It has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer, brain damage and kidney disease. Aesthetically, the outcome can be an eye sore. It’s skin bleaching. Since the Elizabethan age of powder and paint, this phenomenon has existed; but, today the main fans of skin bleaching are people of color. Let’s focus on girls of color. As a young-er generation they symbolize hope and change. If we can understand why it’s done, perhaps the how (to bring its use to an end) may be easier. Hopefully. Here are sentiments of 3 girls from 3 continents.
‘If you go to interviews and you are fair-skinned there is probably a 50 percent chance of you getting the job. ‘When you walk into a club (in South Africa) people notice you, they say “yellow bone” and you are more visible to people’. Kim
“One of my aunts keeps offering to apply whitening lotion,” Nina says. At school (in India) the little girls with fair skin were chosen to represent our class. Once one of my teachers even said: ‘You’re a good pupil, but you’re so black’.
How do we build self confidence and self love in a society where it is believed that skin colour is linked to personal success – academically, socially and professionally? Beauty will always be in the eyes of the beholder but is there beauty in poor self-image?
Stay tuned for Part II – Skin bleaching – The How
(Photo credit Allure, Top Naija & Dami Adeyemi)