Dying to be Light?

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Ad for Fair & Lovely Cream

*Disturbing Pictures Below*

We all do a lot of things in the name of beauty, but would you pour laundry bleach on your face or smear arsenic (found in rat poison) on your body, in order to attain a lighter complexion? If both of these sound bizarre to you, it is what a lot of women are doing to themselves all in the name of beauty. I was recently inspired by an episode of the Tyra Banks show that focused on women who bleached their skin. Watching the show, I cringed at the measures these women underwent in order to achieve what they believed was a “better complexion”.

On a recent shopping trip at a beauty store in Lagos, I was dumbfounded to find endless shelves of bleaching creams that offered everything from a “fresh clear face” to one that is “white and silky”; all with varying percentages of Hydroquinone and other chemicals, selling for less than $5. Staring at the shelves of this store, as well as many others in Nigeria, I was perplexed by the popularity and easy availability of dangerous bleaching creams in our market.

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For many years, bleaching creams that promise to “whiten” the dark skin of African women have profited and flourished tremendously in the African continent. In countries like Ghana and Nigeria, where a 2002 survey stated that skin bleach usage was close to 75%, very little attention and efforts are being made to raise the awareness of the dangers of these creams. Bleaching creams do more than “lighten” your complexion; they erode the top layers of your skin and cause irreversible damage to your body.

Key Ingredients of Skin Bleach

Bleaching creams and lotions primarily contain hydroquinone or mercury; both harmful chemicals, as their main ingredients. Hydroquinone is a severely toxic and very powerful chemical used in photo processing, rubber manufacturing and acts as an active agent in hair dyes; while mercury in the form of mercury chloride and ammoniated mercury, is a carcinogenic (cancer-causing substance). Both Hydroquinone and Mercury work to inhibit melanin production in the body, which then makes brown pigmentation less visible and as a result looks “lighter”. It is important to remember that this process does not remove the cells that make the pigment, and so continual use of bleaching products is needed to “maintain” the lighter shade. Overtime, Hydroquinone or Mercury applied to the skin will react with the UV rays of the sun and re-oxidise, leading to more pigmentation (darker skin) and premature ageing.

What most skin bleach users or first time users don’t understand is that lighter skin is achieved for a short period of time, and they are forced to upkeep their appearance and become daily users. The vicious cycle of continuously bleaching one’s skin, then alters the skin’s natural structure and makes the skin more susceptible to skin cancer.

bleaHydroquinone and Mercury are strong chemicals that affect the skin and body in irreversible ways. Daily usage of Hydroquinone damages the collagen fibre that makes up the skin, while mercury stripes the skin of its natural pigment. Studies have linked hydroquinone with the increased risk of cancer, adrenal gland problems, metabolic disorders and tissue problems surrounding the eyes, ears and joints. One of the long term uses of mercury include the damage it does to your vital organs; like liver and kidney failure.Mercury has also been known to cause neurological damage.

Regardless of these damages, none can be compared to the visible damage that skin bleaches do to your body. A popular side effect of skin bleaches include the very visible dark patches on the face that are a result of sun burn, since bleaching thins the skin and makes it more vulnerable to sun damage. Apart from this, Hydroquinone and other skin bleaching agents, cause big pimples all over the face, redness and irritation on the face and other bleached parts; as well as discoloration and hyperpigmentation.

What puzzles me is this: “If such products are deadly and dangerous, why are they in the market in the first place?” The truth is that very little can be done about curtailing the presence of these products in the market. In 2001, the U.K government banned products containing hydroquinone and as far as 1978, the UK government prohibited all products that contain mercury. In Nigeria, very little effort by the government has been made in reducing the entrance of these goods in the market. However, in response to the reason as to why these companies produce these dangerous products, they are simply just responding to a huge “demand”. Despite these efforts by the government, it does not change the fact that demands for Skin bleaches are high and seem to be increasing. The real question is why do a great number of Africans (and Asians) have a penchant for using skin bleaches and lighteners?

