MELANIN IN THE INDUSTRY: WHY BLACK WOMEN OFTEN GET OVERLOOKED

You would think that the skin that we were blessed with as Black women are considered luxurious. Think about it; we come in every different shade and color. We are as light as they come, and we are as rich in depth and earth tones as they come. However, no matter how light or how dark on the spectrum we are, it never matters about our talent because people are too busy paying attention to the color of our skin.

Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, Tamar Braxton, Jazmine Sullivan. What do all of these names have in common? They’re all powerful Black women who range from light to dark, yet have so much intellect, so much prowess and most importantly: They’re all in respective fields that are extremely judgmental. Take for example, our former First lady Michelle Obama was struck with negative comments from the opposition for literally everything — her skin, she build, her hair. Everyone fails to overlook the fact that she has Ivy League degrees and she’s an advocate for equality for all.

It’s so tough being a darker skinned woman in the industry, especially because we have to fight twice as hard for the same amount of respect and admiration like our female counterparts. However, we have had pioneers in the game who have to lead the way and reminded us that we ARE just as beautiful, and we ARE just as fabulous as our counterparts. Think about the example we’re setting for little Black girls that are growing up. They see women like Taraji in movies like ‘Hidden Figures’ and they think to themselves: “Hey I can do that!”. They see little girls like Quvenzhané Wallis land roles like “Annie” and find solace in knowing that they can do anything.

Neo-soul artist Summer Williams can relate to this all too well. Growing up she wasn’t ever really comfortable in her skin due to her being a woman of darker skinned complexity. However, it wasn’t until she got to college that she finally felt comfortable in her skin, but it was mainly because she was one of the very few Black people at her college. Just like many women in the industry, she faces the same issues that many women do such as cultural appropriation (i.e., ‘Kylie Jenner’ braids), being overlooked for talent and style because they’re ‘too dark.’ Williams pushes through it though, knowing that the color of her skin is rich, and it’s full of life. Hear more about Summer push through this in her EP dropping soon.

Keep up with Summer Williams:

About the Author
KING RICH is the President and Ceo of Street Illustrated Inc. From the Street to the Corporate World, he is committed to bringing the Urban Life Style to the Mainstream.

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