colorism, Entertainment, grown-ish, Television, TV, Yara Shahidi -

Yara Shahidi Acknowledges Colorism But Maintains She’s Not Light-Skinned

colorism, Entertainment, grown-ish, Television, TV, Yara Shahidi -

Yara Shahidi Acknowledges Colorism But Maintains She’s Not Light-Skinned

colorism grown-ish
Yara Shahidi doesn’t see herself as light-skinned. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images)

Nearly a month after disengaging with fans who challenged her over the colorism on “Grown-ish,” Yara Shahidi is addressing the issue head-on.

The actress was slammed for blocking Twitter users who asked her to address the lack of dark-skinned people on her hit FreeForm show in March. At the time, she tweeted that a user, “wasn’t blocked because of her comment on colorism (as I’ve said, I’m always open to conversation) It was that they felt the need to tag me in this thread.” However, fans were still left with a bad taste in their mouths.

Now, in an April 2018 story for Essence, Shahidi says she acknowledges the benefits that having lighter skin can bring.

“I get that within the Black community there are a couple of us who are chosen, not by any fault of our own, to represent [everyone],” she explained.

And even though she has played the same character, Zoey Johnson, for five years and hasn’t broken through on the big screen or on shows outside of “Black-ish” and it’s spinoff, she knows she has it better than some her dark-skinned peers.

“[I began to see that] people have constantly had to deal with things that slowly chip away at their identity,” she said. “These microaggressions make you feel like you’re never enough. I realized that if I still experience it on a level of being socioeconomically privileged, then I’m not even experiencing half of it.”

Still, Shahidi maintains that she is firmly Black. And regardless of her complexion or how others identify her, light-skinned is not how she sees herself. She’s been outspoken about her Black/Iranian heritage and notably identifies as such.

“I’m brown-skinned. I personally don’t view myself as light-skinned,” she said. “I also understand I’m not dark-skinned. I don’t know how to classify myself, but when you see me unless you hear my name, no one’s like, ‘That’s a young Iranian girl.’”

Still, many Twitter users questioned her failure to acknowledge her lightness compared to darker hopeful actresses.

“I used to be like Yara Shahidi and say that I don’t see myself as light skinned but that really is just privilege in colorism, someone said. “Same thing as ‘I just see myself as human’ when white people don’t want to discuss race seriously.”

“WE ARE ALL BLACK,” another exclaimed.

“Sis…. what…. I guess,” another puzzled user said.

Leave a comment

Related Posts

Black Hair Matters: The Affirmative Power of Politicians Like Ayanna Pressley and Stacey Abrams
When Ayanna Pressley got her Senegalese twists done for the first time about three years ago, it was a moment of affi...
Read More
Freshen Up Your Board Game Collection With This One-Day Amazon Sale
It’s not quite as jam-packed as Amazon’s Black Friday board game sale, but their 12 Days of Deals strategy game sale ...
Read More
It’s an Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl rematch: Alcorn State vs. N.C. A&T Braves win SWAC title and and now bring their high-powered offense to bowl game
Well, it’s all set. The matchup for the Dec. 15 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta is actually a rematch: ...
Read More
HBO’s ‘Say Her Name’ has few answers about what happened to Sandra Bland But new documentary gives her a voice, even in death
The mother of Sandra Bland, the Illinois woman who committed suicide in a Texas jail after being hauled there for bac...
Read More