There’s no way around it, experiencing colorism no matter if you're a kid, teen, or adult can take a toll on your mental health, and even your physical health. There are dark-skinned women who experience colorism all the time, have very tragic colorism stories that they carry with them and feel the direct impact daily.
And there are dark-skinned women who understand colorism, have experienced it from time to time and understand the larger impact it has on themselves and women who look like them. I fall into the second category; but not by luck, or by accident. I purposefully take steps to ensure that my life is as colorism free as it possibly can be.
1. I keep anyone who I even THINK is colorist 100 ft away from me at all times.
When it comes to colorist behavior I will cut off anybody who makes any sort of colorist comment; be it by a family, or friend. I lessened contact with a friend of five years, who is a lighter skinned woman and who made a comment that even though all she likes and dates are very dark-skinned black men, she doesn’t want her daughter to have “that kind of nappy hair”.
As a result, my circle is very multicultural and honestly, I'm happier that way. I learned that colorism is so deep in the community that it benefited my personal energy to open myself up to different races and spaces. At this point in my life, protecting my mental space and making sure I'm surrounded by individuals who are having a positive impact on my life, is more important than having all black friends.
2. I only consume media with positive representations of dark-skinned women...Period.
For me that means no slave movies, no struggle love movies, no music disparaging phenotypical black women, same with television shows. Although that seems militant, for me it is more important that I am surrounding myself with representations of myself that are positive only.
On the flip side of mentioning what I exclude, what I include are Pinterest boards dedicated to beautiful dark-skinned black women, femininity related Youtube channels such as MrsMidwest, Asha C, The Pink Pill, Chrissie, and Highlowluxxe are some of my favorites. I also make it a point to listen to music that puts me in a happy, light and non-aggressive mood, with the exception of my work out playlist. On top of my Pinterest boards, I also have vision boards dedicated to beautiful, feminine dark-skinned women who inspire me, along with positive affirmations and quotes.
There are a million different ways that colorism can affect your life when you’re a dark-skinned woman; but there are also a million ways to keep your peace of mind and colorism at bay when going through life. These are of course not the only ways I choose to control the energies around me, however these made the most impact for me and what I have found to be the most important determinant in my own journey. I’d love to hear the multiple different tactics you guys use to keep a sound soul. Let me know in the comments below!
Liv is a new blogger for DDS Magazine. She graduated University in 2018, with a degree in History & English Lit and in her free time is an avid creative writer, History & Fashion enthusiast, as well as a cat-mom to three kittens. When she is not creating, she works at a children's non-profit and enjoys spending her weekends doing Pilates, hiking, shopping and indulging in Sci-fi novels.