According to Alice
Walker, Colorism is a form of discrimination in which human beings are treated
differently based on their skin color. It is a practice in which those people
with lighter skin are treated more favourably than those with darker skin tone,
typically among people of the same ethnic or racial groups.
The most common
example of colorism is the slavery in America.(Webb,2016) It is stated that
colorism started during the slavery period with the separation of the
dark-skinned slaves and light-skinned. White and black people have children of
mixed ancestry but according to the law the child would take with their mother
and will be considered as black. Considering that they would still be both
slaves, there are more privileges given to the slaves with lighter skin-tone.
Slave owners look at them as smarter and better than those with darker skin.
Some slave owners also allow the mixed slaves some forms of education and even
freedom. Once the slavery was over, same advantages are given to the mixed
people, But we cannot deny the fact that in today’s generation some people’s
perception of beauty and equal treatment are still based on one’s skin
Obsession with White Skin
Most Filipinos are
born with nut-brown skin color, but because of the standards set by the
society, most of the Pinoys are not
proud of their own skin complexion. Because today, white is synonymous with
beauty. In the Philippines, having lighter skin gives people unspeakable
advantages, they are admired and envy by some, and they have the perks that
those people with darker ski-tone could only wish for.
movie stars are naturally born mestizos and
some became one through the help of expensive bleaching procedures. But how
does it end up those people wishing for a lighter skin-tone? Filipinos are not
the only Asians obsessed of having whiter skin-tone. In China, having whiter
skin tone means a person is wealthy while having darker skin-tone is the
opposite one and mostly they are discriminated and even labelled as ‘black-headed-people’. Ancient Chinese
also considered white skin as elegance and nobility. Because of this people are
struggling to have fairer skin, they were misled of using pearl powder mixed
with hot water hoping that they would get fairer skin. Similar to what happened
to the western country in the 17th and 18th century were
aristocrats applied lead oxide to their skin just to set them apart from the
working masses due to the superiority of white skin over slaves with darker
skin-tone were so ubiquitous. At that time , they coined the term “blue blood’
(“dugong bughaw”) to refer to the
members of the aristocracy whose skins were so fair that they made their blue
veins extremely visible.
with natural fair skin start to become lesser to the bronze skin at the time of
20th century. Westerners who put a high value on pale skin faced a
major turning point; they now associate sun-tanned skin with wealth, believing
that those with tanned skin can afford expensive escapes to exotic, far-away
places to indulge in sun-worshiping.
valuing of pale skin in the west doesn’t affect the superiority of white skin
in the Asian country. This mind-set of people
still remains specifically in the Philippines.