Light and Shadows

uganda

Many thanks to my dear friend Margaret for sharing this article with me. (The image is from the article.) Sadly, skin bleaching/skin lightening/skin whitening is something that is common all over the world (yes, even Asia). Photographer Anne Ackermann has a series that looks at women and skin bleaching in Uganda. The article points out that there is an idealized type of dark skin Рone that is caramel colored. It is this idealized shade that these women aspire to have when they get bleaching treatments. This logic is a new twist on an old idea: that lighter is better. The words are just different now. Instead of expressing desired whiteness, many people (mostly women) express a desired lightness. In my research, I illustrate that many point to this distinction to avoid accusations of racism and self-hatred.  Though the words are different, at the heart of it all, it means the same thing. Wanting to be a lighter shade of you is the new (yet still old) colorism.

Maraming salamat,

Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.

Mesa, AZ

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