Sammy Sosa done lost his mind. The celebrated athlete surfaced last week at the Latin Grammys and cyber mayhem ensued. Photos of the Dominican’s chocolate-to-chalky transformation are disturbing. It is amusing that in early interviews he didn’t fess up.
If his new complexion were a secret, he wouldn’t have gallivanted around an awards ceremony looking like Dracula’s hermano.
Sosa attributed his lighter skin to camera lights, a rejuvenation process and cream intended to reverse the sun’s effects.
Short of sunscreen, few creams combat the sun’s potential to ravage an otherwise healthy epidermis. His beauty cream came from Europe, as he said in an interview.
Manufacturing a skin lightening cream in Europe highlights the fact that despite the browning of the United States and the globe, effects of colonization still exist in minority communities.
While there isn’t a mandated separation between field, porch and house Negroes, many people of color still diminish the perception of their beauty by going to heinous extremes to alter themselves.
Sosa isn’t alone in opposing genealogy.
Nearly two-thirds of African Americans who have cosmetic surgery choose nose jobs, according to medicalnewstoday.com. This may result from constant denigration of one’s appearance.
Historically, Black and Jewish people were criticized mercilessly in racist art. It is often taken a step further in communities, as we’re devalued for features beyond our control.
I’ve heard countless quips regarding my thin lips and voluminous schnoz. It’s not just a Black thing though.
In Mexico, I noticed that Chicos with copper skin or darker routinely did more manual labor.
More Anglo looking men flashed business cards, spoke nearly impeccable English and wore fancy watches.
In Costa Rica, the brown Ticas with thick accents, cinnamon skin and larger facial features cleaned rooms. The fairest Tica had milky skin, light, wavy hair and blue eyes. She managed the money.
The effects of colorism span internationally, cross culturally and invade various socioeconomic backgrounds.
While light skin is frequently preferred in Latin, African and Eastern cultures because it symbolizes an “easier” lifestyle and a lack of familiarity with sunlight, tans symbolize wealth for many western Whites.
Dark skin implies that they can afford vacations in exotic regions.
Issues between the beige, brown and black parallel the brunettes versus blonds debate in numerous White circles.
With all that being said, it is still sad that one of the most successful and prominent Afro-Latinos in the game looks as if he coated his countenance in correction fluid.
His Michael Jacksonesque face reminds us that men don’t escape societal norms and frequently suffer insecurity about their appearances.
The difference is that men are frequently socialized to “man up,” by ignoring potentially sensitive subject matter like self-worth and intra-racial bias.
Although he played with his face, we can’t forget Sosa’s contributions to the game. He hit more than 600 home runs throughout his career.
One must hope he doesn’t believe success forces him to run from his home- and true reflection.