Colorism And Structural Racism In A Girl Like Me

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Dark Girls discusses colorism and structural racism. Many personal experiences are recounted by African-American women, discussing the pressures from strangers, peers, and even family to be light-skinned. An experiment also showed a little girl selecting the drawing of a white girl for the positive traits (beauty, intelligence) and the darkest girl for the negative traits. A psychologist highlights the fact that colorism is not predispositioned; rather, societal pressures like the media subconsciously plants colorism in the mind. A Girl Like Me highlights the beauty standards rampant in African/African-American cultures. Inherent “black” features - natural hair, darker skin - are perceived as undesirable in communities. Colorism is common and …show more content…
Instead of setting an impossible standard, stereotypes usually serve to simplify different demographics, like men, women, Caucasians, Hispanics, etc. Minorities tend to have more negative stereotypes, which negatively affects both the party in question and others. When one is exposed repeatedly to images and ideas, they permeate into the subconscious and one becomes accustomed to them. The subjects of stereotypes soon find themselves believing the ideas, and this can lead to internalized oppression and internalized colorism. Internalized oppression is a direct effect of accepting stereotypes, as people who do not fit in the “ideal” feel unacceptable within their own groups. Individuals end up embracing the false stereotypes and expectations and attempt to live them out. Internalized colorism occurs within ethnic groups; usually, lighter skin is desired and seen as more beautiful. Colorism results from stereotypes revolving around skin tone, as well as Eurocentric beauty standards. European beauty standards have diffused internationally, especially through media. This has left young children of all cultures desiring lighter skin to approach the beauty ideal. On the other hand, stereotypes directly affect those in power. Lawmakers and leaders have stereotypes embedded in their subconscious as well, which leads to legislation that tends to generalize groups. Thus, stereotypes directly results in structural prejudice like institutionalized racism; this can be witnessed in many situations, such as the difficulty of African-Americans to procure loans, housing, and jobs compared to Caucasians with the exact same credentials attempting to procure the same things. Media and advertising play a part in this because our idea of the world and society tend to be a direct result of what we see and watch. Media/advertising tend to especially play on stereotypes, as they know that most people will understand the joke or

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