25/01/2017 12:31 SAST | Updated 26/01/2017 11:56 SAST

24 Things You Have To Stop Saying To Dark-Skinned Women

From ridiculous to heartbreaking, these are some of the comments dark skinned women still encounter in South Africa.

The package on colourism that Huffington Post South Africa is publishing today came from a conversation in the office as we were getting ready to launch: "Guys, we should do a video on all the ridiculous things dark-skinned women hear all the time." The choruses of "Yes!" and the stream of anecdotes – funny and awful – showed that this was an untapped well of stories waiting to be told in South Africa. We are aware that colourism exists but we're still likely to joke about "yellow bones" with the rest of our friends. Conversations about why every aspect of this culture is problematic is silenced with: "But skin lightening is a personal choice". Except that it isn't. In our series of stories we show the harmful effects of this obsession in our society – from a personal, social and economic point of view. We look at how illegal creams are still sold and how upmarket legal alternatives are still questionable. We look into small communities, like Indians in South Africa, where colourism still thrives, and talk to celebrities about why they do it. Because as a dark-skinned woman myself, I'm ready for change, and so is our society. -- Verashni Pillay, Editor-in-Chief