In an exclusive interview with TheGrio, Ryan Destiny explains how colorism affected her self-esteem and how she learned to love her hue on her own terms.
According to the triple threat who can act, sing, and dance her ass off, her family’s array of complexions made her blind to the fact that others had issues with her darker complexion.
“I didn’t really see what it was and I think it’s because I grew up in a household where my mother was lighter, my father was darker, my grandmother was white, my other grandmother is Black. Color was all I saw but I didn’t really process that we were all different,” she explained.
“I don’t think my mom being lighter really registered for me until later. It really hit when I entered high school. I went through crushes and there were people who were embarrassed of me or didn’t like me or didn’t want to admit that they did because of my color.”
By the time she was in high school, Destiny admits she was bothered by the fact that her favorite rap videos or television shows never showed women who looked like her as a love interest or as an object of desire, and it messed with her mind and her self-esteem.
She also noted that she has observed lighter-skinned black women being hated on as well, but she never felt the need to go there with her counterparts.
“I have heard lot of stories from lighter Black women who feel that way because darker women would make them feel bad about themselves,” she said.
“They’re young so they don’t know and they are doing it out of jealousy and feeling like they’re not enough so they have to bring someone else down.”
Now, Ryan Destiny says social media has played a big role in helping women recognize their beauty and she’s glad she isn’t tormented by the lack of representation for darker-skinned women in the media any longer.
“It was really a whole mental shift that happened when I stopped thinking like that and I’m so thankful for it because it was a lot.”
Check out the full interview above.
STAR airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on FOX.