BEAUTY TALK: What Is Shadeism?

1. Shadeism is closely related to 'colourism', an associated practice that is the manifestation of an internalised, colonial-induced racial self-hatred.

2. It is an evaluation of people that minutely registers traits such as skin colour, hair, and facial features to construct social hierarchies


Last night, I appeared alongside Thuto Mali (entertainment presenter) on the Dotun Adebayo Sunday Show (BBC London 94.9FM)  to discuss the topic of shadeism/colourism in the black community, specifically. This debate was fuelled by XFactor's ex constestant - Hannah Barrett who stated:


“I’ve received a lot of racist comments on Twitter. People say I’m too dark to be a singer and there have been lots of references to how dark my skin is...people say, ‘you’re black and ugly’ and nasty things like that. The sad thing is that most of them are made by black people who just have lighter skin than me.”


Being aware that this topic is somewhat of an ongoing issue to which many have seen being perpetuated or are responsible for perpetuating, within their family, online, in the media and in the workplace, highlights the existing issue of ignorance and lack of education in history and social philosophy or could it simply be pure hatred, disregard or disrespect?


"The application of knowledge is true power"


I believe that with many things in life, in order to know deal and/or react to things, one needs to be equipped with knowledge. Knowledge allows you to comprehend. Comprehension gives you the affordability to analyse. By analysing, you take a deeper look into the issue, looking at its different sides before arriving to concluding thoughts which will then determine your behaviour, response towards the issue at hand.


In relation to race and the topic of shadeism, if we (those of us concerned with the effects this separatism) did something to shed a light on the issue through the different mediums available to us, we would collectively be working towards influencing change. Of course, this change cannot occur without the investigation of the root of the issue and the investigation for alternative explanations, like the posing of the following question:  can shadeism, including the lack of representation of the black race, specifically women of a darker complexion be explained using the psychological philosophy of the majority influence?