How Colorism In The Media Really Affects Black Women

How Colorism In The Media Really Affects Black Women

The truth.
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The phenomenon of colorism is not exclusive to African American women, but the manifestations on this group are diverse, and the effects are rather unique. Research has shown that the experience of colorism is pervasive within the Black community and that most Black women have been, either culturally or personally, affected by intra-racial discrimination.

Colorism is defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. For example, in the television sitcom, Martin, Gina, Martin’s love interest, who has light skin, is depicted as beautiful, kind, and silly. Whereas her friend, Pam, who has darker skin, is loud, belligerent and annoying, despite Pam being attractive as well. While it is not obvious, this enforces the stereotype that dark skinned women, when compared to their light skinned counterparts, are less beautiful.

Because of colorism's prominence in our society and media, there has not only been backlash outside of the black community, but inside the community as well, where individuals have even went so far as to engage in media "light skin vs. dark skin" wars, so to speak. For darker pigmented African Americans such as myself, we recieve the short end of the stick because there is no secret that our lighter brethren are preferred over us.

Colorism in media can also be depicted in movie roles. Light skinned women are seen in a more positive light, while darker skinned women are seen negatively. Since silent films, dark skin women have been assigned the “mammy” role, angry/sassy/bitter, or overly sexualized. Although it might not be shown, Although it isn’t quite evident, this places black women in a box. Western media creates stereotypes based on the things that we see in media. If we are shown that black women are supposed to take care of white people, are angry, sassy, or bitter, or that they are hypersexual, then we are going to subconsciously believe that this is the way that things are supposed to be, or that these particular traits are expressed in black women.

In Gone With the Wind, the only main black character is Mammy, the house servant. Since this film was made in the 1920’s, this was very common for the culture of the United States at the times. The problem is that not much has changed in representation since then.

But representation matters. Although there have been improvements, such as in the Oscar winning film, Moonlight, the upcoming Marvel blockbuster, Black Panther, and the riveting space epic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there are still many milestones the film industry has to step over before making improvements. If we can shy away from these toxic, problematic stereotypes and put more black directors and producers behind the camera, then we can pave the way for the future of film and have more diversity and inclusivity in media.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

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Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Women, Stop Apologizing When You've Done Nothing Wrong, You're Only Acting Human

Saying you're sorry too much can affect how you see yourself and your actions.

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Throughout the journey of life, there are behaviors that we pick up due to social norms. We may not realize that we unconsciously do this behavior until we become older or more self-aware. One of the behaviors that I think is so predominant is the action of women making themselves small for others or apologizing so much in situations where it is not necessary. I myself apologize for things at least 10 times a day, whether it is when someone bumps into me or when I'm not confident in my opinion.

I have learned to stop doing it when guys ask me out, and I now say "thanks for asking" or a phrase that gives rather than receives such as "thank you for giving me the time." I consciously avoid saying sorry. It's not the biggest issue, but it is something to be aware of and it affects how others view you. It can make you feel invalidated in that situation or delay what you really mean.

I've had conversations with all different types of women that have insight on how this behavior affects them. They all agree that it's still a battle for them to stop apologizing and that it stems from not being confident enough or trying too hard to not hurt other people's feelings. Some claimed they would even apologize when they didn't want to do something or were feeling ill, but their health should be a priority over the desires of other people. Being submissive can feel easier because there are no immediate consequences. If women are tough or stand up for something they can come across as harsh, so we use "sorry" to cushion the blow and make our words a little less abrasive. However, when men are assertive, they are respected and taken seriously.

When women apologize too much, they start making themselves and their actions small. And as complex, hardworking women, they shouldn't be sorry about things they can't control. I don't think women realize it much until they become self-reflective or someone else points it out.

One woman I talked to said, "I never realized how apologetic I was until I had someone point out to me saying, 'You apologize a lot for being human.'"

It can make it harder for you to grow as a woman if you're worried about other people constantly. It can hinder your confidence because you're always thinking you're in the wrong.

Realizing that not everything requires an apology is the first step to amending this behavior. It's something that most women have grown to use constantly growing up. I think it stems even from childhood when girls are more open to their insecurities. Instead, we can re-word what we say to take it from apologizing to gratitude. You can say "thank you for giving you your time" or "I appreciate this conversation, it can help our relationship."

This creates a healthy way of expressing emotions without belittling yourself and makes a way for a logical discussion of what you want and deserve. If you are conscious in your choices and living authentically, then there is no need to apologize.

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