Skin Bleaching and the Deconstruction of Blackness

IDEAZ, 2003 2(1)

7 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2013

Date Written: 2003


A review of two preliminary studies on skin bleaching in Jamaica revealed that the bleachers as a group do not suffer from low self-esteem or self hate. However, they have been miseducated about beauty in particular and Blackness in general. The bleachers are at the preencounter stage of Black identity development and they have experienced Blackness negatively so they have altered their physicality and created a browning identity to buffer the self against the social pressures of being too Black. Reeducation can trigger their resocialization toward positive Black identity development. However, for reeducation to be effective it has to be supported by a national policy to curb the social pressures against Blackness. The debate concerning skin bleaching indicates a range of Black identities. More research on skin bleaching is necessary to see if the results of the preliminary studies can be generalized.

Keywords: Skin Bleaching, Blackness, Self-hate, Back Identity, Jamaica

Suggested Citation

Charles, Christopher, Skin Bleaching and the Deconstruction of Blackness (2003). IDEAZ, 2003 2(1), Available at SSRN:

Christopher Charles (Contact Author)

University of the West Indies ( email )

Kingston 7
Mona, Mona Kingston 7

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