Colourism and why Nigerians have problem with Black Skin

Colourism is part of the buzzwords that have become a part of the woke community. Colourism means prejudice against people with a darker skin tone. Typically, a colourist prefers someone who has a lighter skin tone.

So, if you say, “I only like fair men or women”, you are a colourist. It is one of those situations where preference is bias and discriminatory.


Are some Nigerians colourists? Yes, I think so. Here are my reasons;

1. Nigerians love to bleach
How else would you explain Nigerian’s love for looking lighter? Both men, women, children, and adult bleach their skin using harsh creams.

Homemade skin products with toxic ingredients fly off the shelf. Every day, people with no knowledge of dermatology sign Instagram influencers as ambassadors to market these products and they become millionaires from selling out.

Interestingly, most of the ambassadors for these skincare companies are markedly light-skinned, few of these brands use dark skin models.

This is because Nigerians have internalized that beauty is light skinned.

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2. Some Nigerians marvel at ‘Black beauty’
Some Nigerians make finding a beautiful dark-skinned person rare. It is almost as if it is a shock that a dark-skinned person is good looking. There is nothing like ‘she is fine for a dark-skinned person’, that’s colourism.

Musician, Tiwa Savage admitted that she felt pressure to bleach growing up but she was caught by her mother when he tried it at 14 years old.

Ex-BBN housemate, Saskay said growing up she was called a blackie and laughed at for being dark.

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Reasons Nigerians have a colourism problem

3. Some Nigerians treat white, biracial or light-skinned people better
It is not their fault for being born white or light-skinned but there is some sentiment in their favour.

Many people have tales of how biracial people in their secondary school were given preferential treatment.

All these stem from wrong notions that being Caucasian or biracial means you look better or that you are even better.


The way forward

We have to embrace our skin colour and not bleach or disfigure ourselves to look more like another race.

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We should not be blown away or mesmerized by a lighter complexion. This is not to downplay their beauty, but they are just as beautiful as dark-skinned women and men not more.


Finally, not everyone in Nigeria is a colourist and, many of our dark skinned celebrities like Genevieve Nnaji are complimented for their beauty.

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