Citizen TV news anchor Yvonne Okwara has come out to disclose how dark-skinned women in the media industry have to struggle and fight for their positions, unlike the light skin media personalities.
In a post seen by Kenyannews.co.ke, Okwara pointed out that Kenyans are talking about black lives matters but they also need to reflect on their own culture as people get judged by their color with dark-skinned girls being treated differently.
“We are all talking about black lives matter. But we also need to reflect on our own culture in this part of the world. Colorism. Dark-skinned girls and women are treated differently. We have to work twice as hard, be twice as smart to get ahead, because, what else do we have going for us, right? Because, inadvertently or otherwise this is the standard that has been set: light skin= beauty= opportunity= work = wealth= good marriage = beautiful children,” read part of her post.
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One day we will look back at this time and say we survived it. Funny thing is, even now, we are putting pressure on ourselves. "Learn a new skill," they say. "Use this time wisely", they say…. And no, I have not baked banana bread! 🤷♀️ Listen, for some, just surviving this period is hard enough. That will be the new skill they have learned. Many are dealing with anxiety, lack of sleep, uncertainty about the future, whether your children will do their final exams at the end of the year, whether you'll be able to pay the bills at the end of the month, whether your business will survive, where you'll get salaries for your workers, whether you'll be sent on unpaid leave For me, the greatest skill I'll have learned out of all this, is how to stay alive, stay sane, keep it all together. (And no, I don't have a bookshelf for those Zoom meetings. Neither am I going to get one. Who can afford to spend on that in this Corona-economy? 😅)
She added that such attitudes have fueled skin lightning industry as girls are tired of fighting the stereotype, of proving themselves and starting from a disadvantaged side.
She further added that before standing up for the BLM movement, judging men and women for lightening their skin, people need to examine what and how they got to where they are as charity begins at home.
She mentioned that it has not been easy for her in the media industry where she has seen the privilege that light skin has accorded others. She added that she has seen some of them get away with murder.
“I’ve seen them get away with murder when I’ve been held to a higher standard. I’ve been expected to be smarter because “you don’t have the looks so you’ve got to use your brain instead” It hasn’t been easy. It’s exhausting at times, but it’s also rewarding. But it needs to change,” she added.