General

SKIN BLEACHING IN THE SOCIETY

he society also promotes colourism. Some businesses and even families, prefer their members to have fairer skin to having dark skin. To...

Elizabeth Otike Written by Elizabeth Otike · 1 min read >

INTRODUCTION

First off, bleaching is not a ladies’ thing like most of us assume. Skin bleaching is now being done by all gender across different cultures. In fact, it is said the earliest you can trace the act to Asia.

Colourism has been a worldwide menace and that has also had a great impact on African Americans. It is so bad that even blacks discriminate against those who are really dark-skinned amongst them.

Skin lightening goes beyond just lightening your skin, it causes mental, self-confidence and medical issues in the user’s life. Which in-turn, it costs a lot of money to be reversed, that’s if the situation can be corrected.

Yaba Blay, PhD, a professor, producer, and researcher, is one of the world’s leading voices on colourism. Through her powerful work, she aims to disrupt the narrative and spread social consciousness. “Whether from the perspectives of Black folks or from those of whites, our communal voyeurism into skin bleaching tends to focus almost solely on the individuals who bleach their skin, and not the global institutions that make skin bleaching a viable option. And it’s a problem,” Blay wrote in a piece for Ebony

I personally think it is mostly patronized by people with an inferiority complex.

WHAT IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE INCREASE IN SKIN BLEACHING?

THE MEDIA

The media has been a big champion in getting people to change their skin colour. If you see most ads, put up, you’ll find that most of them are using fair dark-skinned models.

Recently there was an uproar with Nivea and Dove ads on the models being used for their ads. While I’m not a colourist and well to me all dark skin is dark skin, it doesn’t help the younger ones coming up to always see the narrative that having a fairer skin looks more appealing knowing fully well that it is edited, airbrushed and misleading.

REGULATORY BODIES

Now, the most important question to be asked is not why women are bleaching but why it is being allowed in the market in the first place. Why is it even an option?

Recently the CEO of a well-known skincare brand in Nigeria, advised her users to use her products sparingly as it could damage their skins, which is shocking.

The audacity of the CEO that thinks she can get away with destroying people’s bodies and causing them possible cancer in the future. Where are the bodies charged with protecting consumers from things like this, and what are they doing?

SOCIETAL DISCRIMINATION

The society also promotes colourism. Some businesses and even families, prefer their members to have fairer skin to having dark skin. To them, it is more appealing.

People who have lighter skin have been assumed to have more chances regarding educational attainment, income, and spousal status.

HOW CAN WE COMBAT THIS MENACE?

1.     We need to sensitize people on the disadvantages of skin bleaching and how it could negatively impact them in the future through campaigns and testimonials. We need to help them develop their self-confidence.

2.     Regulatory bodies should step up their game in protecting consumers from harmful substances like this.

3.     The media should also embrace all skin colours. PR professionals should stop the colourism narrative they are currently in circulation.

#MMBA3 #Lillybeth’scorner

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