Dr. Julie Jung
Description Colorism within the Black and Latino community has been studied by scholars over several decades, but exploration in the Asian community is just beginning. One of the main features of Asian colorism that makes it different from the Black and Latino perspective is that is rooted in cultural beliefs around classism. Though some believe colorism to be about dark-skinned individuals wanting to be more White or European, within Asia, it stems more from the cultural belief that those within the lower-class worked in the fields which resulted in darker skin. Since Asians who had light-skin were presumed to have jobs that allowed them to stay indoors, they were considered part of the upper class in society. Thus, it has little to do with trying to become more White or European.
Colorism within the Asian community has resulted in unfair beauty standards that favors lighter skin tones in individuals. Also, because it is based on cultural beliefs and classism, it has been passed on from generation to generation. Asian colorism is worth studying further because if it is left alone, it can continue to perpetuate harmful stereotypes that negatively impact individuals by leading to lower self-esteem, less work and educational opportunities, and lower self-worth.