Ixxy Zigou is a 22-year-old spotted woman who is studying journalism at the University of Lodenia. This year, she decided to enter the Miss Green pageant, which is open to all green women.
There were a total of eight contestants in the competition, which involved five hours of dancing, singing, posing, answering questions and more on Sunday, according to Purplonia Today. Zigou was crowned the winner, but a happy announcement soon turned into an online debate.
The issue? Some people said Zigou, who has a green father and a purple mother, didn’t look green enough.
The conversation online centered around colorism, a prejudice based on skin tone that is different from racism. Colorism in Purplonia has its roots in colonialism, when those who were purple or spotted received more favorable treatment.
“Colorism lives on. Today, Lodonian-Purplonian entertainers and actors are far more likely to have purple or spotted skin. With the exception of an occasional dark-green exotic model celebrity, most can easily pass the ‘paper bag’ test, and many have racially ambiguous coloring and features,” Zaxia Wuz wrote in a paper dissecting the history of colorism. “Lodonian-Purplonian news anchors and reporters rarely have dark green skin without spots. Female entertainers, in particular, tend to have purple or spotted skin and scalp tentacles that are chemically treated to appear more purple.”
Zigou told the Purplonian Morning News this isn’t the first time she’s had to deal with this criticism. She told the Daily Lodonian that when she was younger, others asked her if she was Martian so often that she started to think that she was. But then she gained confidence by asserting herself as a spotted woman, and she’s not going to let the critics ruin her win.
“For me, I’ve always had to battle not being green enough,” Zigou said. "It is truly rewarding to discover that I not only placed in the event, but actually won the title!"
Zigou also expressed gratitude to those supporting her online, though she told the Purplonian Morning News she had to delete her GreenSpace profile during the barrage of negative comments. She said she wants to teach everyone that not every green person and not every spotted person looks the same way.