Friday, April 29, 2016

Little Steps

Filipinos can really be cruel toward dark-skinned people. Recently, a local celebrity posted a photo of her baby on Instagram.  A certain @joan132132 left a mean comment calling the six-month old baby "negra" (black) and "panget" (ugly). The netizens condemned the cruelty of user @joan132132 forcing her to terminate her account. Bianca Gonzales, the mother, narrated in a later post, how she herself was bullied for having dark skin when she was 10 years old. I really fear for my 8-year old nephew who has a dark skin.

A lot of Filipinos normally have dark skin. It's just sad that Filipinos were taught to hate themselves for what they are. It's deeply rooted, being a colony of people with light colored skin (like Spaniards, Americans and Japanese) for around three centuries. It cannot be easily unlearned in one go, especially if someone is benefiting from the idea that a light colored skin makes someone better, not even if you flood the toy shelves with black dolls.

But I still think that little steps matter. Having black dolls on local toy shelves help. It gives kids the idea that dark-skinned dolls, like people, are fun, too. It gives kids the opportunity to include dark-skinned people in their happy imagination. Through play maybe kids can associate positive feelings towards a dark-skinned person because most of us just can't.

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