The Echo of Colonialism – Skin Lightening of Women in the “Third World”

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The present paper deals with the phenomenon of chemical whitening of the women in the “Third World”. The growing interest in products for whitening / lightening skin is rooted in the idea of superiority of the white race over the black, which started with the colonial era and slavery. Today it is perpetuated through fashion and canons of beauty promoted by Western media and transnational corporations. In order to verify the aforementioned hypothesis, the ideology of white supremacy and dominance struc­ture of the non-white population of slaves will be examined. The author will explain the link between the color/tone of the skin and the position in the social hierarchy, that is seen today. The last part of the article is dedicated to the analysis of the characteristics of the Western discourse of beauty exported to the “Global South” by American and European media and their corporate marketing strategies.

Keywords: racism, skin bleaching, skin lightening, colorism, the discourse of beauty

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