‘Unfair and Lovely’ Makes Selfies a Tool of Modern Diversity

Unfair and Lovely showcases dark skin beauty and power.

Young people are avid selfie takes. And although some older generations may think younger generations are vain because of their propensity to pose for their phone, the simple act of taking your own photo means quite a lot for modern diversity.

Young people often take selfies to express themselves. Over the past year, various lady blogs have crowed about the self-healing qualities of the selfie. Girls and women in various states of cleanliness, stages of bloat, and period-blood-soaked panties have snapped shots to show the world that women’s bodies aren’t taboo.

Now, there’s another amazing group of women who are using selfies to help combat another big problem: colorism.

Colorism, the discrimination of people who have darker skin tones, is still alive and well in some Asian, African, and Latin American cultures, Dazed Digital reports. “Colorism persists to this day, whether it’s the ubiquitous ads for skin-lightening cream you’ll see across China or the prevalence of lighter-skinned actresses within the Bollywood film industry.”

And while attitudes about skin color are slowly changing, that change isn’t quickly happening. So, to give the end colorism movement a bit of a push, three sUniversity of Texas students, Pax Jones, Mirusha Yogarajah, and Yanusha Yogarajah, founded the “Unfair and Lovely” movement. Two of the movement’s founders are of South Asian descent and one has African-American origins.

Although “Unfair and Lovely” began as a simple photo project, it morphed into a full-fledged movement because it touched so many nerves. “It’s now expanded to encompass the experiences of all women of color, who’ve been sharing photos of themselves online with the hashtag #unfairandlovely,” Dazed Digital reports.

The movement’s founders were convinced to start “Unfair and Lovely” because they have all experienced the hatred people who have darker skin face. Yogarajah has had the phrase “dark skin bitch go walk” yelled at her by a college student. She’s also been bleach bombed twice and had comments made on how dark her skin is. “Most of the verbal comments have been from fellow South Asians,” she says.

However, women aren’t the only ones who are on the receiving end of this hatred. “In South Asia, darker-skinned people, especially non-cis men, are subjugated through the violence of caste rape, discrimination and violent labor practices,” Yogarajah says. “The experience runs parallel to the experiences of black femmes in non-Black spaces—the disdain for dark skin is expressed through marriage, labor and migration systems.”

Search the tag #UnfairAndLovely on Instagram to see what the movement is all about.

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Image from the #UnfairandLovely tag from Instagram, via purpose96

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.