Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Skin-Bleaching, Human skin color-Psychological aspects, Human skin color-Social aspects, Beauty, Personal, Black race-Color-Social aspects, Women, Black-Psychology, Skin bleaching, Skin lightening, Black women, Results


This qualitative study was aimed at exploring skin bleaching among black women. The study addressed women's motives, expected results of the process, actual results and whether or not the expected and actual results were similar. Nine black women, from varying ethnic backgrounds were asked a series of questions that addressed the above aims, but also sought to gain information on their process of skin bleaching. A total of 16 questions were asked over a 30-45 minute timeframe. Major findings from the study indicated that a desire to become light skinned and to remove facial imperfection were the two most common motives for engaging in the practice. With regards to expectations, the majority of the participants indicated obtaining lighter skin or disappearance of facial imperfections as their expectation prior to starting the process. The majority of participants identified that their expectations from performing the skin bleaching/ skin lightening process were met. Therefore, when comparing expectations of the process with the actual results, the findings indicate that both align or are exactly the same. Although the findings did respond to the research question of the comparison between expectations of skin bleaching/skin lightening and the actual results of the process, the findings also showed that there were a few unexpected results that came with the practice of skin bleaching/skin lightening for several participants.




iv, 82 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 67-71)