Confessions of a D Girl: Colorism and Global Standards of Beauty | Chika Okoro | TEDxStanford

If you look like me, you’re used to colorism, says Stanford Graduate Business School student Chika Okoro. She calls the phenomenon known as colorism – discrimination against those with a darker skin tone — “both as sinister and as subtle as racism.” In a world where light skin, light eyes and long “real” hair are sought after features, Okoro tells us how she copes, and what we can do to unlearn this deep rooted, destructive mindset.

Chika Okoro is a second year MBA student at Stanford. Passionate about race and gender equality, she is excited to raise awareness about the many issues that women of color face around the world. She hopes that her talk will start a conversation about important issues that people are less vocal about today. While at Stanford Chika is an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow providing leadership coaching and training to MBA 1st year students. Before coming to Stanford she worked at Procter & Gamble as an assistant brand manager and spent last summer at Google as a product-marketing manager. Chika holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University where she wrote her honors thesis on race and identity in the black community.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx



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  1. I'm SO white my racially-mixed sons tell me if i was any whiter, i'd be transparent! When i first saw you, i didn't think anything about your skin tone at all…i thought (and think) you're SO beautiful…PERIOD. Don't let anyone tell you you're not beautiful, because you SO are! You're definitely an A+ GIRL!!

  2. I wish you could see yourself through my eyes, so beautiful! The way you carry yourself! We have to start ignoring the beauty standards of society. I still to this day have a problem with food because I grew up thinking I need to be skinny. Slowly I am learning to love myself. Because there is only one me on this world. And I am glad I am unique

  3. No matter how healthy and fit and capable you are, the subconscious inferiority complex that racism and colorism produces is real. I came to the US from India and it took a while to even admit it, let alone get over it.

  4. Chika Okoro worthy of a beauty queen!

    I am sure sensible men will take her a A plus not D!

    An intelligent producer haven’t no vision of presenting her will chose her as a leading actress, for a life time, for sure!

    Is there any gutsy who can change the narrative that must be unlearnt as Chika Okaro convinces all viewers and listeners!

  5. Chika Okoro is truly and stunningly beautiful!

    It’s highly unfortunate that the approach for defining beauty has been garbled, messed, misinformed, mistaught!
    That must change!
    The Society that does not evade discrimination of any kind is sooner than later to be in loss to degradation to extinction of true values that make up to humanity or a part of it!

    Who says your types are D girls!
    Believe me you are one of the most intelligent, inspirational, interesting and aspiringly beautiful!

    Oh God Almighty keep you very Blessed for your dynamic attitude to erase or undo what has been wrongly taught to humanity but soon be lead to doom in the world and the hereafter!

  6. Whew! Man, we sure did these things to each other in middle school, high school, and in the neighborhood. These beliefs were so ingrained in our culture that many of us didn't see it.

  7. The futility of dependence on mere human opinion is a waste of time. People will say anything, but it really isn't anything until YOU say what it is. What possible justification can there be for listening to anyone else???!!!

  8. So what is the point? After she get done talking ,when people look at hee they still are going to see darkskin and feel what they feel. So the person she really needs to be telling all this to is yourself. You can NOT make someone like you. It almost seems like she's looking for sympathy.

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