The answer to this question varies, but it really all comes down to vanity and a “conditioned” sense of what is considered beautiful. What started out as a crazed phase in the early 60’s, catching much of its hype in the 70’s through the early 90’s, has reared its ugly head once again. Our society must admit that skin ligtening is a mental and social disease. Whether it is dishwashing liquid, cement water, or window cleaners; a majority of African women are putting themselves through dangerous chemical mixtures all in the hopes of getting “lighter” and becoming beautiful. Whatever the reason might be for doing this, it is important to remember that True beauty comes from within, and that people can only see that which you radiate from the inside, and we must learn to appreciate what we have. We only have one skin, and whatever harsh chemicals we put on it cannot be reversed, instead of trying to change one’s complexion; we should focus on how best to take care of it and let it radiate the way it should. Using skin bleach is very DANGEROUS and causes irreversible COMPLICATIONS, so please be sure to pass the message to anyone you know that might be doing this, so that the demands for these products will eventually decrease.

As the Dove commercial says, we must learn to LOVE the SKIN we’re IN.

43 Comments on Dying to be Light?
  • bintilay March 24, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    “In Nigeria, very little effort by the government has been made in reducing the entrance of these goods in the market” Azara, this is so not true Mrs Dora Akunyili fought hard to get rid of these products when she was DG of Nafdac…and almost everyday in the papers there were list and tons of bleaching products NAFDAC adviced the public against!!

  • Naija Vixen March 25, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Believe is or not Lil’ Kim was actually darker than that before picture. When I saw how she used to look like when she was younger I was astonished and disappointed. Why do this to ourselves? Why want to change the skin tone that you were born with? It defines who you are as a individual. The best thing about being African, or African American or how ever one wants to call it is that we all range in different skin tones from the lightest to the light all the way to the beautiful ebony black. That is what makes us unique. Its ridiculous, while we are busy bleaching and lightening are skin, white people are busy tanning themselves to look like us…

  • doowop March 25, 2009 at 2:40 am

    but then viciousness!!pls there are sane ways to convey your points(if u made any )

  • Jaguda Team March 25, 2009 at 3:59 am

    This is sooo crazy man. It’s sad that we are still in some kind of slave/colo-mentality that makes us believe that lighter means finer.

  • Paris March 25, 2009 at 5:07 am

    DO WE REALLY WANT TO DENY THE FACT THAT LIGHTSKINNED GIRLS ARE CONSTANTLY BEING VIEWED AS THE EPITOME OF BEAUTY IN OUR SOCIETY?? Trying to be light skinned does not equate u wanting to be white. it is more of wanting to meet up to the standard of beauty. So the enforcement of self esteem should begin at home because letting society define what beauty is for you is very dangerous. By d way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being light as well (i am one myself)! These days, alotta black folks try 2 downplay people’s beauty by making comments such as “she is only pretty cos she is light.” As if it is a crime to be light in complexion??

    With that said, the awareness of the dangers associated with some of d products these so called bleaching products contain is very minimal in the African & Asian continent and therefore alot is yet to be done. There are safer ways to improve your skin tone…cos yes!! the sun does darken ur complexion after a while.

  • Sugabelly March 25, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Does anyone want to know why Nigerian women are using bleaching cream??

    Look at the picture of Adaeze Igwe in this story that Bella Naija published last year:

    MBGN World Adaeze Igwe gears up……”

    Last time I checked, only Albinos had naturally blonde hair among Nigerians. I know she is naturally light skinned, but it is obvious that she is wearing the coloured contact lenses, blonde weave, and excessive makeup to accentuate her lightness.

    And the sad thing is…. a lot of people actually think that because she is light skinned, she is automatically more beautiful than most dark skinned women.

    So, I am very UNsurprised that there are bleaching creams in Nigerian supermarkets… When we stop subconsciously wanting to be white, and denying that we want to be white, and railing against people that are perfectly happy to look the way God intended them to look, maybe bleaching creams will stop killing Nigerian women. Maybe.

    • Yoknyam Dabale May 10, 2012 at 2:29 am

      you nailed it, Saugabelly..

