The representation of dark skin in the media is improving day by day. Such a statement may be odd to read by some but it is true. Those with a darker complexion are now being shown more and more in the media and their skin tone is being openly appreciated more than ever before. This is an achievement in itself as there have been times (which still go on up to now) where dark skinned women and men have been mocked and heckled at for their dark skin.
For a long time, those of a fairer complexion have been placed on a pedestal which (has) and can make those with dark skin feel inferior. And I know there will be some with the argument that the individuals self confidence is more likely to be at play for the feelings of inferiority however this is not solely the case. For example, roles in films have been cast to those with fairer skin and Eurocentric features over those with darker skin, even though the role would of been better suited with someone with darker skin. This can not only cause feelings of outrage within those with darker skin but it can also make you start to question if you’re not good enough. The term “you’re pretty for a dark skin girl” basically denounces any prettiness being brought from her skin which in turn can cause feelings of insecurity. If all these things are put into consideration, then they can cause someone with dark skin to feel inferior.
Skin bleaching, a technique used to lighten the skin using harsh chemicals and carcinogens such as hydroquinone is popular in places such as Jamaica, India, Senegal and Togo, with 59% of the women in Togo are reported to using bleaching creams and 27% of women in Senegal. These alarming figures tell us that there is a rising epidemic in relation to lightening skin. There could be many reasons for this including wanting to conform with those with fairer skin who may be treated better than their counterparts or to feel more attractive in line with the beauty standards of today.
With all this being said, in the society that we are in today, I believe that there is an improvement within not only the representation in the media but also the support being shown amongst those with dark skin. And with that, the issues mentioned can only get better.