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British physiognomist Thomas Elyot pathologizes skin colors.

Date: 1539

The Story of The Colonizer Wound

Elyot writes that "red and white" skin tones indicate an "equalytee of humours," while "blacke, sallowe, pale, or white onely" are produced by an "inequalytye of humors." In other words, Elyot privileges some tones as healthy and well-balanced, while also saying that others are not. Most importantly, while Elyot assesses different qualities of light skin tones, he asserts that Black and "yellow" or olive (what he calls "sallowe") skin tones–essentially any skin that has visible quantities of melanin–are examples of "imbalance."