  • Sugabelly March 25, 2009 at 7:31 am

    “DO WE REALLY WANT TO DENY THE FACT THAT LIGHTSKINNED GIRLS ARE CONSTANTLY BEING VIEWED AS THE EPITOME OF BEAUTY IN OUR SOCIETY?? Trying to be light skinned does not equate u wanting to be white. it is more of wanting to meet up to the standard of beauty. So the enforcement of self esteem should begin at home because letting society define what beauty is for you is very dangerous. By d way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being light as well (i am one myself)! These days, alotta black folks try 2 downplay people’s beauty by making comments such as “she is only pretty cos she is light.” As if it is a crime to be light in complexion??”

    Um…. I think I can say with absolute confidence that at least 85% of all Black Africans have brown or black skin. Why then, should any rational human being think that light skin is the standard of beauty among black africans?

    Have you ever stopped to think about WHY light skin IS the standard of beauty among a group of people who are majorly dark skinned? Because white people said so ages ago, and they’ve been saying so all along. It’s just that now they don’t run around saying ‘Black is ugly’. They simply flood the media with beautiful white people so we end up associating whiteness/lightness with beauty.

    “There are safer ways to improve your skin tone…cos yes!! the sun does darken ur complexion after a while.”

    Um… there is NOTHING wrong with our complexion the way it is. It is AN INSULT for you to say that we should try to “improve” our complexion by making it lighter, even if you are advocating a safe method. You are part of the problem and you don’t even realise it.

    To the person that made the Michael Jackson comment:

    Apparently, Michael Jackson has Vitiligo, which is a disease that progressively whitens parts or all of the body with time. Usually when it starts, patches of your body become white while others are brown. It can be very embarrassing if you are a famous person, and even if Michael Jackson used bleaching cream, his use of it is completely reasonable because he was probably trying to have one uniform skin tone, and if you know that your entire body is going to end up white in a couple of years then you might as well. In his case, assuming he did use bleaching cream, it is completely understandable.

    That being said, I am in no way advising anyone else to use bleaching cream. Hydroquinone is used medically, and I am sure that it is acceptable to use it in cases where people might have terrible pigmentation disorders such as Vitiligo, but to use it to lighten your skin just because you want to subscribe to a ridiculous idea of beauty is just plain stupid not to mention dangerous.

    And yes, there are A LOT of girls who are QUITE PLAIN but are considered very pretty in Nigeria simply because they are light skinned. It incenses me to see Nigerian men pick downright ugly fair girls over stunning dark skinned girls just because “she’s fair and so she must be pretty”.

  • LuLu March 25, 2009 at 8:21 am

    nigerian/ african women need to also stop wearing those weaves and fake contacts!!

  • Paris March 25, 2009 at 8:39 am

    @ Sugabelly. I have 2 words for u! ABSOLUTE NONSENSE!

    Do not try to disregard my comment by trying to feed me some historical bullshit! i HAVE MY HISTORY GAME ON LOCK! Thank u very much!
    I am not going to engage in a back and forth debacle with u on this space as i really do not have time for such mess.

    By d way, who was advocating for lighter skin? I SAID THERE ARE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOU SKIN TONE! LET ME REPEAT AGAIN! SKIN TONEEEEEEE!
    SO YOU MY DEAR ARE THE PROBLEM! Self hate is not a good look!

    And YES! ADEAEZE IS BEAUTIFUL! Blonde hair, et al. People want to destroy the light skinned chicks b’cos of their own self hate? A pretty chick is a pretty chick..dark, light, mocha, caramel, wateva!
    Go and Learn how to put ur points across without sounding crazy.

    Have a nice day!

    • nyancho September 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Paris you are a tosser. indeed people like you are part of the problem. what the lady said is the gospel truth. it is beyond any person of limited reasoning that some one would have a problem with that. by the way what is the difference between skin colour and skin tone?

  • Paris March 25, 2009 at 8:50 am

    AND ONE LAST THING SUGABELLY….

    I am guessing u were the one crying wolf when Bella featured Adaeze?? U were sooo pissed because she didn’t look “African enough” b’cos she is light in complexion right??
    OH OK! NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE…
    HILARITY @ ITS BEST!

  • nnenna March 25, 2009 at 10:51 am

    lol….im cracking up at all these comments! a beautiful write up…i love!
    if you dont love yourself period, you will never love how you look, the key to this thing is people that try to change whats on the outside, have huge problems on the inside…
    oh well, i’m naturally light skinned so maybe i wont understand!

  • lulu March 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Well said Paris…

    there are so MANY shades of brown,black that to pick on anyone shade like sugabelly is doing is to be as bad as hating on black skin….PLEASE she said ‘improve skin tone, not skin colour’…not sure why sugabelly is trying to equate plain light skin with stunning dark skin…its all abut how you present yourself…there insnt any need to hate on light girls whether it ‘incenses’ you or not that they get picked over darker skinned girls…

    your statement is such a lazy generalization… when it comes to matters of beauty or choosing one girl over another, it gets very subjective…you will have to provide empirical evidence for these your wild statements…

    meanwhile,adaeze igwe, who you’ve called out here can wear all the blonde weaves or contacts she pleases, there wasnt ever anything wrong with experimenting different looks and i doubt that these automatically equate trying to look white or whatever,stop reading meanings into everything (we still remember the slagging you tried to give dare art alade on his last video cos he had light african models on there!!)

    i would rather we focussed on just how poisonous bleaching can be, see what we can do in our day to day lives per talking to people who bleach. Really as for those who dont bleach, we cant relly know what makes them do it….and its not on our skin ,so hey, free country

  • lope March 25, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    so what if adaeeze is wearing contacts…how that one take concern bleaching cream!!!!does that mean anything we do that isnt natural is an attempt to be white…about that ugly picture of you on your blog with red lipstick?are you lips really red….or u are trying to accentuate your lightness with it?oh please sugabelly shut up with all your useless and vicious arguments i think everyone has had enough of your senseless ass on this site

  • hauwadesigns March 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    All of you can argue all you want. It’s all about the money. Even this page on evils of ‘bleaching’ has an ad for skin lightenining cream on it, (see top right)! So what does that say…. the sheer hypocrisy of it all……

  • LaLa March 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Yes, it is a business about money and unfortunately the makers of these products know the buttons to push to get women to spend. As for your comment about this site being hypocritical- I don’t think BN intentionally placed the ads about skin bleaching.
    “Google ads” are based on the topics/terms used in particular pages. If you click other BN articles, for example, the article on bridal nails you will see that the ads are about nails and brides. In the entertainment pages you’ll see ads about movies. FYI

  • hauwadesigns March 25, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I KNOW that, and it proves my point, cos BN gets paid if we follow the link. The ad could have been for a spa or skin clinic, and still be relative. It’s all about the money – BN has no control over it, even!!

  • nana akua March 27, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I find comments in this article quite patronizing indeed! Obviously I do feel sorry for the common man/woman in Africa who cant afford good lightening creams and isn’t educated enough to know to use sunscreen, and hence ends up with horrific skin damage as shown, but the truth is that beauty and vanity has always existed and people will always aspire to their own beauty ideals.

    This has not got anything to do with a mental/social disease like this article portrays, or the “desire to be white”.

    I myself am Ghanaian, dark chocolate skinned, but have worked as a model before, because, my features(high cheekbones, smallish nose with a straight bridge, and ultra symmetrical face) are appealing to the westernised audience.

    I see many light skinned girls get rejected for jobs, and they are always shocked cause in Africa just because youre light skinned youre naturally looked upon as more beautiful. But these girls will have bigger/flat noses, and not very symmetrical faces. I myself do not find them attractive, and even have friends who have that look. But I would never patronise them by telling them to adhere to my standards of beauty.

    I also use skin lightening creams, but not in a bid to be lighter, but rather brighter-(yes there is a difference). Creams with mulberry extract, glycolic acid, and bearberry extract help exfoliate gradually and keep the skin looking fresh and youthful. I also mix sunscreen with all my body creams, even in winter. UV /UVB rays age the skin even when its not sunny.

    I wear hair weaves at time, and even sometimes an afro hair weave. Does that mean im also “socially/mentally” diseased? Of course not!
    All my white friends(even guys at times) spend thousands on sun therapy products, skin darkening products…does that mean they want to be black? NO . simply put. Their beauty ideal is darker skin, so they just want to strive to express that and achieve that.

    People should be allowed to be thin, fat, dark, light if they want . Freedom of beauty expression. Obviously there should be more education out there regarding the safe ways, and the hazardous ways. You shouldn’t be saying to people “why dyou want to be light?” cause its as silly as saying to a woman” why dyou want to wear a hair weave”? but rather we should be making sure the market offers safe ways, or safe alternatives that are affordable by all. The sad thing though is that the better the product, the more expensive the market will make it. So then the common man cuts corners and risks his health to go and buy these hazardous products.

  • Shola March 29, 2009 at 8:05 am

    hauwadesign, you are missing the main point.

    What bellanaija is trying to tell us is that we as black women need to change our mindset and perception of dark skin as inferior to lighter or paler skin. If there is no demand for bleaching creams, there won’t be business mined people trying to take advantage and make a profit out of us.
    This goes with the weave and relaxer chemicals industry. They are making billions of money taking advantage of the fact that black women see straight hair as “better” than curlier hair. they make money while we destroy our skin and scalp. keep in mind no one except us is forcing colomentality down our throats. we are doing this to ourselves. we can’t blame anyone for it really especially if we have access to the education and facts.

    The only way to stop it is for us to CHANGE OUR MINDSET. if no one is willing to buying bleaching creams, no one will sell it to you.
    Nobody can sell bleaching cream to you if deep down in your mind you love your skin and see your beauty. That’s the point!

  • vivian o April 3, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    A lot of the comments made are beside the point of the article and very angry. It is one thing to try to enhance one’s appearance, but it is another to rub a potent chemical on one’s body in an attempt to permanently change one’s skin color and in the process do grievous harm to one’s body. Hydroquinone, the active ingredient in skin lighteners, is NOT supposed to be used long-term. Moreover, it is to be used to treat hyperpigmentation and NOT as an allover body moisturizer as some people use it. Of course, people are entitled to their personal choices as to how they wish to look, but when these personal choices seep into mainstream society and are used to marginalize whole categories of people whether light or dark and deny individuals opportunities in various facets of life such as employment and housing, it becomes a universal PROBLEM.

    I think that we also need to hold manufactureres accountable. Manufacturers of hydroquinone products should educate consumers on the use of the product and provide formulations that are free of clearly toxic chemicals such as mercury and lead.

    I know that a major concern for people of color is discoloration and for some that bleach they are trying to deal with this and not to change their actual color. For those who wish to get an even skin tone (without altering their authentic skin color) there are many options out there that I would be happy to share if you so desire.

    Ultimately, if you wish to bleach your entire body then knock yourself out. We’re all adults.

  • vivian o April 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I am not going to assume that because Adaeze Igwe wore contacts and a blond weave she wants to be lighter or white unless of course she comes out and says so. All I have to say is that I don’t think the blonde weave or blue contacts are working for her. Both clash with her skin’s undertone, which is yellow. The blonde weave and blue contacts makes her look harsh, cheap, and overwhelms her small features. She needs more sophisticated styling. She would really pop with a blended brown/blonde/honey colored straight weave that is sideswept to hide some of her forehead. She should opt for a light brown contact. Just a thought.

  • BridgetOti April 7, 2009 at 2:47 am

    so much for black pride!

  • Michaela Moye April 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I feel you! Take Ebony magazine for instance, black power ranting side by side with Vantex bleaching cream and Raveen relaxer ads.

    On the other hand, if it’s any compensation, white people are crazy for tans!

  • Michaela Moye April 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I must agree with you! I grew up yellow and curve less with brown hair! I spoke no pidgin and was constantly teased by my neighbours for not being Nigerian enough! Nigerians have all sorts of skin tones, eye colour and hair textures! Abi what will i say about my Ijebu relatives with green and grey eyes? As far as i know they are not multi racial.

  • Michaela Moye April 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Well said, sister!

  • Michaela Moye April 8, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    It might be the ‘mammy water’ complex.

