Women and the Politics of Skin Tone tackles the hidden yet painful issue of colorism in the African American and Mexican American communities. Beginning with a historical discussion of slavery and colonization in the Americas, the book quickly moves forward to a contemporary analysis of how skin color continues to plague people of color today. Margaret Hunter describes how colorism leads to discrimination resulting in lower levels of education, lower incomes, and lower status husbands. In addition to issues of color, Hunter also investigates the growing phenomenon of cosmetic surgery to Anglicize facial features such as noses and lips.
In startling interviews with African American and Mexican American women, Margaret Hunter also presents the voices of women of color who describe the personal, and often private pain of colorism in their own lives. Light-skinned women gain advantages in terms of beauty status and romantic relationships, while dark-skinned women ae typically viewed as more authentic members of their own racial/ethnic groups. This is the first book to explore this well-known, yet rarely discussed phenomenon.