The other day, I happened across a Foreign Policy blog piece about a new Facebook app launched by cosmetics company Vaseline. It was targeted to the Indian market, and it allows users to lighten their skin in their profile pictures.
Now, the politics and history of skin color and race deeply fascinate me… probably due to the years I spent writing for American Demographics magazine earlier in my career, although more recent evidence of this interest can be found in this essay about The Negro Motorist’s Green Book; or in this piece on how heat waves were used to justify slavery.
I’d already written a bit about skin whitening in Asia before — it’s something that never fails to catch my eye when I travel there — but I thought I’d take another run at the topic, this time including some “beautiful and colourful” blackface dolls I saw for sale in Melbourne, and pictured above.
Here’s the piece for Perceptive Travel. I have a feeling I’m not quite done with this subject yet.