The Major Problem With Hazel-E, Skin Bleaching And Colorism

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 24:  Hazel-E attends the IGA X BET Awards Party 2017 on June 24, 2017 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Interscope Records)

The Major Problem With Hazel-E, Skin Bleaching And Colorism

It's 2017.

Published October 19th

At the moment, Hazel-E is the opposite of #BlackGirlMagic.

ICMYI: The Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood cast member and Girl Code author is under fire after taking to Instagram to call out Brooke Valentine, Moniece Slaughter, comedian Jess Hilarious and numerous others for being "jealous" of her lighter complexion — right after saying she hopes "all gays die and burn in hell."  

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The catalyst? Her man, Rose Burgundy, who others are accusing of being gay (and much younger than reported). In all honesty, the backstory is pretty confusing to follow, but I digress.

Prior to starting my role at BET, I did not have cable for years, which made me vaguely unfamiliar with the LHHH franchise. Of course, I knew the gist but not in-depth as much as I should be. The first episode I watched was the showdown between Masika Kalysha and Hazel E. Over the course of an hour, I was horrified by the dynamics of so-called "grown women" taking every opportunity they had to put one another down (and get physical).

Hazel-E's remarks are not only out of line but they also set Black women back. In a time when women are targets of physical abuse (i.e #metoo), its painful to know that other women of color are promoting the message that all Black isn't beautiful. We have enough people reminding us (read: white supremacists) that they don't see us as equal. 

In essence, colorism is defined as "prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. Colorism within the Black community has been a serious emotional and psychological battle.

Hazel-E's comments of "passing brown paper bag tests," "skin bleaching" and "these types of girls" feed directly into this stigma to a perfect T. 

 

Her comments open up the dialogue again that darker skinned Black women are somehow less than. It's a sentiment that is constantly pushed in mass media, from magazines to beauty ad campaigns.

Yes, I recognized Hazel was bullied by the other women on the show, who frequently commented on her appearance (also not right!). But pulling the complexion card as rationale is completely out of left field. How does this relate to your man? Why would you target these women in an attempt to lift yourself up? It's pathetic and pointless.

It's sad Hazel-E is revealing her true colors (pun intended) instead of representing the sisterhood she was trying to promote in her book. Seems like the only person who needs a refresher on the Girl Code is her.

Chapter One: Miss us with your weak attempt to divide us by complexion. We're all smarter than that.

Written by Janell M. Hickman

(Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Interscope Records)

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