My Lighter Skin Twin Was Picked By a Modeling Agency and Not Me. Is It Colorism?

Growing up, people were always confused by me and my twin sister’s complexions. I took after my Ghanaian father, who is dark, and my twin took after our Columbian mother, who is much lighter than him, but feature-wise, we are identical down to the gap in the middle of our two front teeth.

My sister has caramel skin, and mine is like three shades darker and more in the tone of Hershey Kisses candy. In school, I would get teased, and my sister would take up for me with both of us in tears because I was being called names and bullied.

Stock images of African-American models. (Photos:

On those long walks home, we would hold hands in solidarity, and then our parents would remind us of how beautiful we both were and that we should never let another person diminish that. As I got older, I would settle into my darker-toned skin and eventually did find beauty within myself and in the mirror. I stopped measuring myself against my sister and her lighter skin tone as if it were the baseline for all things good.

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As twins, we oftentimes do everything together. We live together, share a car, apply for the same jobs, and go on dates simultaneously. It’s just a twin thing. So, when we ran across a modeling job ad on Instagram, we both jumped at the opportunity to apply. The ad specifically said, ‘seeking all ages, sizes, and colors.’ We were elated about the prospect and applied.

Last week, we were called in for a second interview with the modeling agency. We went through the entire process, and my twin ended up getting an offer. I did not. I noticed that a lot of darker-skinned women were getting denied and turned away while I was sitting, waiting for my turn to meet with the interviewing staff. I couldn’t help but feel like the cards were stacked against the women who looked like me.

Should I send an email citing my observation about what I suspect to be colorism or just move on to the next agency?


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