Thursday 18th January 2018,


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McGill Daily: Shadeism Casts Pall on South Asian American Community

posted by Randall

Nina Davuluri Bollywood routineYou’ve heard of racism, but how about shadeism?

Sometimes the worst offenders of shadeism are people of color themselves.

Shadeism is the idea that light skin is white and right. It’s the idea that lighter skin tones are a sign of beauty.

It’s why many people turn to skin lighteners to achieve what they consider to be beautiful skin.

According to blogger Subhanya Sivajothy in the McGill Daily, shadeism afflicts many in the South Asian community.

Subhanya writes:



Shadeism is an experience that most people of color are very well-acquainted with, and have either felt it or witnessed it. It is a type of discrimination based on the lightness of skin tone, and it occurs within communities of color as well as intraracially. Shadeism is the result of self-hatred and internalized racism that attributes beauty to the tone of one’s skin. Although many have felt the impact of shadeism, there is little awareness of why it exists in the first place. Shadeism continues to flourish because it is a direct consequence of societies being pressured to conform to Western ideals and socially constructed standards of beauty.

It was also a topic that came up when Nina Davuluri took the title of Miss America last year despite her darker skin.

You can read more about shadeism in the McGill Daily. Have you even experienced shadesism?


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