DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
Cosmetics companies have agreed to remove racially offensive language from their skin products - but history, in Kenya and South Africa, shows they’ve done the same before.
Products that whiten skin may be changing their names but they’re still selling whiteness through coded words and unchanged pharmaceutical formulas.
Even as skin-whitening products rebrand, they are still selling racism under the guise of wellness and youth.
Detail of book cover.
Wits University Press
The long history of racist beauty standards alone cannot explain the ongoing global use of harmful skin lighteners.
The Dove ad published on Facebook, which the company took down after many complaints of racial insensitivity.
Beauty brand Dove caused controversy with an ad seemingly showing a black woman turning white after using its body lotion. While Dove removed the ad, it played into the racist history of skin whitening.
A growing number of young Asian men are using a plethora of whitening products.
Skin whitening among women has long been commonplace, but now young Asian men too, are using a plethora of whitening products.