Colorism, the prejudice and discrimination based on skin tone, is a centuries-old practice of class stratification in many societies. In the Philippines, light-skinned folks have a tremendous amount of social privilege compared to those who are dark-skinned. Filipino celebrities, for example, go to great lengths to maintain the light-skin tone in contradistinction to their largely dark-skinned audience.
In this episode, we talk about our experiences with colorism and where we've seen it manifest. Then, we speak to Joanne Rondilla, Assistant Professor at San Jose State University, who has done extensive research on colorism in the Philippines and in the United States. Listen as she discusses the history of colorism in Philippine society, the "secret" of the skin-lightening industry, the limitations of "colonial mentality" as the sole explanation for colorism, and suggestions on how to deal with colorism in your family.