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How Does Colourism Impact African American ′’S Economic Success in the U.S.?


The study explores how colourism affects U.S. African Americans’ economic success. Because of racism, colourism has formed American stereotypes. The literature study compares India and the U.S. to global colourism based on past prejudice. The study found that lighter skin standards influence black post-slavery colourism. Scholars say colourism and sexism increase economic inequality. The survey of 455 skin-lightening product users found ignorance. Dermatology and society need cultural understanding, according to the findings. Limitations include a lack of racially ambiguous experiences, a focus on darker-skinned people, and social connections. The study concluded that ending colour-based norms requires detecting prejudices and encouraging inclusivity.


The survey found alarming ignorance about the dangers of skin whitening products among U.S. people of colour. Dr Roopal Kundu’s analysis blames colourism for the widespread problem, especially among women. People lighten because colourism makes lighter skin look better. The paper notes that minimal regulation leaves consumers unaware of the composition and risks of over-the-counter products. This study highlights the importance of studying underrepresented cultures’ skin whitening product use since colourism influences personal and professional achievement. This study examines colourism’s devastating impact of skin whitening products on people of colour. This study analyzes the implications of skin lightening on race and beauty standards. Filling a vacuum in the literature, the study highlights product component ignorance and possible harm, expanding awareness of sociocultural factors influencing these behaviours. Educating society about skin-lightening risks and colorism’s complex consequences on well-being are the goals. Research on U.S. skin of colour skin whitening product use aims to inform dermatological procedures, societal norms, and beauty standards.

Literature Review

Colourism’s impact on African Americans’ economic success in the U.S. is rooted in previous racism, according to research and theory. Research reveals that lighter-skinned beauty standards cause discrimination and opportunity disparities. The study shows colorism worldwide, especially in India, where British colonization established white dominance. This comparative lens shows how colonial history has shaped racial hierarchies and economic outcomes, emphasizing the need for intelligent interventions to eradicate color-based biases and create a more inclusive society.

A post-slavery history demonstrates how African-American colorism resembled India’s caste system. This comparison illustrates how skin-color-based societies divide. Illustrates how unfair treatment worsens social divisions by damaging self-esteem and beliefs. Modern colorism is linked to gender and racial inequalities. African Americans’ income and career prospects are affected by intersectionality (Naik & Farrukh, 2021). This multidimensional analysis shows how historical legacies, present society, and the economic repercussions of colorism are interconnected.

There are significant gaps in the literature. Research on darker-skinned persons ignores the struggles of racially ambiguous black people who experience colorism differently. This error obscures how African-American skin tones affect economic outcomes. Black individuals lack diverse views, making it hard to examine colorism’s effects. The literature also ignores colorism’s intersectionality with other social categories. Race-based colorism has uncertain gendered implications. The literature fails to explain how colorism affects gender-based pay inequalities. To better understand African American women’s issues and colorism’s economic impacts, colorism and gender must be examined. Understanding colorism’s complicated consequences on African Americans’ U.S. economic success requires filling these gaps.

The study investigates colorism’s historical, cultural, and economic effects on African Americans’ economic success. A thorough research shows the complex history of racism and beauty standards-based prejudice. Literature gaps indicate critical topics for future study. Due to these flaws, mainly the only focus on darker-skinned people and the ignoring of racially ambiguous situations, more nuanced research is needed. To completely grasp how colorism influences economic performance, future studies should include black perspectives (Irmina Maria, 2019). To comprehend African Americans’ complicated challenges, colorism’s intersectionality with gender and other social categories must be examined. Closing these disparities can reveal colorism’s complexity and its massive impact on African Americans’ economic prospects.


The survey-based study examined skin whitening among U.S. individuals of color and its causes. Demographics, colorism attitudes, skin tone satisfaction, and skin-lightening habits were studied in an anonymous 19-question survey. This strategy holistically gathered the targeted demographic’s skin health experiences, beliefs, and practices. The comprehensiveness of the study allowed for a deeper analysis of what influences people’s skin-lightening decisions, improving our understanding.

A diverse sample of 455 respondents represented U.S. individuals of color. Due to its vast selection, the study could evaluate ethnic skin health experiences and viewpoints. Various pieces helped researchers identify demographic patterns and variations. The quantitative and qualitative data analysis was thorough. Quantitative statistical methods revealed skin-lightening prevalence and causes by analyzing responses (Khan & MN, 2019).Interpreting open-ended survey questions showed themes and complex perspectives. To fully understand, this dual-method approach incorporated quantitative behaviour prevalence and qualitative participant experiences and viewpoints.

