Why Iyanla Believes Colorism Leaves Scars on a Woman's Soul

Aired on 01/19/2015 | CC tv-pg
When a young girl is confronted with colorism—regardless of her skin tone—spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant believes that experience leaves "scars on the soul" that last well into adulthood. In the documentary Light Girls, African-American actresses and media personalities born with lighter complexions recount painful childhood memories.

Actress Cynthia McWilliams says she was affected by colorism at a very young age. "I was made to feel that something about what I had or looked like was somehow both special and yet disliked, hated," she says. "[It was] something to be embraced and/or fear."

Similarly, actress Essence Atkins says she felt a lot of shame about being light and having long hair when she was a girl. "The lightness of my skin didn't insulate me from questioning my worthiness of being black," she says.

In the video above, more women discuss the misconception that light-skinned women are "stuck up" or "acting white."

Tune in Monday, January 19, at 9/8c.