Confucius said, “everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

From fairness creams to hair textures to body ideals, every facet of mainstream beauty standards are centered around colorism––the prejudice towards lighter skin tones which so often dictates how we value ourselves and others. Confucius’ words suggest that the lens through which we view ourselves and one another is not reflective of reality and the presence of beauty–which is actually all around us, and our perceptions are merely skewed.

When we think about our self-image, how much of our view is truly how we perceive ourselves, and how much of it is shaped around societal standards we are conditioned to believe since birth? It’s an important practice to be cognizant of unavoidable race-based indoctrination and to divorce ourselves from societal expectations so that we can truly see ourselves and those around us most authentically.

We at Mosaic are reflecting and considering the prejudicial impacts of mainstream beauty standards as we anticipate the premiere of Beautiful Dark–a collaborative dance, music and poetry production exploring the relationship between colorism and perceptions of beauty–this coming May, created and led by Choreographer and Cambodian Dancer Charya Burt. We invite you to join in reflection and our ongoing conversation on how colorism impacts your life, perception of yourself, and others around you.