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Colorism and Hairism, Does It Really Exist?

By :Nyaki Tshabangu 0 comments
Colorism and Hairism, Does It Really Exist?

Does it really exist?

Colourism and Hairism have been trending and I just thought I should share my 2cents, literally TWO CENTS.


This form of discrimination has been happening for years and we have seen it playout in various spaces like workplaces, in the media and its now showing its ugly face in the natural hair community. But we can all ‘agree’ that we had bigger problems as a nation so we let this 1 slide and manifest.

The latest twars (twitter wars) has resurrected the topic, so much so that it was trending more than the Lion King (shooketh). However I think we can all agree that the seriousness of the matter trumps Nala being played by Beyonce (spare us Behive!). So here we are discussing and hopefully shed new perspective to this topic.

Colourism is discrimination based on the colour of your skin regardless of your ethnic group, in other words light skinned and dark skinned. Hairism/texturism is discrimination based on your type of hair or your texture. These two often go hand in hand due to the association that light-skinned people have different textured hair for example a looser curl or finer hair.

So, here is my 2 cents; we know that colourism and hairism do exists and we know this because of the narrative media chooses to narrate – lighter brown or exotic features are associated with prettiness. Or if a dark-skinned woman gets a role, she has to portray the`strong black woman`. The twars even highlighted how light-skinned celebrities get more roles in movies that their darker counterparts. Even the stereotype that light skinned men cheat. Or “if you want a husband get you a tall dark man”. The list goes on.

For me, this really plays out both ways, there are situations where one group gets the upper hand. But is this right though? No!

We are all different and we shouldn’t be judged on how we look or how our hair grows, we should all get equal opportunities.

What should happen (I think) is that we should change the narrative, from within our homes. Celebrate everyone’s beauty and make them understand their own beauty. Thus ensuring that ones beauty does not supersceed the next persons beauty.  I’m not saying let’s switch it up and reverse  role, lets start with ourselves and appreciate ourselves and understand that we are different and shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone. I look in the mirror and tell myself that NDI’MHLE REGARDLESS (I’m beautiful regardless) and this does not take away from anyone else. Can we just celebrate all people as they deserve to be and not because of their looks?

Think of it this way, if we stop comparing light and dark and actually realise that the two are equally beautiful and serve their purpose in this world then we might have just solved the future world war IV. I say this because all our minor issues with each other develop into bigger problems with the next generation.

We all must coexist because without the other we don’t exist.

Here is an interview with Khanyi Mbau on Colorism in the media industry: Click Here

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categories : News

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