Author Affiliation, Ana.
From Browning to Cake Soap: Popular Debates on Skin Bleaching in the Jamaican Dancehall.
The Journal of Pan African Studies
Date of Publication
This paper explores the cultural debates on skin lightening or ‘bleaching’ inJamaica through the lens of popular music, in particular dancehall music culture.Social debates on skin lightening in Jamaican often identify this practice as a formof mental slippage, and as a solely epidermal manifestation of low self-esteemgenerated by white supremacist ideals that negate the black, African self. Yet, progressive dancehall debates and popular slang suggest that a progressive movetowards contemporary manifestations of skin bleaching are associated withcontemporary modes of fashion and ungendered rites of beauty. As such, the paper draws on the lyrics and slang of dancehall artistes and delineates a pathfrom Buju Banton’s Browning o Vybz Kartel’s Cake Soap as it attempts to fleshout the overlapping cultural debates that surround skin bleaching....