It made me feel inferior, but I know now no one is better than me
A year ago, I published my first book Rise Up and Take Your Position and, in my book, I talked about how I suffered from inferiority complex primarily due to the colour of my skin. I also demonstrated the impact this had on me in a short film called Rise Up – No one is better than you.
In honour of my one-year launch of Rise Up, I want to revisit the issue of colourism. I didn’t like my dark skin and so many times I wish I was light skinned. You see I thought anyone lighter than me was better than me. The reason I felt that way was because being dark skinned among many black people was negative. There was preference for light skinned people. Dark skinned people found favour if they had money, car, or status in the community.
My personal journey
My personal journey may be like many others who are dark skinned. It was so bad for me that I never use to drink dark sodas such as coke or pepsi. I used to hear people talking about bleaching so I put my face in water and Clorox bleach hoping that my skin would be light skinned. I did not want to go out because I did not like how I looked. I remembered during the Uncle Charlie radio program, there was a penpal program where you can meet friends in the USA and so I sent a picture of my brother Dudley (who is lightskinned) to my penpal and said it was me because I was embarrassed about how I looked.
I used to be teased a lot and called ugly and black most of my life and it bothered me from childhood to adulthood and as a result I endured inferiority complex. I did not overcome this inferiority complex until about four years ago. No matter how old you are or what you have acquired, there are some things that will take you a while to get over especially if you experienced it from a very young age and in the community and in the home.
Because of the stigma and negativity associated with being dark-skinned, some dark-skinned people resort to bleaching cream to lighten their skin complexion. Bleaching your skin is very unhealthy as some of the bleaching cream contains mercury. This mercury can penetrate your skin and can damage your lungs and kidneys. Bleaching also causes cancer.
Furthermore, when you bleach it is obvious as most times your face is very light skinned, but your fingers and toes are very dark. In fact, your external features become deterrent to many people, and it defeats the purpose for which you were using the bleaching cream.
Accept your dark-skinned
I do not know why God made us different colours especially among the black race because this is where colourism takes place. We talked a lot about racism from “white” people but among the black people, colourism is prevalent. This colour thing does not make any sense because behind our skins, our internal organs are the same at least as far as I know. The colour of your skin does not make you more significant even though many people try to think any colour other than dark-skinned people are superior to others. However, there are poor, rich, attractive, and unattractive light skinned people, there are poor, rich, attractive, and unattractive dark-skinned people and there are poor, rich, attractive, and unattractive white people. Quite frankly, we should not measure people based on their appearances and their financial condition, we should measure people based on other characteristics such as their personalities, integrity, loyalty, and honesty.
I know most of us are attractive to the external appearances of individuals. However, do not discard someone because of their dark-skinned complexion. God has made all of us equal and no one is better than you. You must come to that realization and in so doing you should accept the colour of your skin. If you accept the colour of your skin, then there is no need for you to bleach. Also, do not get involve with someone simply because of the colour of their skin.