Light-Skinned Latina

Living as a light-skinned Latina is outright diverse in variety of ways. Came across an article dated a few years ago written by Melissa Lozad-Oliva which appeared in The Guardian. Ms. Lozado-Oliva very aptly described how being a light- skinned Latina means you will never be able to live in the land of whiteness.

“If I dress a certain way – put on some boat shoes, a polo, maybe some pearl earrings – I could maybe even cross over into the land of whiteness.”

Ms. Lozada-Oliva comments “what exactly does being a light-skinned Latina mean for me?. It means that all at once, I am just dark enough, too dark or not dark enough at all. It means that I’am the color white people want to be, but white people don’t actually want to be me.”  Ms. Lozada-Oliva quips “I can also be not dark enough – there are white people who brag about being able to get darker than me. They’ll hold their arms up to min and say that they get spoken to in Spanish because they look even more like me than me. To them, my identity is something so fluid they could drink it. Buy it over the counter. Take it like a vitamin.”

About the author:

Melissa Lozada-Oliva: Light-Skinned Latina
Melissa Lozada-Oliva

Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a nationally-recognized writer & performer living in New York City. Her poem “Like Totally Whatever” won the National Poetry Slam Competition in 2015 &promptly went viral. Her Amazon-best-selling book Peluda (Button poetry)explores, interrogates and redefines the intersections of Latina identity,feminism, hair removal & what it means to belong. She has performed her poems in hundreds of universities & venues across the country. Herwork has been featured in REMEZCLA, The Guardian, Vulture, Bustle, Glamour Magazine, The Huffington Post, Muzzle Magazine, The Adroit Journal, and BBC Mundo. She is an MFA candidate at New York University where she will start teaching in Spring 2019. She lives in Ridgewood, Queens.

“Blackish” tackles colorism

“Blackish” has never shied away from serious topics. A recent episode about colorism marked a particularly weighty moment for the ABC sitcom. Spike Lee famously explored society’s overt preference for lighter skin and the long-simmering tension it has caused among black Americans in his 1988 film, “School Daze.” “A Different World,” which predates “Blackish” by more than two decades, also took on the issue. But as “Blackish” executive producer Peter Saji noted in a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter, it’s still a delicate topic.

Light-Skinned Latina, Light-Skinned Black,Light-Skinned Asian and Light-Skinned – all others.

People come in many shades, from Mariah Carey to Wesley Snipes. Because we look different, we get discriminated against differently,” Peter Saji explained. “Sometimes we even discriminate against each other. It’s called colorism, the racist belief that light skin is good and dark skin is bad.”


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A light-skinned Latina by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

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