New York Times: Where beauty means bleached skin

In the Makola Market here, endless shops and stalls had walls filled with potions dedicated to the lightening of skin. There is Ultra Fair Super Whitenizer by Caring Chemistry promising “restorative ultrafast action whitening” and Grace White 100% Double Action Whitening Body Lotion by Grace White Cosmetique that even features helpful before-and-after photos; the “before”

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Video: Chinese detergent commercial shows a black man being washed clean into an Asian man

A detergent commercial in China has sparked criticism as it depicts a woman throwing a black man into a washing machine. After a wash and a tumble, he comes out as a light-skinned Asian man, to the woman’s obvious delight. Oddly, this racist ad was actually based on a detergent commercial in Italy that showed the opposite happening. Reverse racism, anyone?

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Why the obsession with lighter skin?

In the early 1900s to the 1950s, African-Americans (who had by now internalised white society’s preference for lighter skin), held ‘paper bag parties’, pinning a brown paper bag to the front door; anyone whose skin was darker than the bag was denied entry. This ‘test’ was even used to determine admission to historically black universities and

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