This month, the final book in Karen Sandler's dystopian young adult sci-fi series Tankborn hits the shelves. I profiled the series last year on Bitch as part of a series on portrayals ofgirls of color in dystopia and eagerly awaited the series' third-and-final title, Rebellion.
While we might scoff at the spray-tanned guys of "Jersey Shore" and their year-round pursuit of bronze, skin lightening isn't so easy to laugh off. First, skin lightening is far more globally and culturally pervasive than tanning, with pressure to lighten being highest for those of Asian, Latino, and African ethnicities. For instance, baseball star and native Dominican Sammy Sosa made headlines in 2009 when he copped to using a nightly skin bleaching cream that had noticeably whitened his face. A couple weeks ago, Jamaican dancehall artist Vybz Kartel sparked controversy regarding his forthcoming cosmetics line that includes a skin lightening solution called "cake soap."