Upon seeing Sammy Sosa’s Latin Grammy Awards photos splashed over the internet, I came across quite a few comments that likened his new look to ‘Dominican self-hatred’. While it’s easy to cite examples that support that point of view, I find it ironic that skin lightening being referred as a regional issue – considering that skin lightening cream is still being sold in this country.

Moreover, while Sammy Sosa serves as a painful reminder of the effects of internalized racism, it’s hardly shocking considering the images that we’ve been bombarded with for generations. I, myself, remember seeing tubes of:

being replenished in our family bathroom cabinet while growing up in New York. So, as tempting as it is to dismiss Sammy Sosa as a ‘self-hating Dominican’, it’s ultimately more effective to dissect and discuss that he’s a mirror image for people of color around the world.