Skin, hair and race

  The very rich and the very beautiful must not be naive. Everyone is attracted to them, but they can seldom be absolutely sure of the motives of those around them. Who loves them for what they are deep down?
A similar, gnawing doubt can affect a white person in a society which sets a premium on fair skin. When a dark woman – or, more rarely, a dark man – cultivates a relationship across the colour divide it is difficult for those involved to ignore the long term implications of the relationship – the opportunity on the part of the darker partner to “bleach” their offspring. You may love your intended with all your heart and without any ulterior motive, but just as it never hurts if he has a job and is in good health, then it never hurts in Brazil if he is, what is more, pale-skinned. The lighter party is in agreement with this, and at vulnerable moments he can be overwhelmed by the suspicion of having been selected precisely to this end.

Den här innehållet är en del av Axess+.

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Nathan Shachar

Journalist och författare.

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