BROWNINGS ONLY ....Dark-skinned girls shunned for hostess jobs

September 29, 2016
Dr Glenda Simms

A job posting seeking 'brownings' to serve as hostesses at two events, including one allegedly put on by Nestle Jamaica Limited, last weekend, has angered many, including social activist Glenda Simms, who said the post was dehumanising.

"We are human beings, and black people must realise that we are humans, and we should not apologise for the colour of our skins. We came from African origin, so why shouldn't we be black?" Simms questioned.

An excerpt from the job posting at the heart of the controversy reads, "All girls must be beautiful, brown skin/ light skin, slim, must be 18+, and good grammar in English language". It was posted on a job sourcing platform last Friday.

Since then, NestlÈ Jamaica Limited has sought to distance itself from the post. The company's corporate communications manager, Shauna Kidd, told THE STAR that NestlÈ was not affiliated with the event or the post. "It was very surprising for us as well. We made contact with the agency that had published it. We tried to speak with him to ask how is it he can falsely utilise the company's name to advertise his event, and he basically hung up the phone on us." Kidd said.

Nonetheless, the posting requesting beautiful brownings was deeply upsetting for Simms, who believes racial discrimination is deeply rooted in the Jamaican society.

"Black people need to take a stance. The problem is that they are still on the plantation down in the slave quarters, and they're all trying to get up to the big house by bleaching and all kinds of things," she said.




Simms further added that she observed the heartrending effects of discrimination against dark skin during a recently held workshop with young men and women. "I was involved in a workshop with young men, and their dream is to be involved with a browning. They are so desperate to find their place in society, and all they can think to do to is seek to attach themselves to a browning," Simms shared. "The young women were uncomfortable with the topic. The very dark skinned young women tend to be quieter, they didn't want to say anything. So, I think this has affected the whole society. They have started feeling inferior."

Similar to Simms, many on social media were outraged. One person commented saying: "This is modern day plantation society. The lighter you are, the more privileges attained. I used to do marketing, a so them dirty."

The post has since been removed from the site, and Nestle has issued a statement distancing the company from the post and the events.

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