As a South Asian child of immigrants, the issue of skin color was a BIG deal in my family. Not only did my mom get extra attention because she is light skinned, but I was constantly yelled at for being in the sun (not good advice for a street hustlin tom boy). It was not until I was older and read a thing or two about colonization, especially mental and cultural, that I began to realize perhaps the idea so prevalent in 3rd world cultures that lighter skin is more beautiful, is maybe not so healthy. In the South Asian community I have been exposed to, fair skin was looked upon highly. Seems that Sudanese women hold similar beliefs, only to be perpetuated by the unstable situation in the country (you know genocide and war).
In many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia lighter-colored skin is considered prettier and paler women are believed to be wealthier, more educated and more desirable.
This attitude has led to a boom in the use of skin-lightening products in Sudan, a vast country torn by war where skin color also has political connotations.
The worst part is a lot of these products have long term health consequences involved with them.
Obviously, skin color is intensely political. It is unfortunate that the immediate effect on the psychology of people of color tends to be the belief that lighter skin is somehow better (I mean I guess the clear domination/colonization of the world by people that are light-skinned may quite possibly perpetuate this belief). But I also think it is more complicated then that.
In rebellion, I remember I would (and still do) tan as much as possible, just to piss mommy off. But what is the real issue? Is this internalized colonization?