Beyond Race and Colorism: What Makes Skin Beautiful
Skin tone has always been a barrier between races, and unfortunately, too many people are now numb to the issue because, “It’s 2018 and skin color should not matter anymore.” This is an ill misconception weaved from ignorance and lack of conversation. The color of a person’s skin defines that person to the public, before that person even has the opportunity to open their mouth and speak their truth. So how is it possible that people say, “I don’t see color.” This statement does more damage than good. Instead of pretending to be a person who doesn’t see color, be someone who takes the time to learn about the struggles and the blessings people endure because of the skin they live in. Ultimately, when a person says they do not see color, they are turning a blind eye away from one of the most prominent features that distinguishes their life from the life of every other individual.
A person’s skin tone is more than just a color. Skin carries scars, marks, callouses, and wrinkles. Tattoos, piercings, and other forms of body art. Each blemish has its own story, but you have to be attentive in order to notice, and you have to be willing to start the conversation in order to understand. From a distance, a wrinkle might only look like a wrinkle, but up close a wrinkle may become an intricate stream of laugh lines. All of a sudden, an assumingly weathered individual transforms into someone who has lived life happily.
When asked, “What makes your skin beautiful?” many spoke about their skin as a reflection of the life they live. Others spoke about the history that is engrained in their coloring. Some people attributed beautiful skin to flawless skin. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and no matter who was asked this question, everyone believed their skin to be beautiful for one reason or another.
The purpose of this question was not singularly for people to realize the beauty in something societies have been, historically, and to this day, demoralized and oppressed for. It goes beyond self-realization, so when others watch the video or look at the pictures, they see someone who resembles themselves, someone who tells them one of the many reasons why skin like their own is beautiful. The purpose of this question was to begin a discussion about the color of a person’s skin that crosses racial barriers, and barriers resulting from colorism within one’s own race.
Personally, I have so much gratitude toward my friends who have taught me powerful lessons about people, our differences, and acceptance.
Embody your beauty and spread it as far as you can.