Comfortable in My Own Skin

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2020-06-22 01:51Z by Steven

Comfortable in My Own Skin

January 2020

Maika Llaneza
New Orleans, Louisiana

My theology says brown skin is beautiful, but my Pinterest page said otherwise.

MY EXPERIENCE BEING color-shamed began when I was 5 years old and still living in the Philippines. My mom and aunts often told me that I could be mistaken for “the maid’s daughter,” due to my darker brown skin. Even at a young age, I understood it was intended as an insult.

As I grew up, billboards, films, television shows, and magazines bombarded me with images of white Americans and Filipinas with white facial features. Mestiza Filipina models and actresses—celebrities admired by young girls like me—advertised skin-whitening products.

Color-shaming by other Filipinas continued after I moved to the United States at age 7. My mom, titas (aunts or older women), and lolas (grandmothers or elderly women) told me to “stay away from the sun” and “try not to get so dark.” They told me I would look even prettier if I had lighter skin…

Read the entire article here.

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