Colorism is such a huge topic in the African American community. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines colorism as: “prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over darker skin.” There have been countless times that colorism has opened the door for many people of color who had lighter skin. However, Pinkydoll is the first person to benefit from colorism as a darker skinned woman.
Now I bet you are wondering, who exactly is Pinkydoll? PinkyDoll is a TikToker who gained fame by acting like an NPC. An NPC is a character in a game that is not controlled by the player. Pinkydoll was able to take this idea and revolutionize it for TikTok. Basically, she livestreams on TikTok acting like an NPC with a pre-written dialogue completed with phrases such as “Ice cream so good.”
She says these phrases in response to gifts given by her audience. Now, many creators who livestream use filters to smooth out their skin or for better lighting. However, the filter that Pinkydoll used changed the color of her skin and made her maybe three shades lighter. No one really focused on her skin until she attended the 2023 Streamy Awards.
Social media quickly noticed that her skin was much darker than she portrayed on TikTok. This sparked a debate on social media. Some people were thrilled that she as a darker skin woman was able to capitalize on colorism. While others were upset because they felt that she was not proud of having darker skin, so she cosplayed as a woman with lighter skin.
While people were trying to digest this new information which shouldn’t have been that huge of an issue. This sparked another debate. Was Pinkydoll’s complexion a big marker for her success? In my opinion, this debate was really insulting. I think people were more attracted to the way she carried herself as an NPC.
Her followers were paying her to say catchy phrases like, “Yes, yes, yes.” Pinkydoll inspired a new form of entertainment. Her beauty had nothing to do with her platform. She has one of those personalities that people gravitate towards, so I think that it was quite wrong to degrade her success due to her skin tone.
However, I will say that lighter skin can play a role in making a person more marketable or digestible to certain audiences, but to say that her success was due to a filter is very degrading. Her creativity is what opened doors for not just her success, but for others who have followed suit. While I do agree that people who benefit from having lighter skin do have more doors open for them.
Although it is a fact, your talent and creativity is something colorism or even racism cannot erase. Even if the door was opened due to her race, her talent and creativity is what kept her trending. As a matter of fact, after she was seen in person at the Streamy Awards, she has had many collaborations with huge social media influencers.
She has recently had a collaboration with make-up artist, James Charles. Doors are still opening for her. So, if her complexion was the key to her success, wouldn’t her coming out as a dark skin woman stop her from succeeding? This is not to say that colorism does not exist, but there needs to be a bigger conversation. Suppose she really did have lighter skin; would we still undermine her success and say that colorism was the reason for it?
The fact that colorism was even brought up undermines everything that she worked for. I will say though that I think the fact that her skin had a deep tone to it, actually gave her more fans. So many women of color who shared a darker skin tone felt seen and relished in the fact that her skin had a deeper tone to it. It made them want to support her more because women with deeper skin tones tend to be overlooked in certain industries.
I myself as a darker skin woman took pride in seeing another woman not just of color but also sharing a deep complexion as I succeed. It truly brought joy to me. I sometimes wonder if I am treading a thin line also by wanting to see her succeed because she looks like me? Am I worse than the people who endorse colorism, even if it is the reverse?
I then remind myself that I was a fan of her before finding out the true color of her skin and that is all that should matter. We should be discussing the amount of income that she receives by reacting only from gifts. She makes enough money in only six hours to not only finance her family but to also live comfortably.
Rather she has lighter skin or darker skin, I think that we all can agree on the fact that PinkyDoll has become a household name in the TikTok world due to her hilarious reactions to the gifs that she receives. Her robotic movements and her randomly saying “mhmm popcorn”, while making popcorn with her flatiron will forever be memorable