Does the lightness or darkness of a woman’s skin color aff ect her educational attainment, income or even the status of her spouse? Yes, it does and in this chapter I analyze two national survey data sets to explain how. Historical and contemporary research on this topic reveals a persistent advantage for light-skinned African Americans and Mexican Americans in terms of educational attainment, income, residential segregation, mental health, and spousal status, among other variables, as discussed in chapter 2. Building on this work, I examine how skin color operates specifi cally in the lives of women.1