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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at La Salle chapter.

I’m going to talk from personal experience as an Arab American dealing with colorism within the Arab community and am also going to be sharing ideas that friends and I have talked about when it comes to what different communities consider beautiful. I’m no expert on this topic but I do have a lot to say.

Colorism is very real within, I would say, almost all non – white cultures and backgrounds. The standard that is beautiful is typically lighter skin, lighter eyes, lighter hair. Obtaining this European look has been ingrained so deep within a lot of the people and communities. It’s the subtle things, like when someone describes how beautiful someone is, instead of mentioning the structure of their face, their smile, their glow, they mention their light eyes or light skin. As if that’s what makes someone beautiful – their lightness.

I’ve heard my friends speak like this and I think “Damn…when is this idea that lighter features more beautiful going to end?”

I mean a nice face is a nice face, what does the color of someone’s skin have to do with how beautiful they are?

This topic is much deeper than we think it is because a lot of the time what we define as beautiful plays a large role in who we are attracted to. If your whole life you’ve been told that lighter features are the epitome of beauty, then you’re probably going to seek out a relationship with a person that has these lighter features. I’ve witnessed guys go for lighter girls, and girls will go for lighter guys.

Love is love is love is love.

And at the end of the day two people’s relationship is their own business. But if you’re not making the conscious effort to rid your self of the cycle of lighter is more beautiful, you’re just sleeping on some BEAUTIFUL melanin enhanced people.

I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that everyone is physically beautiful in their own and that someone’s personality really is the epitome of beauty in my eyes. If someone is physically beautiful but has a trash personality, then those true colors, I believe, will break through. If someone has an outstanding personality, then I think that the beauty within will shine through.

It’s important for all of us to make a conscious effort to be cognizant of what features we find beautiful, so we can finally rid ourselves of this detrimental vision lighter features being the epitome of beauty.