Colorism: Discrimination based on skin color(Final)

Issues in Contemporary Psychology Final Essay Paper

A minority group consists of a number of people that are discriminated in a society, community, nation, etc. The minorities face several issues on a daily basis due to the differences they have with the majority group. The majority group is composed of White Caucasian people that are usually wealthier than the others in the society due to their White privilege. Whereas, the minority group is composed of all the other ethnicities in the world from different religions, cultures and languages. This population gets criticized based on what makes them different from the majority group. However, what is truly the root cause of the difference and division between these two groups? It is because of discrimination based on skin color. In other words, the only reason as to why the majority groups mainly mistreats the minority group is due to their skin color. This paper will elaborate on colorism and its effects on the minority groups and the issues it has brought amongst the group. As well as, how colorism can be dealt with through diversity in practice.

Colorism is an issue that has been happening over the past several years which has impacted many individuals lives, especially the minority group. This is something that affects people of color and has not really been spoken about till a few years ago. It is an issue that has recently started garnering attention due to the several incidents captured and posted on social media, which makes the public know the atrocities that are occurring to people of color.  A lot of people loose important opportunities and get mistreated due to their skin color. Hence, this just increases white privilege and puts white people in power because they are able to access positions in power more easily compared to people of color. However, as the years go by, the minority group are increasing in number due to diversification and the population of Caucasians are decreasing. But White people still belong to the majority group despite being small in number comparatively to people of color that still belong to the minority group. Many may question as to why being “white” or having a fair skin tone is considered better than other skin colors. Also, you may ask yourself why is skin color given such importance? Well, back in the days, historically speaking it was thought that having darker skin meant that you belonged to the lower class because only those people would spend most of their day working under the sun. Thus, having a lighter skin complexation automatically meant belonging to the wealthier class because they could afford to stay at home, hence not tanning. Therefore, having a fairer skin has been associated as representing wealth and success. In the following paragraph, we will analyze as to how this phenomenon has immensely affected the lives of several people of color throughout the years.


First of all, due to the fact that fairer skin has been associated with wealth and success, this has caused individuals with darker skin to want a lighter skin complexion. This has caused multiples people to feel insecure and has made them think that they are incapable of achieving great things due to their skin color. It has also pressurized a lot of women into thinking that they are not beautiful because fairer skin is considered more beautiful by the society. An individual’s skin color can take a toll on someone’s mental health and cause them to do things due to the peer pressure of fitting into the society and feeling accepted. Certain examples can be laid out such as whitening creams that are extremely famous in India. These products make a lot of profit knowing how bad of an impact it can have on a person’s mental and physical health. These businesses know the people’s insecurities; thus, they make money out of it (Modi,R.,2014). Colorism not only causes a division amongst the majority and minority groups, but it also causes a division amongst the minority group. For example, the north Indian population thinks they are superior to the south Indian population because the north’s population is mostly consisted of lighter skin tone individuals (Modi,R., 2015). Thus, it can be seen as that fairer skin as always been connected to wealth, success and beauty. This has immensely played in several people’s lives affecting them mentally and physically.


Second of all, another important thing that people of color have to go through is the loss of opportunities and mistreatment. Members of the minority group tend to lose out on many opportunities because of their skin color. White people have access to the big positions much easier than the people of color and this can only be explained by white privilege. There have been several times where a Black man was more qualified than a White man, however when time came to decide who to give the position to, it was a known fact that the White man would acquire it despite the other individual being more deserving. Several researches show that amongst the African American community, the lighter skin individuals are considered to have a higher occupational status, earn a high income and have completed a better education. In comparison, darker skin individuals within the African American community are considered to have poor health, less attractive and often associated with criminal acts (Hairston, T. et al, 2018). In addition, people of color go through so many injustices and mistreatments because of their skin color. They get called racial slurs, they have struggle finding a job, getting an apartment, buying a house, etc. Moreover, especially recently, the injustices that occur to the Black community is coming to light due to social media. They get arrested, killed and are given unfair sentencing. It has always been a known fact that the minority group has been treated wrongly for the longest time, however now with the help of technology, the people are trying to bring a change.


In conclusion, as previously mentioned earlier, there are several issues that people of color face. This includes mistreatment and injustices. Hence, in consequence the minority group is affected mentally and physically. The main reason as to why is there is division between the majority and minority group is due to their differences. If the majority group learns about the differences and starts to be more accepting, a change can definitely happen. A change is bound to happen! This can only occur through education. The majority group needs to be taught the basis of the dimensions of diversity such as culture, race, ethnicity, religion and social class. An enlightenment on these subjects will make them appreciate the differences instead of looking at it from a negative angle. Thus, culture constitutes of shared beliefs and values that are passed on through family socialization. Cultural influences can have an immense on an individual’s personality and mentality. There is no such thing as different races. There is only one race which is the human race. Research has proven that humans from different backgrounds are more alike than different. Also, ethnicity is one’s social identity based on the culture they identify with. It can also be defined by the different customs, language, etc. Another important factor that needs to be understood is religion. It includes a shared system of beliefs and values. This aspect is one of the most “controversial” subjects because it has caused several problems and certain countries go to war for this. Lastly, social class is something that is important to several people and it is the factor that makes people feel like they are in power. It is a person’s wealth, educational and occupational status. Therefore, understanding all the terms is one step to setting the differences aside. Also, diversity in practice can also cause change. When the majority and minority learn to work together, they start learning things from each other and can understand that their differences are not a negative thing but something that can further the society. Once people of color start attaining positions in power, there can be change that happens. Schools and work environments are the best places in order to mingle with another and learn. It is always easier to bring change within the younger generation. Especially, students can take a step into ensuring that a change occurs. There a several students from multiple ethnicities that come under one roof in order to learn (Leonard A, et al. 2019). Thus, through this they can bring awareness to colorism and division within the two groups. Educating the students about these issues can cause them to educate the elders in their life. It is easier for the older generation to listen and accept what their loved ones are educating them on rather than strangers. This generation is the one that will bring change amongst both majority and minority groups. 


Hairston, T. , Laux, J-M. , O’Hara, C. , Roseman, C-P. & Gore, S. (2018). Counselor Education Student’s Perceptions of Wellness and Mental Health in African American Men: The Effects of Colorism.


Jason, L.A., Glantsman, O., O’Brien, J. F., & Ramian, K.N. (2019). Introduction to community psychology: Becoming an Agent of Change.


Modi, R. (2015). The Making of the Racial Middle: South Asians, Skin Color, and the Racial/ Ethnic Divide.


Modi, R. (2014). Is Brown the New Black?: South Asians and the Racial Ethnic Divide.



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