Jul 21, 2024

Tiisetso calls for skin colourism to end within the black society


The complexities and conflicts within our own race when it comes to the shade of our skin are devastating and deep-rooted and still thrive to this day

Model and activist Tiisetso Mokwena speaks of the effects of colourism she experienced growing up with dark skin in an exceedingly black society.

Growing up, Tiisetso has always been dark-skinned and spent years being picked on and mocked, for the colour of her skin, to a point where she ended up having issues with her skin colour and hating the fact that she was darker. Even in the black society, fair-skinned black people made it even more difficult for her to love and appreciate the shade of her skin.

“I always knew I wasn’t the ideal skin tone for the world and that society will always question my beauty”

Having grown up in a family where both her parents were dark-skinned one would think she didn’t have any problems with her skin tone, but that was not the case, someone somewhere, whether be at school or the neighbourhood always had something to say about her skin tone, and most times it was a bad thing more than it was actually a good thing and that made her question her skin tone even more

During her teen years, she decided she wanted to be a model, she went for pageants and would opt for modelling auditions, that’s where things got even worse, light-skinned models always got preferential treatment over dark-skinned girls, they were praised more, loved more, and cheered more and that made Tiisetso wonder what being a dark-skinned girl really meant and if such was going to be her reality.

“I remember as a little girl, I would look at the TV and never see people like me, the only time I saw a black girl, she was represented in a way that is undesirable or was light-skinned and that made it socially acceptable as their lightness was a privilege”

Tiisetso found it hard to come to terms with the beautiful skin she was born in because too many times she was made to question her dark-skin, she was made to  believe that something was wrong with the colour of her skin and that’s what every dark-skinned girl go through in this world.

“We question too many times if we are worth it, if we are deserving, if we are beautiful enough especially in comparison with someone who has fairer skin, because so many times this world portrays us as not so beautiful”, Tiisetso said.

The belief of light skin is better, has been perpetuated, it has already been implemented in society’s brain, and every black woman’s brain that dark skin is not an ideal tone, that lighter skin is far better than dark skin, that you more valuable if you light-skinned, hence colourism still exists to this day in black communities.

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