In Australia, a 22-year old Black woman describes how skin whitening creams are widely used by girls as young as 14 in her Melbourne community. She says African mothers encourage their daughters to use such creams “to become more beautiful”.
Dozens of research studies have shown that skin tone and other racial features play powerful roles in who gets ahead and who does not. These factors regularly determine who gets hired, who gets convicted and who gets elected.
During the Renaissance period, an ideal beauty meant a white face with reddened lips and cheeks. But as a pure white complexion is impossible for a healthy person to attain naturally, women then used creams and other methods to whiten their skin.