For today’s Self Love Sunday I want to write about the beauty of each and every skin color. As I said in Friday’s post, life is much better with some color in it, and I think this holds true for skin color as well. I watched two amazing Ted Talks that you might appreciate and I’ll put the links down below.
One of the talks is by Nina Jablonski (https://www.ted.com/talks/nina_jablonski_breaks_the_illusion_of_skin_color) about how people came to have different skin colors in the first place. She explains how evolution has affected the amount of pigmentation or melanin in our skin, depending on our proximity to the equator. The theory behind it is that dark skin colors originate from around the equator because higher pigmentation offers more natural protection from UV rays and UVB rays – responsible also for delivering the vital Vitamin D – were available in abundance in these areas. On the other hand, in areas closer to the poles, for instance much of the northern hemisphere, UV radiation is not as strong and especially UVB rays are not as strong, offering less opportunity for Vitamin D. Consequently, it is believed that skin in northern hemispheres adapted by being lighter in order to absorb more Vitamin D. Even if you can’t appreciate the scientific messages in her speech, perhaps you’ll enjoy her pragmatic approach to how we each came to have the color we have: Nina Jablonski says that we are all the product of evolution and this evolution is written in our DNA, it is part of how we look. I think this is a simple, but wonderful message and it would probably do us some good to remember there’s a reason we look exactly the way we do.
The other Ted Talk I saw is by Angélica Dass and her project Humanæ (https://www.ted.com/talks/angelica_dass_the_beauty_of_human_skin_in_every_color). In this wonderful project she portraits people with different skin colors, then colors the background of the photograph according to the skin color of the photographed person and writes the Pantone code below. The simple reason for her efforts is her desire to show that life is not black and white. We’re all somewhere in between and hopefully our skin color won’t even matter much throughout our lives. There is certainly wisdom to be gained from this perspective and I encourage us all to put less focus on negative aspects of our different skin colors.
The thing that I found so interesting in both talks is that the messages are not new or groundbreaking, there is no new scientific insight or revolutionary conclusion. Instead, both messages are obvious, simple and so easy to understand. Yet, despite all that, humanity still worries so much about the color of our skin. Be it about someone’s skin being dark or someone’s skin being light – it doesn’t even really matter.
So what I suggest is to start with our own skin. To start loving and appreciating the skin color we have. To feel neither superior nor inferior to others on the basis of skin color. Because in the end, skin color is something we’re born with and it doesn’t really tell us the least bit about the person inside.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Feel free to let me know what you think and if you can relate to the post and the powerful messages in the Ted Talks.
Written with Love – The Fairy Pales