Peoples said young adults of her generation in San Diego often considered light skin to be a privilege that made a person more desirable. “Light-skinned women are often stereotyped as prettier than darker-skinned women. We see it in magazines, with highly paid models and celebrities,” Peoples said. “We never really see lighter-skinned Black women being called out for their Afrocentric features in a negative way. They are kind of put at a high pedestal by society and even by some Black men.”

Light-skinned women are often stereotyped as prettier than darker-skinned women

The harsh reality of colorism is that discrimination exists within the Black community itself. We have contributed to the toxic legacy of colorism by establishing a light-skinned vs. dark-skinned war. We often see this in marriage and dating. When men of color prefer to date Hispanic or White women, often it’s because of the stereotypes Black women face.

We are frequently viewed as too strong, too secure and too independent, which intimidates some men. We are also viewed as loud, ghetto and less ladylike. This leaves many Black women to date outside of their race.