01/11/2013 10:40 am ET Updated Mar 13, 2013

In Some Parts Of Africa, Black Is Not Beautiful

Back in 2011, I wrote about Nomasonto "Mshoza" Mnisi, a South African musician who'd undergone skin bleaching because she had a "passion for whiteness." Back then it seemed like the media had finally caught on to bleaching as stories about baseball legend Sammy Sosa, popular dancehall artist Vybz Kartel, and practice of skin bleaching and chicken pills in Jamaica began pouring out.

Since then, skin bleaching has exploded across several countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, where dark skin is seen as an ugly impediment to success.

Recently, a study conducted by the University of Cape Town found that over a third of women (35%) in South Africa bleaches her skin, most admitting that they do so because they want "white skin."