It’s true that Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei is more than just an inspiring black pioneer. If you haven’t checked out our recent article regarding how she continues to inspire youth everywhere – click here to read more about it. In the article, Normani’s childhood is further discussed including her love of dance, and the love of fans who view her as a role model for being confident with who you are and preserving through societies adversities.
Awhile back in a conversation/photoshoot with Teen Vogue, the girls of Fifth Harmony discussed beauty, and what they thought contributed to making a strong and confident woman. Normani, Ally, Dinah-Jane, Camila, and Lauren all had similar answers but with varied depth.
When Kordei was asked the question “What’s something you’ve learned to love about yourself?” – her answer is deeply intriguing but keys into the truths of being colored while trying to make it in an unruly industry that to this day has its hidden, cracked faults.
“[Something] that’s been a big obstacle [for me] is that I’m African-American, and in the group, I’m the one [who] stands out because I’m darker complected. I find it to be beautiful now and I have security with myself, and I’m in this position to inspire young black girls and boys to do whatever they want despite their skin color. I know you can do anything you put your mind to and the exterior doesn’t matter. You are beautiful.”
And with that being said, Kordei lashes out the bitter truth. In many cultures around the world, a dark complexion is usually associated with words such as dirty, poor, filthy, etc. The psychology of racism stems from these issues of people who look and view non-white skinned people as foul.
Again, no matter where you may go, the chances of finding a huge emphasis on color is still mighty prevalent as confirmed by bloggers Debbie & Antonia Douglas stating:
From the West Indies to Brazil to India and even in Africa…the brighter the better! And whats worse, the racism emphasizes the classism. You’re dark, you must be poor…you’re light…you must be elite…its really sad. Our community must counter the negativity associated with the word blackness…that’s where it starts…and appreciate all shades, because everyone is beautiful to someone! For many years, dark skinned people were regarded as animals and determined to be dirty, filthy and unholy– hence the term “black” used to determine our race. Those negative stereotypes still plague our society so a lot of people see dark skinned black people as scary when in fact, we’re as bold, confident, intelligent and worthy as any other race or black person of a lighter complexion.
As a person of color, you sometimes witness this favoritism towards those of light skin and these kinds of negative lashings can emotionally traumatize people of any age. These kinds of things aren’t things to ignore and peacefully throw out the window.
This issue is a reality and speaking up on these kinds of issues is how we can bring awareness to what people of color go through on a daily basis.
Normani Kordei is a perfect example of a young adult who is proudly using her position to inspire (and remind) young boys & girls of color that they can succeed in whatever field they want to be successful in. Color should not stop them from dreaming, from learning more, and from embracing their culture and identity. At the end of the day, you can be who you want to be but always be proud of who YOU are.
It’s a rather cliche statement, but situations like these are far from cliche. Nonetheless, with platforms that can elevate you to speak to a broader audience, it’s obvious the best thing to do is bring focus and light to issues that still exist today. And it’s beautiful to see Miss Kordei taking initiative and speaking out on the matter.