Bleaching, toning, skin lighting, insert any other term or name you’ve heard. Let’s be brutally honest here, bleaching your skin is BLEACHING no excuses please. You’ve heard the stories of people taking dangerous pills to genetically manipulate the colour pigmentation of their skin, all for looking a tad lighter, or spending hundreds of dollars on spa treatments, creams and body serum to rid your body of its natural melanin.
On a psychological level, it’s beyond fascinating. An individual must be genuinely dissatisfied with the colour of their skin to go out and look for a means through which the colour they were born with can be manipulated. A lot of times we blame it on the images we see on the magazine covers, music videos and editorials. Every day, rap artists pick the Latinas and Hispanic vixens to feature in their videos. The lighter she is, the prettier right? Watching music videos with light skinned girls in them sends a clear message, “There is no place for you if your skin tone doesn’t meet up with the criteria”. Hence, whenever you switch to MTV, you are reminded to do something about your skin tone.
Whenever you open a magazine you are confronted by a perception of beauty that is so fake and extreme, I always wonder how women buy into it. It doesn’t help that we watch our favourite superstars get rid of their natural identity by dipping their hands into a jar of bleaching cream.
Rihanna is one of the many stars that has come under speculation for the drastic change in her skin colour.
Lil kim has been very vocal about her bleaching habits, stating that over the years many men have cheated on her with lighter skin women. (Am I the only one rolling my eyes?)
Vybz Kartel recently came under fire for bleaching his song and has since inspired many diss songs by fellow Jamaican artists.
Bleaching or toning or whatever it is called these days, is extremely dangerous to the skin and rids the skin of its first protective layer. Once you begin to bleach, your skin can not withstand the UV ray from the sun hence causing more damage. It seems like such a hefty price to pay for the satisfaction of appearing lighter in complexion. I mean what is the problem with us?? As Africans, there is no such thing as being too dark, it is after all OUR identity.