Watch: Color Complex: Questioning Beauty Standards as a Biracial Woman

Skin color both unites and divides us. Whether you live in India, East Africa or Japan, the color of your skin shapes your identity and opportunities. Color Complex is a narrative series that explores how people of color around the world struggle for visibility and learn to navigate the prejudices and social hierarchies associated with their skin tone.


This episode is about celebrating and embracing being part of different cultures instead of choosing one over the other.

Priscilla Yuki Wilson was born to a Japanese mother and a black father. Growing up, she was asked the same question—“What are you?”—too many times. Among other people, she found that there’s much misunderstanding of, and a disconnection from, what it means to have a multicultural background. Through her personal experiences, she is transforming the dialogue around her by challenging beauty standards. From her social and artistic experiments to her new photography project focused on empowering black women, she is working to bridge the gap to reach greater understanding.


Wilson also challenges beauty standards through a previous social experiment she did, and now she is trying to build a bridge that connects and empowers women of color. Check out the video above.

Pretty. Witty. Girly. Worldly. One who likes to party, but comes home early. I got stories to tell. Prince (yes, that Prince) called me excellence. Achievement unlocked.

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This reminds me of a conversation I once had some years ago, with a young multiracial woman. I asked her about her ancestry, in my naïveté not realizing that I was treading on dangerous ground. To her credit, she didn’t tear me to shreds, but I did inadvertently make the conversation uncomfortable. I was genuinely interested in learning more about her, and meant nothing negative.

It’s a shame that something as trivial as how much melanin is in one’s skin should have led to so many horrors in the world. But, alas, it does. But it doesn’t have to with me.

As for beauty, I revel in appreciation of all skin tones for women.

I broke off a friendship with a high school friend when he told me that he does not believe in miscegenation. (Considering his bad luck with women, the last thing he should have been doing was limiting his dating pool — but I digress.)