Research ethics included informed consent, confidentiality, and bias reduction. The anonymous poll structure allowed respondents to express their experiences without judgment. As the study tried to honour and reflect the U.S. ethnic variety, 455 varied respondents emphasized ethical responsibility. The research methodology stressed cultural sensitivity since cultural and socioeconomic factors affect skin health attitudes. The study addressed ethical issues and increased our understanding of culture, society, and skin health by following the highest research ethics standards.


Research demonstrates that over-the-counter skin whitening product users are unaware of the contents and risks. The poll found that 21.3% of respondents utilized such agents, showing their prevalence. Additionally, 75.3% of customers used these items to treat specific skin diseases, showing both cosmetic and medical reasons. These data show the intricate relationship between cultural beauty standards, skin health, and skin-lightening options in dermatological operations and social expectations.

Lighter skin tones were related to personal and professional success, and participants were more aware of colorism. That beauty standards promote prejudice that impacts people’s opinions of attractiveness, employability, and success supports sociological theories on colorism (Arshad et al., 2021). The study links colorism to socioeconomic topics and shows how beauty standards perpetuate inequality. The findings illustrate sociology’s intricate link between skin tone, societal norms, and individual experiences.

The study indicates doctors’ difficulty with skin-lightening targets. According to the study, cultural beauty standards favour lighter skin tones, which drives these impulses. The complex interaction between healthcare providers and patients reflects sociological research on how societal norms influence individual decisions and healthcare practices. Studying how healthcare practices and societal expectations interact in skin-lightening is important because sociocultural aspects affect patient choices and healthcare interactions.

The original text did not include tables or graphs, but visual aids improved the presentation of the findings. The U.S. bleaches skin of color frequently; therefore, visual aids could enhance the message by portraying the environment. An image or diagram of skin-whitening goods, like the one below, can help viewers understand the challenges.

creme on the background


Sociological investigation shows a complex interaction between colorism, societal pressures, and skin whitening products. According to the study, deeply embedded societal conventions that favour lighter skin motivate people to accept cultural beauty standards. This insight matches sociological theories of how social norms affect behaviour and choice. The study reveals that societal standards, particularly skin tone norms, greatly influence people’s perceptions and decisions, underlining the need for a sociocultural lens among diverse groups.

This study illustrates clinicians’ difficulty in achieving patients’ beauty-based skin-lightening desires. It stresses cultural awareness among healthcare providers and the diverse cultural and societal aspects that affect skin health across cultures. Understanding sociology helps clinicians negotiate patient expectations, societal standards, and ethical healthcare. Healthcare providers are essential to understanding sociocultural factors that affect skin tone opinions and offering more inclusive and effective dermatological care, according to the study.

However, the study has limitations. Using only people of color may limit its appeal. Further research should analyze colorism’s intricacies across racial and ethnic groupings. According to the study, colourism may overlap with gender and socioeconomic status. Examining these intersections helps explain complex sociological discrimination (Monk, 2021). More broad and subtle studies are needed to understand colorism’s complex processes. The research shows colorism and skin lightening have huge sociological effects. Culturally informed dermatological treatment is promoted since societal norms greatly influence individual choices. Future research on colorism’s multifaceted impact on people in different sociological circumstances is being prepared. This critical study will show how colorism affects perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours, showing social elements that affect skin and well-being.

All in all, the study supports skin-lightening risk awareness by showing colorism’s widespread impact on the community. Results demonstrate that individuals strongly correlate lighter skin with perceived success, highlighting the complex relationship between beauty standards and individual choices. Cultural sensitivity in healthcare is essential outside dermatology, especially for skin-lightening needs. The study acknowledges the limitations of existing literature, mainly its exclusive focus on people of color, and calls for more significant research on colorism’s intersectionality with other sociological categories. Colorism, skin-lightening treatments, and different cultures’ success views are examined to see how colorism affects African Americans’ economic success. The study examines cultural variables to understand color-based discrimination and financial results.


Arshad, M., Sadef, Y., Shakoor, M. B., Naeem, M., Bashir, F., Ahmad, S. R., Ali, S., Abid, I., Khan, N., & Alyemeni, M. N. (2021). Quantitative Estimation of the Hydroquinone, Mercury and Total Plate Count in Skin-Lightening Creams. Sustainability13(16), 8786.

Irmina Maria, M.,. (2019). A systematic review of global legal regulations on the permissible level of heavy metals in cosmetics with particular emphasis on skin-lightening products. Environmental Research170(2019), 187–193.

Khan, A. D., & MN, A. (2019). COSMETICS AND THEIR ASSOCIATED ADVERSE EFFECTS: A REVIEW. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research2(1).

Monk, E. P. (2021). The Unceasing Significance of Colorism: Skin Tone Stratification in the United States. Daedalus150(2), 76–90.

Naik, P. P., & Farrukh, S. N. (2021). Influence of ethnicities and skin colour variations in different populations- A Review. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology35(2).


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