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.
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- Nicole Hala