Colorism exist. Colorism in any country and any community. It’s the idea that beauty and worth are directly related to proximity of “white-ness” or “white passing” skin color, features, accents…etc..that’s why so many of us are so freaking proud of Yalitza Aparicio’s nomination, we are the brown children that are always told “no andes en sol, ya estás bien morena te vas a poner peor” (Don’t be out in the sun too long, you’re brown enough as it is, you’ll get worse) and slathered in extra sunblock.
I grew up next to my sister (we are from the exact same parents) she just got the Euro genes, red hair, white skin, blue eyes…yeah childhood was fun. What I recall as a little girl are all the comments from everyone, las señoras, family members, my mom’s coworkers, etc…always telling my mom how beautiful my sister “la güera” was. Being a younger sister already comes with its fair share of “walking in the shadows” but being “la morena” among a bunch of güeros in my family was another layer of shadow I had to overcome. Looking at my sister, who looked like the actresses on TV and learning at young age that society considered light skin, straight hair and colored eyes were the epitome of beauty…and at the very same time learning — after many failed attempts of scrubbing my brown skin in the shower — that I could never attain that. This is why representation matters.
Yalitza not only spoke for colorism here in the U.S. but in her own country as well, lighter skinned Mexican Actresses actively plotting behind her back to have her removed from being included in the Mexican Academy Awards, The Ariel, because -in their words- they don’t want an “India” reflecting them. They are refusing to accept the Mestizaje and Indigenous blood that flows through us all, acting like she isn’t worthy of being included because she is Indigenous. Bola de viejas ENVIDIOSAS! Yalitza broke barriers and this is only the beginning.
originally posted on my Medium page