Sammy Sosa’s Bleached Skin refers to the jokes made about the pinkish hue of former Major League Baseball Star Sammy Sosa’s skin.
On July 11th, 2017, Sosa did an interview with ESPN Deportes which aired July 13th. During the interview, Sosa wore a pink fedora and shirt. His skin also had a noticeably pinkish hue, concerning fans and inspiring jokes. The first joke was made on July 12th by @StraightOLC and gained 65 retweets and over 160 likes (shown below).
Jokes began spreading through Twitter about the color of Sosa’s skin. @ThatDudeMcFly compared Sosa to Pepto Bismol in a tweet that gained over 5,000 retweets (shown below, left). @__GDB posted a tweet comparing Sosa to the cartoon character Snagglepuss and gained over 1,700 retweets (shown below, right).
Others were concerned that Sosa had intentionally bleached his skin due to body-image issues. During the interview, Sosa explained his skin by saying, “It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften (my skin), but has bleached me some. I’m not a racist, I live my life happily.” Nevertheless, Twitter users interpreted the image to mean that Sosa had intentionally tried to make himself look less black. @LittleButTalawa tweeted before and after pictures of Sosa interpreting them as evidence of Sosa’s “self-hate” (shown below, left). @LeftSentThis did the same in a tweet that gained 77 retweets and 142 likes (shown below, right). The tweets and the controversy around Sosa’s supposed skin-bleaching were covered by the New York Daily News, Newsweek, and Heavy.