Analysis Of The Whitewashing Of African Americans By The Mainstream Entertainment Industry

2130 Words Dec 23rd, 2016 9 Pages
If you take a moment to look around at billboards, magazines, and your favorite films, you may notice something about the bodies in view. You may notice the races of the bodies, and that most of those bodies are white. The obvious and blatant forms of whitewashing have permeated society so much so that many people no longer even notice that almost every character on their favorite television show--minus that one background role with minimal speaking lines--is white. This is not just a temporary trend created by media and product producers. The whitewashing of African-Americans by the mainstream entertainment industry illustrates and perpetuates the historically-driven idea that white is the standard of beauty. This industry prompts a societal desire in the belittling of African-Americans from physical appearance to mental capabilities to appear lighter in skin tone, evident by trends of skin bleaching and Photoshop.
The war on skin tone is not a new war by any means. It has been evident that “light skin as an aesthetic preference equates with colorism and is always perceived as a symptom of internalized racism. Lighter skin continues to equate with privilege, including prominent societal and occupational positions” (Tate, 56). Lighter skin has been the preference since ancient civilizations made the division between the working class and the nobles. This concept held its prominence throughout history and introduced to Americans during the slave trade. African slaves were…

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