Map of the World by Natural Skin Color
i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening
actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d.
THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.
Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.
so skin tone is majorly influenced by proximity to the equator but also to diet!
landlocked populations are pretty strictly selected against if they don’t have the skin tone ideally suited to that region’s needs for vitamin D intake vs. solar protection; but since coastal populations usually have access to a steady supply of vitamin D through the seafood in their diets, they get a little more leeway. individuals too pale for the area would still be selected against due to their increased vulnerability to skin cancer and the like, but individuals who would normally be too dark for the environment would actually thrive, because there would be less risk of becoming vitamin D deficient, and they get the extra protection from the sun’s radiation.
on another note, clothing was a major factor in skin tone variation; shockingly enough, people around the equator didn’t feel the need to bundle up in furs from head to toe! so that left them with more surface area exposed to the sun than their counterparts in colder areas, who habitually kept the bare minimum exposed to the elements. That tiny little bit of skin that did get sunlight still had to absorb enough vitamin D to keep the individual healthy though, so really really cold places selected for really really pale people.
- very pale skin! your ancestors were probably very far from the equator, wearing lots of clothing to keep warm, and not getting a lot of seafood in their diet.
- very dark skin! your ancestors probably lived very close to the equator, didn’t wear as much clothing, and ate a lot of seafood.
so if somebody tells you that the color of your skin takes away from your value, please remember that they are arguing that everyone’s worth depends on the location of their great great great great (etc.) grandparents, which is— I cannot actually come up with words that will convey just how breathtakingly wrong that argument is.