Five Reasons Being a Light Skinned Token is Complete and Utter Trash

It’s 2017, and colorism is clearly alive and well. We know this, although some refuse to acknowledge or admit it for a variety of reasons, whether they be self-serving or ignorant bliss. Some don’t think it’s important because at the end of the day, to most, being black will trump the color of your skin, or maybe it’s guilt, maybe it’s a lack of empathy on both sides. Regardless, it isn’t going to go anywhere if we cannot have open, honest, and respectful conversations about the topic without discounting one another.

As a light skinned black woman, colorism isn’t often a bridge I like to cross because it seems as if I’m “damned if I do and damned if I don’t.” I’ve been told that I only think colorism and light skinned privilege exist because it makes me feel superior, and on the other end of the spectrum I’ve been accused of ignoring the plights of darker toned women and ignoring the reality of privilege. I honestly don’t know how it can be both, but I’ve learned that sometimes I just need to listen. It’s like when someone confides in your about their problems and you instantly make it about yourself after quickly dismissing their anecdote. Other times, I think I’d be selling myself short if I didn’t speak up about how light skinned women are sometimes treated in the black community. When someone calls light skinned women ugly and believes the only reason we are seen as desirable is because of our lack of melanin, some people may quietly side eye them, but it mainly doesn’t receive attention because we’re seen as the group of privilege, and no one is willing to put themselves on the line when you aren’t the oppressed party.

What’s more, there seems to be a blatant exclusion of light skinned women when compiling images or stories of black women. I’m not even demanding to be included because there is still a lack of representation of brown skinned women in media and a plethora of industries, and I understand and respect that, but how many articles am I going to see that highlight black women without anyone who looks like me? Are we not not black as well, or just not black enough? In addressing this pattern, I’ve been told that it isn’t necessary for me to be represented among black women because I’m already represented in the mainstream. While there’s no question that lighter toned women are often used as a “safer, more acceptable” representation of black women in mainstream media, a lack of understanding is revealed to assume that many find this flattering, a win, acceptable, or something that replaces unity within your own race. I can only speak on my personal experience and those around me, but I don’t know any light skinned women who cheer when we’re so obviously (and often awkwardly) placed in a sea of white women to show “diversity.” So, allow me to break down the reasons why being a token is more harmful and vile than anything.

  1. It increases resentment within the black community, especially among women. You think that people care that I don’t like light skinned women being paraded around as ambiguous representations of black beauty? Of course not, we likely won’t even get to that point of the conversation. There’s a misdirected resentment towards light skinned women due to colorism when we have no control over the color of our skin. I actually believe there are specific reasons to promote this division that has roots in slavery, but I’m trying to keep this article semi-short, and the concept is nothing new.
  2. People tend to find it more acceptable to say racist things around you. Sophia Richie expressed this some time ago (and people even threw her a side eye because she apparently doesn’t look black enough), but people don’t have to think you’re white, they just need to think you’re docile or have a reason to be less militant (ie, privileged). “Oh, you aren’t a real black person, I wasn’t talking about you.” Last time I checked, being black wasn’t a processed burger from a fast food joint compiled of artificial materials. My blackness is real, it matters, and I don’t play that shit.
  3. Colorism exhibited by the mainstream (white society) is anti-black and strips away our identity as black women. I fail to understand why I would be happy to see someone who looks like me be a representative of the black race when I know that the reason explicitly is rooted in not looking “that” black or being “acceptable” black. What kind of victory is that? This is more of a convenience to the media but a complete disservice to everyone in the black community, not just those excluded.
  4. You sometimes question whether an opportunity is the result of your skin color rather than your skill or talent. I remember years ago asking others if they were okay with accepting an opportunity that they could confirm was the result of privilege, and while I’d like to think not, everyone isn’t that blatant about it. Whether the opportunity is minor or major, it’s a nagging thought and unacceptable for anyone to feel that way.
  5. Some believe that looking a certain way excludes you from racism that brown skinned black people experience, especially when the media’s definition of inclusion is a fair skinned black woman with loose waves. Months ago, I saw a combative and divisive meme circulating the web that challenged light skinned women to relay their stories about being called a monkey and the like rather than simply feeling insulted because we may be bullied out of jealousy. Hate to break it to you…but to a racist white person, a “monkey” is a beast regardless of skin tone. Not to mention, skin color doesn’t exclude one from having black features that are often ridiculed in society, such as “soup cooler” lips, “nigger noses,” and the like.

