Self-Hate: An Old Debate Revisited

  • Shirley Anne Tate


Bleaching/lightening/toning is affective, whether vilified by non-bleachers or valorised in communities forged through pain in Jamaica and South Africa. Bleaching produces bodies and communities engaged in ‘race’ performativity, which does not produce the failed whitening of colonial mimicry. Instead, it produces a third body which actively engages critique of the political economy of Black Atlantic skin inequality. Bleaching makes the body’s subalternity known through its marks on the body and recoups social, cultural, political, affective and economic capital from the transnational community of bleachers. Wilful failure, through the repeat of ‘the original browning’ critiques the symbolic /material boundaries of class, ‘race’ and colour inequality. Thus, self-hate and low self-esteem do not drive skin bleaching, and lightness is the global Black skin ideal, which is re-versioned.


African Descent Dark Skin White Skin Light Skin White Supremacy 
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Copyright information

© Shirley Anne Tate 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley Anne Tate
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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