Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Skin colour for sale in Shoprite ... and everywhere else

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their charater."
Dr. Martin Luther King

Been wondering around life for the past couple months. In between travels of the mind, travels for work and the juxtupotation of reality in between all this it has been a busy and mostly enjoyable time. Granted, that may be the lamest excuse for not posting on my blog for a while but allow a blogger's license. Then comes along something that pulls you out of your revire and that you must blog about and so hence my post.

Just spent the last couple of minutes watching a video called Shadeism. Posted by a friend of mine in Facebook, when I linked to the video on Vimeo and read the description I really had to share ... 'This short TV documentary is an introduction to the issue of shadeism, the discrimination that exists between the lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community. This documentary short looks specifically at how it affects young womyn within the African, Caribbean, and South Asian diasporas. Through the eyes and words of 5 young woman and 1 little girl - all females of colour - the film takes us into the thoughts and experiences of each. Overall, 'Shadeism' explores where shadeism comes from, how it directly affects us as womyn of colour, and ultimately, begins to explore how we can move forward through dialogue and discussion'.

Shadeism part I
Shadeism part II

A well recommeded video for any one to watch.

It coincides with an issue that has been bothering me for a while - well perhaps two issues:
  1. why are our shops and supermarkets selling 'lightening' and 'fade creams'?
  2. why are we - both men and women - still buying these products?


Anonymous said...

Fade creams are meant to fade darker spots from scars and pimples, and do not lighten your skin. Lightening creams, on the other hand, are a whole different ball game.

Kajsa said...

Yes, why change color? I guess old power structures are not removed (no pun intended) so easily...Glad to have you back!

Gloria Morgan-Davis said...

Hi Denise,
Long time. Shadeism bothers me moreso in the Motherland than in the U.S. If there is anywhere on this planet where it is safe to be Black one would think it would be Africa. One of the lingering atrocities of imperialism.

Stuck in the U.S. email:

Anonymous said...

Hi Denise,

It not a issue in US, it's a world wide phenomenon

Your Friend has put the truth in very structured manner. In India , life is very miserable for dark skin girls... as we follow arrange marriage , getting a suitable match is nightmare.. and parents have to pay lot of dowry

Anonymous said...

Well, People patronize these products for the same reason that Africans buy hair relaxers!

We have a fundamental inferiority complex that leads us to believe that Western-style everything is bad.

That is the problem. How different is bleaching the skin to look like a European from relaxing your hair to look like a European?

Yet it is generally accepted that once a girl turns 15-18, she must 'perm' her hair to look pretty. What rubbish!