Let me be 100% clear, this is not an article that is meant to compare light skinned and dark skinned plight. The experiences are completely different and the nuances are incredibly deep and complicated. But to assume that light skinned folks are floating around on cotton candy and soaking up all this “privilege” like champs is naive and misinformed. Intended to harm and divide, colorism is a perpetually toxic poison that infects us all.

Winky Lux Is the Whimsical Lipstick I Didn’t Know I Needed

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If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been adding more and more creamy lipsticks to my stash. I used to be a total MAC lipstick junkie, but got tired of my lipstick constantly wearing off when I went out and switched to liquid long-wear formulas. However, once winter hit I realized that the liquid lipstick life isn’t always sustainable. For one, they’re more drying, which isn’t that bad, but can pose a problem when the temps are below 20 degrees and it’s windy. No one wants that. Also, when I got sick (read: dehydrated) I needed a formula that would provide me with moisture, pigment, and would be easy to take off. When I have a fever I don’t have the strength to scrub off some of those strong formulas.

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Peak Cosmetics Duet Liquid Lipstick/Gloss Combo: Swatches and Review!

Yes, I’m quite aware that I don’t need more lipstick. But I was excited when Peak Cosmetics reached out to me regarding these, especially because these are lipstick/gloss combos! Sometimes I hate using gloss over my lipsticks when they start to get drying because the color transfers to my gloss applicator, and this completely eliminates that issue as you have a gloss for each color. When I want to apply gloss when I’m out, I often go to the bathroom and completely wipe off my lipstick to prevent transfer and to keep some of my formulas from getting cakey. Problem solved! Here are the colors I picked out:

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From top to bottom: Amaretto Sour, Cacao, Vanilla Bean, Latte, Strawberry Souffle. 

The applicator is long and fairly flat, making application incredibly easy. I didn’t find it difficult to be precise and the formula is fairly mousse-like and thick, so you won’t have an issue with too much product getting on your lips.

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The first coat goes on fairly sheer, which isn’t an issue on my lips with the more muted colors, but with Latte and Strawberry Souffle, two coats were required to prevent the color from looking patchy. All of the shades also look more opaque with two coats. My favorites are Amaretto Sour, Cacao, and Vanilla Bean. Latte and Strawberry Souffle are still nice, but on my skin tone I think they were a little to light/bright and were more patchy than the other shades. Once the formula dries, it’s smudge and kiss proof, yet not thick at all. It definitely won’t crumble or flake on your lips.

I haven’t needed to wear these all day, but each time I wore them for 4-5 hours, I did not have issues. The formula is slightly drying, but no more than a lot of the liquid lipsticks I own. As it wears down (I ate eggs for dinner with Cacao on), the fade is quite natural and barely noticeable. I love lipsticks like this because you don’t have to worry about a harsh line or crumbling if you wear it when you’re going out for drinks or to eat. The gloss is also extremely beneficial in these situations, because you can just apply gloss on top of the fading color and you’re good to go! Check out the colors with gloss on top:

Overall, I’d give these 3.75 stars! I know that sounds weird, but I have a thing about needing to apply two coats to my lipsticks because I have to wait for them to dry. That’s more of a personal preference though (and because I’m impatient). Right now, you can get 40% off if you use my affiliate link here, making them $14 each.

Let me know if you have any questions!

 

 

FTC: I received these lipsticks for free from Peak Cosmetics and all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.