This essay examines public discussions around skin bleaching in Jamaica and demonstrates that a discourse of pathology is a dominant frame of meaning used to explain this practice. I argue that the practice of bleaching destabilizes popular conceptions of blackness that rely on an understanding of the body as immutable and naturally marked by race. Depicting skin bleaching as pathological attempts to recenter hegemonic conceptions of blackness and to discipline bodies so that they adhere to them.
Winnifred Brown-Glaude; The Fact of Blackness? The Bleached Body in Contemporary Jamaica. Small Axe 1 October 2007; 11 (3): 34–51. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/-11-3-34
Download citation file: