Skin Bleaching And The Desire To Get White
Slavery and colonialism, the twin companions of white supremacy, have left their seemingly indelible white stain upon Africans, as well as other cultures around the world. So much so, in some cultures such as the Dominican Republic; Brazil and other parts of South America, people of African origin object to being classified as black. Many will quickly trace their ancestry to some other ethnicity, regardless of how far back that linkage was, just so that they can avoid being classified as black or African.
Skin Bleaching For Newborns
This self loathing manifests itself in the ever-increasing use of skin bleaching (also called skin lightening or toning) creams. In Africa; the Americas; the Caribbean; and wherever people of African origin exists, (this is also a major problem in Asia) the use of skin bleaching creams and other lightening agents are in great demand, as people do their utmost to become ‘beautiful’.
In spite of the increasing number of deaths that have occurred around the world, as a result of the use of these creams, many continue to ignore the inherent dangers and persist in using them. But if that is not horrific enough, some are now applying these skin whitening agents to the skins of their new-born babies.
A Huffington Post article quotes Dr. Neil Persadsingh, a leading Jamaican dermatologist as saying:
I know of one woman who started to bleach her baby. She got very annoyed with me when I told her to stop immediately, and she left my office. I often wonder what became of that baby…
Dr. Persadsingh in another interview, also indicated that the real age of the baby was just six (6) months old. And to quote him further: ‘The baby was almost pure white…’. This to me indicates that the mother, mostly likely, was using the bleaching agent almost from the birth of this child.
Africa Awash With Skin Bleaching Creams
A W.H.O. study done in 2013 reveals that the phenomenon is pervasive throughout Africa. In South Africa one (1) out of every three (3) women use skin bleaching products. In Togo it is as high as fifty-nine percent (59%), that is almost two out of three. In Nigeria it is even worst, as seventy-seven percent (77%) of women bleach their skin.
This self loathing which expresses itself in the skin bleaching phenomenon is not limited to women only, but also to their male counterparts as well. Congolese hairstylist Jackson Marcelle, who has beached for over twelve (12) years told the BBC: “I pray every day and I ask God, ‘God, why did you make me black?’ I don’t like being black. I don’t like black skin.” He continues: “I like white people. Black people are seen as dangerous; that’s why I don’t like being black. People treat me better now because I look like I’m white.”
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