I was at a wedding recently, a friend from Secondary school got hitched so I ran into old classmates. Most I recognized instantly but there were one or two people I took a slight gasp before I said a quick hello…the change was so dramatic that it needed a pause to digest.
Who wouldn’t gasp when you see someone who was dark chocolate skinned and they are now very light skinned? I wondered what the correct etiquette for addressing the person in question was. Do you say ‘Wow, you look good but you have changed a lot’? Or does your eye just widen in shock but you swallow the quick retort you had on your lips and exchange pleasantries?
As I write, I must admit I am several shades lighter than I was in secondary school which was about fourteen years ago so I can understand changes. As a matter of fact, I am a few shades lighter than I was five years ago. Although I have always been light skinned so nobody opens their eyes wide when I run into them; but I know this for a fact seeing as I have changed foundation colour in recent times. I went from NC45 to NC50. How many shades is that?
I suppose I am a former darker person too. Five years ago, I was at my first job fresh from university and NYSC’s blinding sun (Everyone need intense brightening treatment after NYSC) and could not afford to spend a lot on beauty products so I alternated between Jergens Shea Butter, Naturessence, Clean and Clear toners and St Ives facial scrubs.
Now I have sort of settled down financially and my beauty products reflect this…changing with my increasing financial independence. Hello Clarins, Clinique, Kiehls, regular facials, night creams and intense serums promising all sorts. There was no way I could have remained the same shade. NEVER!
So even if I did not consciously alter my complexion, I can rightly refer to myself as a former darker person? No I do not have black knuckles (and this is only with “razz” toning by the way) but I have had a few people comment on how clearer and fresher my skin…These are close synonyms for toning I now know.
Even more interesting is the question “what cream do you use?”
You see, women can talk about how someone else is getting fairer and yak and abuse till tomorrow but the truth is they really want to know what they are using and how they can lay their hands on it.
This may be presumptuous but in my experience it is so. This is buttressed by the fact that most beauty products of women I know contain the magical words…skin brightening, skin toning, promotes even toned complexion, skin clarifying and more.
I write this because as an avid reader of Bellanaija, I have come across countless comments on the skin tone of many of the individuals featured. Some people get flack more than others, I suppose these are the original FDP’s where the change is so obvious people have to scream out in astonishment but let’s be honest with ourselves.
How many women can beat their chest and say that they have not been bitten by the toning bug? Before you knock someone else down, can you please make sure you are not subconsciously or even consciously doing the same?
Photo Credit: staraufeminin.e-monsite.com