Colorism is a heavy burden among Black people and other people of color in many countries. It's the number one reason, if not the only reason, why cancer-causing skin-bleaching creams are still so popular.
For those of us who may have experienced it as a performer, this can cause some anxiety and stress. For if we speak out about it, we may be labeled as "difficult to work with". So, we suffer in silence. We go along to get along and we aren't even sure if others in our industries feel the same way.
The solution to colorism and tokenism in the arts and media shouldn't only rest on the shoulders of the actors, actresses, dancers, and performers in front of the camera.
Here are 5 ways to combat the issue of colorism for performers and those who work with them.
1. Avoid Tokenism
For producers and casting directors, avoid tokenism by promoting representation of all skin tones by making sure there is diversity in whom you cast and the characters they play or the brands they model for. Hire a hair and makeup team that knows how to do makeup for dark skin and style coily hair.
2. Encourage Every Performer
Watch and encourage performers of all skin tones to support each other and build a strong community. This can be done in real life and on social media.
3. Speak Out
Speak out against colorism and be vocal about your stance. Stand up for yourself and stand by those who have been made to feel less than others because of their skin tone.
4. Educate Yourself
Educate yourself on the history and current effects of colorism. Then, use that knowledge to create positive change in your home, on set or stage, and in your community.
5. Invest In Organizations
Invest in organizations, such as The Colorism Project and Colorism Healing LLC, that fight colorism, and advocate for people of all skin tones.
How has colorism and/or tokenism affected you or someone you know? Leave a comment below.
- Tags: Colorism