I was scrolling through Instagram explore the other day and couldn’t help noticing a familiar face.
I clicked on the picture and realized that it wasn’t actually a friend or acquaintance as I thought but some socialite.
I also couldn’t help noticing that unlike the last time I knew of her, she was now a married mother.
Good for her I thought; few people in her kind of craft get that ‘lucky’- in an age of baby mamas and unrecognized cohabitation, she deserves a round of applause.
Let me add some colour to this story- she’s of mixed race while her husband has a skin tone that is not too far from soot.
And this brings us to the title of this episode.
It’s no news that light skinned ladies are more desirable than darker women; just by their colour and nothing more, they appear to be more appealing.
They even have a song- Omopupa (light skinned girl) by Victor Olaiya- specially dedicated to celebrate the art of being light skinned and now fair ladies everywhere have an eternal eulogy that will always cuddle their egos.
But the story is not remotely similar when it comes to dark skinned women who do not have any such encomium for their self-assurance.
No one will make an evergreen music track just to celebrate their dark tone.
What light skinned women get with a whisper, others struggle to obtain with a scream.
While a light skinned lady’s appearance is sufficient to get her attention, others must have character, poise, height and the right body proportions in their portfolio to improve their chances.
Colour may play the role of attraction in romance but it also doubles as a status identity.
And the more exotic the origin of her light skin (such as when she’s biracial), the higher her value.
If success or money is not visible enough, at least the halo around a light skinned wife is hard to miss (never mind that she’s insufferable).
Little wonder bleaching cream traders are counting their millions- if you can’t beat them, adopt their skin colour.
While the West deals with racism, we have colourism.
Perhaps, light skinned women remind men of the colour they wished they were or aspire to be so if they can’t be the colour, they’ll marry the colour.
At least, this will provide some form of compensation and validate their success.
In the end, everyone is a colourist.
The light skinned lady is glad for the complexion, the dark skinned is bleaching to get there and men in their droves, are chasing after the lighter colour.
This is our reality and it appears that it is here to stay.
While we adjust to the little daily clues of colourism all around us, when next you see a dark skinned bride on Instagram, don’t just give an applause but a standing, cheery ovation.