White privilege is known to be a notion that underlines the unfair societal advantages that white people have over non-white people. It is something that has been and still is widespread throughout society, being known to exists in notable systems, institutions and even on a personal level. There are many examples of how it benefits white people, one being cosmetics and another being law enforcement. When I say cosmetics I mean face makeup, the makeup industry has evolved to adding more inclusive shade ranges compared to how it once was. However, there are still many brands out there that are lacking in expanding their shade range, and for white people it is not a concern. Due to the fact that 90% of the time their shade is available, and majority of the time they are not fearful of their shade not existing because of their skin tone, this describes white privilege. 

Another example would be racial bias in law enforcement, it is not uncommon to hear Black Americans say they have been stopped or detained by police because of their race before. With that being said there are white people who feel that their race does not put them at a disadvantage when dealing with law enforcement, and that they will not be treated unfairly, which describes white privilege. 

The disadvantage from the first example is that, a person of color may have a harder time finding the perfect shade range compared to a white person. The disadvantage from the second example is that many black drivers do feel targeted and more at a disadvantage compared to white people, due to the “racial disparities”(Morris and Perry 2016:1). 

White privilege can affect people mentally, one way it affects non-white people is that is causes “ perceived stress”(Zhang et al. 2015:1). The experience of observing white privilege can be stressful for both children and adults. 


The phrase “white privilege” refers to the benefits and privileges that people have in society only because they are white. Two potential benefits could be the ability to deal with police and law enforcement without fear of being racially profiled, and the ability to visit any high-end and luxurious business knowing that you will be treated politely and not harassed by salesmen. White individuals may be unaware of their privilege since it is not something they consider regularly. A non-white person must consider every decision they make during the day, such as how to walk down the street or how to behave if they are stopped by a police officer. Tragedies like the police killing of George Floyd may have made white individuals more conscious of the advantages they have merely because of their skin color. I don’t mean to imply that their lives are any simpler, only that they are not any more stressful because of their skin color.

Looking back at those two examples of white privilege’s benefits, there are also some drawbacks. The biggest social and psychological disadvantage could be related to how white individuals feel.  They may experience regret and depletion fragility, which constitutes feeling sad, guilty, drained, uncomfortable, and fatigued when confronted with issues of race-based discrimination and white privilege (Hill, Mannheimer, and Roos 2021). 

In general, individuals tend to make assumptions, and just as Black, indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian people are racially profiled, a law enforcement officer from one of these racial groups can prejudice against white people. Additionally, both scenarios may have the social consequence of making individuals feel entitled to preferential treatment from others when they do not deserve it. A white individual may even disobey the law more frequently, believing that there would be no repercussions. I have personally witnessed this when I failed to stop at a stop sign and received a ticket, but my brother-in-law received only a warning. The discrepancy is primarily due to our differing skin tones. 

Another significant disadvantage of white privilege might be failing to realize one’s full potential in the belief that everything would be provided to them, such as a job offer, a mortgage loan approval, and so on. The idea of white privilege is intertwined with the concept of whiteness. Whiteness is the assumption that a person can put a lot of demands on society and easily acquire all kinds of benefits (Böröcz 2021). To put it another way, why would you want to push yourself in life if you believe you have a competitive advantage over others?