do we embrace our dark skin?

growing up, i always found it curious that white people lied out in the sun to be tan. i suppose that having some color was cool. on the other hand, many asian cultures– filipinos included– use umbrellas when the sun was out. the goal is to not get darker.

if you watch filipino television shows, most of the cast members are very light skinned pinoys. it is not entirely different in other cultures as well. lighter skinned filipinos are held up as more beautiful than the darker skinned. there is great national pride in all the filipinas who have won the miss universe contest over the years but none of them were dark skinned pinays.

for us filipinos, colorism is a subtle consequence of centuries of colonialism where we had experienced the spaniards and americans as superior to ourselves. today, this mindset continues on t.v., movies, advertisements and social media.

colorism is not an easy thing to admit exists within us. filipino admit being discriminatory against other filipinos. of course, colorism is intertwined with classism in the filipino mind: lighter skinned filipinos are rich; darker skinned filipino are poor.

but there is a growing awareness of the negative effects of colorism. this is a wonderful talk by a young person named bianca punzalan:

i hope that more and more filipinos will have this kind of awareness that can change our negative cultural mindsets. we cannot effectively fight racism in the world if we do not recognize the racism with us. colorism is racism against our own kind.

in faith, baptism is a foundation to overcome colorism/classism. we are sons and daughters of God which makes us brothers and sisters. as human beings we have inherent dignity and are equals as we stand before the God who made us.

the more we unpack this radical equality, the better we will love one another. the more we exorcise the demons of racism, colorism and classism, the more we will honor and respect each other as the unique children of God that we are. and find new ways to love one another.

let us pray:

Gracious God, you created all of us in your image. Open our hearts and minds to this reality. Let us recognize that we are all Your beloved sons and daughters.

You are community: Father, Son, and Spirit. Help us to foster community in our neighborhoods. Teach us to be one as you are one. Teach us to love as you love.

Open our eyes to the sin of racism and colorism. Show us where it exists in our society. Please grant us the courage to denounce it, but always with a loving heart like yours.

Enlighten our minds to be aware of our own weaknesses and gently teach us not to act out of our own biases. Teach us to celebrate our differences and to see diversity as strength.

Please grant us the grace to work together for an end to racism and colorism in our world. We long to live together in your kingdom as brothers and sisters. Amen.

( adapted from )


  1. Donna Rodriguez says:

    Beautifully said. And so on point. God bless u 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks for reading it donna. God richly bless you and yours

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s