Damn, you are really dark!: 150 words on skin lightening

Damn, you are really dark!: 150 words on skin lightening

If you’re a person of color, why would you choose to lighten your skin? Because paler is prettier inside communities of color, thanks to Western media. Because skin color stratification privileges light over dark in beauty, housing, employment, income, education, and marriage (Hunter 2007). Because the racist effects of colorism seem “controllable” through creams, bleaching, and surgery. Because “dark skin” signifies lower class, less status, poor neighborhood, daunting ethnicity, and moral deficit. Because most of us alter our appearance to manufacture favorable presentations based on clothing, shoes, accessories, hair, and skin to construct performances designed for positive impressions. Because we act as if our costume will help combat the negative stereotypes attached to darker skin, and so we dress accordingly, aiming to improve credibility. It’s not just about Black and White, but also dark and light, and some have concluded that more bright is more right.

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