Improving skin tone representation across Google

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Videos on 2022-05-13 16:22Z by Steven

Improving skin tone representation across Google


Tulsee Doshi, Head of Product, Responsible AI

Seeing yourself reflected in the world around you — in real life, media or online — is so important. And we know that challenges with image-based technologies and representation on the web have historically left people of color feeling overlooked and misrepresented. Last year, we announced Real Tone for Pixel, which is just one example of our efforts to improve representation of diverse skin tones across Google products.

Today, we’re introducing a next step in our commitment to image equity and improving representation across our products. In partnership with Harvard professor and sociologist Dr. Ellis Monk, we’re releasing a new skin tone scale designed to be more inclusive of the spectrum of skin tones we see in our society. Dr. Monk has been studying how skin tone and colorism affect people’s lives for more than 10 years.

The 10 shades of the Monk Skin Tone Scale.

The culmination of Dr. Monk’s research is the Monk Skin Tone (MST) Scale, a 10-shade scale that will be incorporated into various Google products over the coming months. We’re openly releasing the scale so anyone can use it for research and product development. Our goal is for the scale to support inclusive products and research across the industry — we see this as a chance to share, learn and evolve our work with the help of others…

Read the entire article here.

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The Cost of Color: Skin Color, Discrimination, and Health among African-Americans

Posted in Arts, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-10-11 17:54Z by Steven

The Cost of Color: Skin Color, Discrimination, and Health among African-Americans

American Journal of Sociology
Volume 121, Number 2 (September 2015)
pages 396-444
DOI: 10.1086/682162

Ellis P. Monk Jr., Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Chicago

In this study, the author uses a nationally representative survey to examine the relationship(s) between skin tone, discrimination, and health among African-Americans. He finds that skin tone is a significant predictor of multiple forms of perceived discrimination (including perceived skin color discrimination from whites and blacks) and, in turn, these forms of perceived discrimination are significant predictors of key health outcomes, such as depression and self-rated mental and physical health. Intraracial health differences related to skin tone (and discrimination) often rival or even exceed disparities between blacks and whites as a whole. The author also finds that self-reported skin tone, conceptualized as a form of embodied social status, is a stronger predictor of perceived discrimination than interviewer-rated skin tone. He discusses the implications of these findings for the study of ethnoracial health disparities and highlights the utility of cognitive and multidimensional approaches to ethnoracial and social inequality.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Skin Tone Stratification among Black Americans, 2001–2003

Posted in Articles, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-06-04 14:17Z by Steven

Skin Tone Stratification among Black Americans, 2001–2003

Social Forces
Volume 92, Number 4, June 2014
pages 1313-1337

Ellis P. Monk Jr., Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in Sociology
University of Chicago

In the past few decades, a dedicated collection of scholars have examined the matter of skin tone stratification within the black American population and found that complexion has significant net effects on a variety of stratification outcomes. These analyses relied heavily on data collected between 1950 and 1980. In particular, many scholars have utilized the National Survey of Black Americans (1979–1980). This leaves the question of whether or not the effect of skin tone on stratification outcomes remains decades later. Newly available data from the National Survey of American Life (2001–2003) are used to examine this question. I find that skin tone is significantly associated with black Americans’ educational attainment, household income, occupational status, and even the skin tone and educational attainment of their spouses. Consequently, this study demonstrates that skin tone stratification among black Americans persists into the 21st century. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for the study of ethnoracial inequality in the United States and beyond.

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