Yesterday, I was at my Old Girls Alumni Association meeting. One of the highlights of the meeting was a health talk by a concerned beloved sister including skin health. We readily discussed the issues of skin bleaching with despair. Auspiciously, I came home to get a post on my Whatsapp page on a lady who fell into coma after using skin bleaching creams. Bleaching of the skin has become a menace in our society.
In view of this, we will be looking at SKIN HEALTH this week.
You are Welcome
Skin bleaching is also known as skin whitening, lightening, brightening, toning and glowing. It involves the use of substances, mixtures or physical agents to lighten skin colour.
Skin colour is determined by the race, genetics and exposure to sun. Skin bleaching can actually be traced to the Elizabethan age of powder and paint. Painfully, skin bleaching is very common among the African communities including Nigeria. In fact, I have had issues in recognizing people that I once knew because of the dramatic change in their skin colour. Am I alone in that? I don’t think so.
Reasons for Skin Bleaching
There are many reasons for skin bleaching including the following;
1. Enhancing pleasantness and attractiveness of skin. Though beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, it is commonly believed that the fair skin is the more attractive skin colour: I actually AGREE. Many people therefore believe that they look more beautiful (Yes some do) with a fair skin. This may stem from the European- American concept of beauty popularized by the fashion magazines and models. The presence of Black African models particularly Alek Wek changed this concept of beauty being synonymous with the fair skin. Many black African women have cited her influence on perception of beauty. Black is beautiful is a ‘New Concept’.
2. Enhancing opportunities in life, particularly job opportunities. It is also commonly believed that the fair skin may improve one’s opportunities especially in the fashion and entertainment industry. This belief is boosted by the number of actresses and fashion icons that have fair skin: either natural or bleached.
3. The desire to be attractive to others. A lot of women believe that fair girls get more masculine attention. Some girls swear that bleaching their skin improved their love lives and improved their chances of bagging a prosperous suitor. Men that bleach their skin also believe that they get more feminine attention.
4. Complying with peer pressure. The impact of peer pressure on the youths and young adults cannot be overemphasized. Many young people just want belong and be like others. Hence if the ‘happening people’ are bleaching their skin, then bleaching is it.
5. Marketing pressures. The marketers of these bleaching agents huge role as they market their wares. They go a long way to convince people to purchase their products. Even when people notice adverse effects, they are convinced to purchase other ‘ORIGINAL’ version that cause more harm.
Granted, there reasons may actually be tenable but are they worth it on the long run? Lets find out tomorrow.
Thanks for Reading