  • Inez April 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Hello, that should be a personal decision. There’s nothing African or unafrican about bleaching, extensions, contacts, nails and all the other stuff women love to adorn themselves with. White women bleach, use extensions, contacts, fix nails and the like so nobody should make it sound like we’re trying to imitate. Regarding complexions, you’re beautiful if you are beautiful, complexion notwithstanding. I am dark skinned and I still have men tripping. My younger sis is very light skinned, we walk into a place and we have men coming either for me or for her. It’s a matter of what appeals to them. Complexion isn’t all they look for.

  • Cici April 15, 2009 at 2:30 am

    The main standard of beauty is still the white skin, then light skin or brown skin. That is the reason in some countries like Asia, they bleach their skin just to fit that pale white color standard of beauty. The white, blonde, blue eyes is what has been considered the standard of beauty for years, and has been put in people’s minds. Unconsciously, many people try to live up to that standard, so they can get the attention or acknowledgement that certain people with these features are getting. Whites have done a good job praising their skin color, texture of hair, shape of nose, and refer to the brown or dark skin, big or flat nose, coarse hair as unattractive, and this has messed up people of color mainly black people so much, that in order for things to change, it’s not physical anymore, black people will have to change their mindsets. When a person of color especially a black person is considered beautiful by mainstream media, it is because they see what they call white features in them, maybe the colored eyes, light or brown skin, or the hair texture. It is very unfortunate that black people are even the ones who hate their negro or African features the most, so we can’t blame it all on the media or whites, even though it goes back to slavery, but we should move forward not backward. If we black people did not buy into the whole standard of beauty,by wanting to fit into what we are told is beautiful, whites won’t have any choice but get used to and accept us the way we are. One of the things that stood out to me about First Lady, Michelle Obama, is the fact that she’s dark skin, has what some people might call the negro features, but her confidence, intelligence, the way she carrys herself, highly educated, and the way Barack Obama admires her made people from all over the world fall in love with her. People who had negative comments to say about her were just insecure and ignorant. All of these standards are just made by people. Certain people who wanted to feel and be superior by putting others down. Remember that God made us, in different shades of skin color, blonde, curly, wavy, coarse hair, blue, brown, hazel, green eye color, it’s not a mistake in whatever skin, shape, you have, and God does not make any superior, or better than the other, because they are all beautiful in God’s eyes.

  • ola April 17, 2009 at 1:41 am

    i met a white lady who came 2 naija recently,it wz my 1st tym of bn dt close.d truthz i’l never wish 2 b as white or blue-eyed as she is.v always bn proud of my race,wl continu 2 b.i stand 2 b corrected.

  • Bridget Oti April 19, 2009 at 12:28 am

    so much for black pride! if it aint no black skin

  • hw April 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Doctors have prescribed hydroquinone like Eldoquine Forte for years for acne scarring. People are not using prescription drugs and are misusing these chemicals. Hydroquinone does not have to be dangerous…only in misuse.

  • hw April 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    These days, there seems to be only light and dark, not the in-betweens, like Michelle Obama. She is not dark but of medium complexion and I think the distinction should be made. So-called “Black” people run the gamut of shades and I think that prejudice is morphing again. When people of medium shade are now considered “dark,” one can surmise that the rift is getting wider. Sad, all shades should be celebrated for what they are.

  • J May 31, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Could you share those please, because I want an even complexion not lighter, I’m happy with being dark, love it. Black pride!

  • Tumi Jẹgẹdẹ July 9, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    It’s such a shame.. but you know what, it happens. 75% is shocking to me, but I believe it, most women would have considered it. If not for a full change of look, just to lighten those dark knees and elbows, or to ‘even’ skintone. All these are terms that could lure people who initially don’t even want to lighten into the world of bleaching.

    I would like to draw attention to asian women, it’s not just black/African women who have this issue. Asian women deal with the same, the lighter you are, the prettier you are considered to be, it’s the same in India, Japan..

    Have you heard of nipple pink-ners??

    Here’s a blog post relating to this issue that I posted..

