.

Actress Zendaya opened about her light-skin privilege in 2016 saying she has “a bit of a privilege compared to [her] darker sisters and brothers” in her acting career. Colorism in Hollywood is a real issue that needs to be addressed. In April of last year, the Nina Simone biopic, Nina, was released in theaters and it received heavy backlash for its casting choice. Zoe Saldana was cast to play Simone. Saldana is light-skinned and of Dominican Republican and Puerto Rican descent. In the film, he is seen wearing a prosthetic nose and makeup to darken her skin. Some may say that this argument of “degree of blackness” is hypocritical in the sense that it only involves black women attacking other black women. No one bashed Chadwick Boseman for his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall, who was light-skinned. No one bashed Steve Carell for wearing a fake nose and heavy makeup in his portrayal of John du Pont in Foxcatcher.

Here is the issue that I have. It was not that Saldana was unqualified or was not “black enough”. There is just a lack of representation of dark-skinned women in film and on television. The problem is that producers and casting agencies are not casting women of darker complexion. The actresses with fairer tones get the lead roles in films and are typically the love interest. There needs to be more diversity.

Dark girls don't get to be beautiful just dark enough to disappear into the night sky”-

Sarah Ogutu - "Dark Girls"

In 2014, actress Viola Davis opened up about the struggles she faced as a dark-skinned women in the acting industry in an interview with the New York Times Magazine. “I have been given a lot of roles that are downtrodden, mammy-ish,” she said. “A lot of lawyers or doctors who have names but absolutely no lives. You’re going to get your three or four scenes, you’re not going to be able to show what you can do. You’re going to get your little bitty paycheck, and then you’re going to be hungry for your next role, which is going to be absolutely the same. That’s the truth.”

During her interview with The Wrap, she noted how "the paper-bag test is still very much alive and kicking.” “That's the whole racial aspect of colorism: If you are darker than a paper bag, then you are not sexy, you are not a woman, you shouldn't be in the realm of anything that men should desire,”Davis explained.

Again I say, I am tired of seeing women who look like me as the crack-addicts, the prostitutes, the hopeless romantic best friend and the loud and angry black woman. Black women are the victims of harting stereotypes. We can fight against this ideology of colorism by creating more opportunities for women of color and diversifying television and film.

Imagine she was taught to love herself, imitate no one, demand and demonstrate respect when she walks through the door. Imagine she watched the telly and saw herself during the primetime hour instead of the four o'clock video whore.”-

Black Ice- "Imagine"

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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9 Reasons You're Still In Love With Tim Riggins In 2019

Clear eyes. Full hearts.

If you're a Friday Night Lights fan, you know very well who Tim Riggins is. And if you've never seen the show, he's basically just the bad boy football star and sensitive hottie of your dreams, all wrapped into one heart-throbbing package. If you haven't already fallen under the Tim Riggins spell, you're about to...

1. He's the star running back of the Dillon Panthers.

Basically every girl who has walked this earth has fantasized about having that cliche football relationship. No shame. #33 on the field, #1 in my heart.

2. He's actually really sensitive.

Tim Riggins may seem hard and dysfunctional on the outside, but he's really just a big softie. He's no JD McCoy, who grew up lavishly and extremely fortunate; Tim had a rough upbringing. He and his brother, Billy, had to work hard all by themselves just to stay above water, which is most likely what keeps him so grounded and humbled.

3. He loves kids.

Tim didn't even think twice about taking his neighbor under his wing when he moved in next door. And for some reason, there's just somethin' about cute boys holding babies that makes us girls swoon.

4. He's genuine and honest.

Sure, maybe he took advantage of his football-star status and slept with most of the rally girls, but once he fell in love with Lyla we saw his compassionate side. (You probably envied Lyla and maybe even hated her for a while because of it...I know I did.)

5. He knows how to have a good time.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

6. He's a family man.

Tim took the blame for his brother's crime and went to prison for it...if that's not loyalty then I don't know what is.

7. He's affectionate.

If you either hate Lyla or you want to be Lyla or a combination of the both, you are not alone.

8. He's protective.

Probably the only time you've ever wanted to be in a tornado was when you watched the episode where he shielded Julie from flying debris.

9. He's beautiful.

You're welcome for blessing you with this GIF.

May you all find your own Tim Riggins. Amen.

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