“Mona, mona!” I am regularly called out as “white girl” when I walk down the street in Colombia. As a lighter-skinned person I am hyper-visible in Colombia, and regularly reminded of my color. It is the opposite of how invisible whiteness can be to me at times as a “white” person in the United States. As in the global North, though, whiteness is considered desirable and attractive, and thus all the more important for women. The models in Colombian beauty ads are almost always light-skinned, even blond, as are the news announcers. Hair straightening is common. Green contact lenses are another popular form of whitening.
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