Blog 2: [DuBois] The post-colonial legacy of skin color fetishism

DuBois’ concept of the colorline is the idea that there is a color schematic to race relations, which has persisted globally since the 15th century, where those with the lightest skin dominate the darker races from the top down. A long lasting effect of European colonialism is the high value placed on having light skin or western features. In Africa the idea that “if it’s white, it’s alright” has created a multimillion dollar skin lightening industry (L’oreal). In Asia this has lead to the mega-trend of double eye-lid surgery, cosmetically altering East Asian eye features to mimic those of a Westerner. The association Western global dominance and ‘western features’ has put a premium on having light skin, often at the cost of personal health and finances.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-05/makers-of-skin-lightening-creams-target-indias-men

http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/01/02/a-skin-bleaching-epidemic-in-africa-and-its-diaspora/

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One response to “Blog 2: [DuBois] The post-colonial legacy of skin color fetishism

  1. I agree, there are some countries that have been rather obsessed with skin whitening products. Such countries include India, Pakistan. Indian dermatologists have stated that it is what the British left them with. They wanted to look just like them.

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