  • black is beautiful July 25, 2009 at 3:34 am

    I always feel sorry for Lil Kim. What kind of self-hatred does it take to do that to yourself?

  • WALE ADENIJI September 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Me too. I want to know those options to have a even skin colour.I am fair and hate bleaching knowing the after-effect in the long-run. Can you share that with us? I know a lot of people who pass through here will appreciate that piece of information from you,Vivian.

  • pkmelody January 8, 2010 at 7:07 am

    The idea of white beauty is a global issue. Self hatered is the worst mental illness

  • Dayspring January 28, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Actually, white skinned women sometimes have the opposite problem of wanting to make their skin darker. What white girl doesn’t want that “perfect tan” for the beach in the summer. Tanning can also lead to a negative outcome, that is, skin cancer, yet many do it anyway. I for one have had to change my ideas about beauty, and appreciate my natural color. There is always the temporary fake tan if you really want it.

    I think what dark skinned women are doing by using these products is crazy, especially since there are so many gorgeous dark skinned women, especially in Africa. A glowing complexion is so much more important.

    What are we doing, here? Trying to stand out in the crowd? It seems like we are demanding the impossible from our women the world over!

    If it is evenness you need, which we all want, I know that the Mary Kay brand makes a couple products that even out skin tone while not changing it, and they are of course safe for your skin. They are not $5 a bottle, however.

  • :) June 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Pls shutup about relaxers because I know the tears I shed from combing my hair when I was natural and how happy I was when I put the relaxer in. I was happy to run my hands through my scalp without it gettin caught. There was no image of a white or bi-racial woman in my head or of a dark skinned woman because I am light. There was just agony then relief. When I wore my hair short, guys still loved it but I knew the stress of getting up to use the curling iron in the morning to get the style I wanted that fit the shape of my face so I tried a weave and it was a style I liked that permanently fit my face and it was brush and go. So please stop making us look stupid to other races and making them think we have a disease. People use relaxers and hair extensions for different reasons I have never heard of anyone that saw a white girl or woman and thought “oh, I must look like her!” I don’t even notice white people, I notice beautiful black women that her blessed with naturally beautiful features. Please stop making up stories about women choosing versitility in hair styles and experimenting with their look over one hair style. It is only a razz unexposed person that thinks white women do not wear weaves or use relaxers or that they all have straight and long hair. When I was in secondary school I prefered the two step all back or 6 simple big cornrows to any hairstyle, I disliked any other hair style, what was I trying to be then please? DOn’t be silly. We as women just want to express ourselves and have looks that fit us and enhance our beauty or looks that make us stand out. To dissect that and diagnose it as anything else is pure foolishness. It is annoying especially for someone like me who’s face can completely change depending on hair style and I love the ability to look brand new and different without having to think it through like my life depends on it. Sheesh! You will be judged with the severity with which you judge your fellow man remember that! I think a lot of us fall prey to lightening creams when trying to treat discolorations so when u say “trying to be white” you lose a large percentage of the audience you are trying to educate because they automatically feel you are not speaking to them. So I will say this: Wmen of all races and ethnicities; lightnening creams are dangerous but they were created for reasons besides “pure evil”. In trying to clear our blotches, blemishes, spots, discolorations we should be careful in the choices we make and the things we get carried away with. Stay away from hydroquinine, use sunscreen, it is safer to work with your dermatologist because he or she will guide you and if misguided you can sue. Lol… Just keep it simple and when you achieve your results do not get carried away, go on a maintenance program if you must or stop and allow your skin adapt to it’s new form. Features make a person beutiful, not complexion. I have been in rooms with dark skinned friends who were chosen over me because they were beautiful and of course when I was chosen it was because I was light skinned, because it helped their self esteem. My self esteem is very high and people around me can be pointed out as beautiful, but I know my beauty has it’s own room where it shines because I am beautiful too. Some hair styles bring out my beauty some tone it down and make me more approachable. I work to improve myself personality wise and physically, to even out my skin and grow my hair, but at no point in my life has the thought cross my mind to be like any race other than that which I am.

  • :) June 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    *run my fingers* *without them getting caught*- other typos are there because it’s a lenghty write-up.

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