Tag Archives: skin color

“Is Oprah Winfrey Medium Complexioned?” and Sammy Sosa

Someone googled “is oprah winfrey medium complexioned” six times and some how ended up on this blog.  Um…I don’t get it.  Somebody fill me in, is there some kind of controversy over Oprah’s skin color that I haven’t heard about?  Did she describe herself as medium complexed?  God forbid she say that she’s dark skinned, huh?  SMH, skin color is still a very polarizing concept…well, maybe it’s better said that it’s a polarizing reality in the Black community (Indian community, Latino community, West Indian community, etc).

I’m sure this is just a random occurance, but as an African American woman, I would not be surprised about a color controversy.  Look at the Sammy Sosa situation.  Clearly the man has used some sort of skin lightening treatment.  When you look at an older picture of his previously chocolate brown skin…why would you even have to wonder? I believe the claim that Sosa’s lightened skin in this photo is the result of a skin rejuvenation process and the bright TV lights at the awards show he was attending with his wife.

According to Sosa, who addressed the skin controversy with ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas, he is using a cream that “whitens” his skin. Mostly, Sosa said, it’s a skin softener.

Sosa is from the Dominican Republic.  I’ve seen it noted several times that many Dominican women (and many people around the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and yes, here in the US) Dominican women straighten their hair, which some experts say is a direct result of a historical learned rejection of all things black.  This rejection, seen in many diasporan cultures, has also manifested in the use of skin lightening creams.

Fair-Skin Fashion Boosts Sales of Whitening Creams in India

Sosa is symptomatic of global self-hatred

Indian men hope skin cream will change their status, fortune

Skin-lightening creams face FDA ban: Dermatologists defend treatment…

Cream labelled ‘racism in a bottle’

The Skin Bleaching Phenomenon – Commentary

This is not an isolated incident of self hate.  Sosa is just dark skinned person dealing with issues of self hate that are rooted in the concept that the closer your skin tone is to white, the more beautiful/handsome you are.  He’s just assimilating to the value system he’s been taught to respect.  That racist system of thought devalues dark skin, period.  It is not celebrated.  It is not desirable.  Therefore, I say the correct response is education and understanding, not ridicule.

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Michael Jackson’s kids have a Black Nanny

Update 6/26/09: The King is Dead.  Michael Jackson aka “Your favorite artist’s favorite artist” died yesterday, 6/25/09, in Los Angeles, CA.  A Legend.  An Icon.  The KING of Pop.  We love you Michael.  Never can say goodbye…


Now, that being said…please post kind words and tributes to Michael in the comment box in the future.  Let’s end this discussion on his children and pray for them instead.

Update 4/24/09: I almost closed this post because there have been so many comments on it.  Damn, you guys have been posting since 2/13/08.  Why hasn’t one of you developed a blog around this?  I just might have to.  I’m sure the Google Ad revenue would be huge.  Maybe I’ll call it “Is Michael Black?”  Sigh, ok I’m going to leave the comments open for now…I guess.  Carry on.

Maybe I was supposed to know this, given the fact that Michael Jackson has been in the news a lot lately with the 25th Anniversary of Thriller…but I’ve been busy living life. I understand that he may face foreclosure on his Neverland Ranch for $23 million secured by Fortress Investments. Lot’s going on in Michael’s world too, huh? If it wasn’t for the Floacist’s Blog, I would never know of MJ’s former Black nanny (Floacist hit me with an update, below), Grace Rwaramba, a Rwandan native.

Photo: NVision

Allegedy, those 2 white children in the photo are supposed to be MJ’s. I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t think that Vitiligo has an effect on one’s sperm. Continue reading

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In India, Advertisers Find that Lighter Skin Sells

From the Washington Post – Full Article

The presence of Caucasian models in Indian advertisements has grown in the past three years, industry analysts say. The trend reflects deep cultural preferences for fair skin in this predominantly brown-skinned nation of more than 1 billion people. But analysts say the fondness for “fair” is also fueled by a globalized economy that has drawn ever more models from Europe to cities such as Mumbai, India’s cultural capital.

“Indians have a longing for that pure, beautiful white skin. It is too deep-rooted in our psyche,” said Enakshi Chakraborty, who heads Eskimo India, a modeling agency that brings East European models here. “Advertisers for international as well as Indian brands call me and say, ‘We are looking for a gori [Hindi for white] model with dark hair.’ Some ask, ‘Do you have white girls who are Indian-looking?’ They want white girls who suit the Indian palate.”

Indians’ color fixation is also evident in classified newspaper ads and on Web sites that help arrange marriages. The descriptive terms used for skin color run the gamut: “very fair,” “fair,” “wheat-ish,” “wheat-ish-medium,” “wheat-ish-dark,” “dark” and “very dark.”

Family elders here commonly comment on a newborn baby’s color, after checking out the gender. One of the best-selling skin creams in India is called Fair & Lovely. A men’s version, Fair and Handsome, was launched last year.

“The Indian mind-set prefers light skin. Continue reading

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