What is
Colorism?



Colorism says you have more value if you are closer in proximity to whiteness.


Mark

BACKGROUND


People all around the world believe that a slimmer nose, bigger eyes, chiseled jaw, straighter hair, and lighter skin makes them more desirable, successful, and intelligent. It creates a social hierarchy within homogenous communities of color where the more European you look, the more you are accepted by your community.


In South Korea, one in three women between the ages of 19 and 29 get double eylid surgery, nose jobs, and jaw reconstruction surgery.

African American women in the U.S. straighten their hair because they've been told it looks appropriate and more professional.

Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans take skin lightening pills or use skin bleaching creams on themselves and their babies to get lighter skin.
Mark

With just Latin America, Asia, and Africa’s population combined, colorism is a significant issue of which 2/3 of the world suffers from. 

In August 2016, Ghana placed a ban on skin bleaching products containing a harmful substance called hydroquinone. Despite the ban, the multibillion-dollar industry of skin bleaching products still dominates the West African cosmetics market. This creates a world of mixed messages for women.


Colorism is often pronounced among professional and pre-professional Ghanaian women. Because of this, we went to Accra this summer to interview Ghanaian women about their experiences with personal care products and their attitudes towards beauty practices.


PROJECT TIMELINE


Spring 2019

Qualitative research in Austin with African-American and Asian-American undergraduate students at the University of Texas at Austin.

Summer 2019

Qualitative research in Ghana with Ghanaian women, including students at the University of Ghana.

Fall 2019

Develop campaigns, pre-test and post-test surveys with the Stan Richards School students at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Spring 2020

Run campaigns at both the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Ghana. Launch full website, and documentary.


Mark
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