The Colour Balance Project gathers together Dr. Lorna Roth’s extensive studies into the representations of skin colour. These studies address how the colour – or colours – of skin have been historically imagined, embedded, and manipulated in consumer products and through communications media. This material culture includes (but is not limited to) cameras and film chemistry, children’s toys and art materials, fashion mannequins and beauty products, fleshtone underwear and hosiery, sun tan and sun block products, skin bleaching products, bandaids and prosthetics, and even visual software. (Read more about this project.)

The Colour Balance Project, therefore, encompasses many smaller projects which are listed here below. Selected projects are also featured in the slider menu above.


PROJECTS (in alphabetical order):

Bandages – see this collection of images of that explores the colour of “skin” in bandages

Cosmetics – see these images that convey only a small fraction of skin colour altering cosmetics available

Crayola – a featured project with published texts

Dolls – see this collection of images of various ethnic dolls

Mannequins – a featured collection of images of various mannequins

Prosthetics – featured images of prostethics in the process of production, as well as those already on the market

Shirley Cards – a featured project with published texts


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