Is skin bleaching fueling discrimination?

Rosalia David

OVER the years, many women and men – including some very famous ones – have found it difficult to accept their dark chocolate skin tone, preferring a lighter complexion, thereby perpetuating the idea that a lighter complexion makes them more desirable or enhances their beauty.

Although a few embrace their dark skin tone without doubt, it is still evident that western beauty standards continue to feed a global market of cosmetic products and procedures that are geared towards profiting off women’s insecurities.

Despite the dangers and effects bleaching chemicals can have, some women will stop at nothing to get whiter, even if they risk losing their lives in the process.

Have you ever taken a walk in a public place and observed certain women’s behaviour or looks? One will be shocked as to how the meaning of ‘African beauty’ is being dragged into the mud. Everybody wants to walk, speak and look like the fancy models with long hair on TV and seem to shy away from the melanin concentration.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but personally I somehow believe that men also contribute to the insecurities of women to a point, where they feel like transforming their looks.

It is also no secret that most single and married men desire those slender light-skinned ladies walking down the street and especially when gifted with a fine derriere. Name one man who won’t turn to look behind when passing by?

Now, how does it make one feel who is not flattered for their dark skin toned or looked down on for their chubby body? Not good enough I guess! Black women also deserve to be reminded how beautiful and blessed dark-skinned people are.

Last year, Jamaican dancehall queen Spice went as far as bleaching her skin to prove a point that black people are hypocrites when it comes to the idea that “black is beautiful’.

Beyond that, many argue that the skin-lightening industry is surely fueling discrimination based on the shade of the skin, called colourism.

Even though it might seem like lightening one’s skin colour redefines you, research has proven that there is no health benefit to skin bleaching as results are not guaranteed and there is evidence that skin lightening can result in serious side effects and complications.

Would you rather be lighter in different parts of your body and darker on other parts to feel complete? I believe it is very important to except and embrace the melanin in our skin colour without feeling the need to change our looks for anyone.