50 shades of brown- shadeism

Hey my weirdos,

I finally have made time to sit down and write after enjoying the first few days of my holiday. I have been watching Stephanie Nicole videos as well as the usual Jeffree Star videos in particular “Racism” video and it sort of got me thinking…

It’s 2017 and we still have complexion issues. However, from the title of this post, I am sure you have gathered this is not a post about racism. This is a post about shadeism. It is defined as “a form of discrimination based on skin color. Shadeism, however, is typically an intraracial issue rather than an interracial one, meaning it is based on the degree of skin tone rather than categories such as “black” and “white” on Wikipedia.

Growing up in an Indian household skin complexion is a major thing. The first thing anyone notices when they see me is “how dark” I have gotten. This is the very first thing always mentioned even when I returned to South Africa after a year living in the United States. We “darker” skin toned people play it off lightly. We continue as if this is a normal thing as it’s apparent in most Indian households.  I am not really sure whether this is an issue in other races.

Life abroad taught me that this is not the norm. Some Indians still view “fair” skin toned Indians as pretty. I am aware this is not the belief of everyone but I wish companies such as “Fair and Lovely” were non-existent. They feed this belief that in order to be beautiful one needs to be fair skinned.

Certain celebrities not only lightened their skin tone but some took an 180-degree turn and turned into another race altogether. This is not throwing shade, to each their own. It just makes you wonder how far people will go to appear lighter? Is this really how much we focus on complexion that people are willing to undergo the knife and harmful ingredients in bleaching creams just to become “fair and lovely.”

Jokes are often made about it, “Hey, where are you? , cannot see you with the light off!” I am guilty of it too. I have learned this is not something to kid about. Growing up I would not wear swimming costumes because I thought I was too dark to show my skin. I am considered one of the darker skinned toned people. I am completely comfortable with it now as long as my foundation matches my skin tone.

A male Indian guy once told me his girlfriend cannot be darker than him. This was only two years ago. I thought what a superficial thing to say. Would you not give a person of a darker skin tone a second look just because they are dark? In India, lower castes were predominantly darker skinned. The inverse of this is true for fair skinned people. But this is 2017 in South Africa, can we move on already?

I do not watch much television hence I do not know whether darker skin tones are getting onto more televisions advertisements. The issue is not just within the confines of South African Indians but it is a larger one. As the years go by there is more representation in terms of people of darker skinned people and I really hope this improves. I hope to see much more local brown girls on Youtube as well.

I hope at any time in your life as a brown girl(or any colour) you never feel like you are not worthy. I hope that no one makes you feel inferior or tells you to lighten your complexion or stay out of the sun.

In conclusion, I just want to emphasize that whatever skin tone you are, you should love your skin. You are beautiful as you are. There is nothing more beautiful than a person comfortable in their own skin.

Beauty comes from within,

Miss Dhanusha   




38 thoughts on “50 shades of brown- shadeism

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  1. I hate how narrow minded people think being fair means you’re pretty. It’s just sad that we still live in a society where they still think that’s the case. I definitely think the same as you. I don’t care that I’m dark, as long as I find my foundation shade I’m good to go. A very good review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t say I can relate because I am fair but my fiancé is darker than me and considered ” dark” for a coloured. We’ve been together for 9 years and it grates me everytime summer comes and he’s gotten a little darker from being out in the sun, then I have to sit and listen to family members comment on how dark he is. Like what the hell??? Who cares!! Why are people so damn concerned with skin colour? Thank you for this post hun. I love my man with all my heart and his “darkness” was NEVER and will NEVER EVER be an issue.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Beautifully said! Totally agree!

    I was always told by my colleagues that I’m quite dark for a breadou….

    We should be moving forward, not going backward

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really beautifully written, I think we are around the same color so I understand the struggle it’s really hard. Once had my own guy cousin tell me that if a girl is fair then it’s not hard for her to be pretty. I looked at myself in the mirror after that and I felt almost dirty. I got over it though and instead realized the value of having great skin instead of fair skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Growing up in an Indian family this was a song i heard very often.
    i hated it so much when aunts use to tell me to get out the pool or come play inside….. I’m glad i was brought up in a house hold where my mom let us be kids and get sunburnt while playing outside.. because at the end of the day, she didn’t care about that and neither do i.
    I don’t see skin colour as beautiful.. i see a person’s soul and then decide whether they beautiful or not. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in my opinion is definitely skin deep.



  6. This is so beautifully written! I’ve always found it so ironic how so many pale skinned ladies subject themselves to harmful sunbeds and use self tanners to darken their skintones while so many darker skinned gals subject themselves to toxic chemicals and bleaching creams to lighten their complexions. Its like we’re all on this never ending quest for perfection and we can never truly be happy with who we are. I wish that more women would learn to embrace what they were born with instead of trying to conform to society’s ideals of beauty. After all, every single one of us is somebody else’s idea of perfection ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t think it’s with you guys only,even blacks do that.In the black society there is this huge hype that if a person is fair skinned they are pretty.It’s so sad ,they even have terms such as yellowbone and blackbones which is sick really.I’ve seen so many girls bleach just to achieve “yellowbone” status


  8. Oh yeah, this is and issue in coloured families as well. But we have one more thing…hair type and eye colour. Therefore, an ugly AF child with light skin, blue/green eyes, and straight hair is seen as beautiful no matter matter what. It’s up to us to change the narrative though. Posts like this help get the conversation started.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah hair type is another factor. I’m told I have bushy wild hair lol which is not the case for most indians haha. Definitely we need to open the eyes of the current and future generations. It’s the only way to move forward

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Expected a rant, instead read a thoroughly compelling view on this issue. I idolised SRK (and still do to a certain extent), when i discovered he endorsed skin lightening products my heart sank. At around that time I started being more cognizant of how ubiquitous skin tone stigmas were in the Indian community.

    I hope more people read this, I will definitely share it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. yeah its still an on going thing that really riles me up. I remember my mum commenting on how pretty i have gotten when i spent a week indoors without the sun touching my face. it makes me mad but hopefully our generation gets better.

    Liked by 1 person

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