Not all African women believe ‘black is beautiful’. And that’s OK.
Skin lightening products are used by millions of women across Africa. Sede Alonge, who lives in Nigeria, makes the case for why they shouldn’t be made to feel like they are betraying their race.
Toning. Lightening. Brightening. Whitening. Bleaching. While the marketing slogans promoting skin enhancement in Africa might be varied, the underlying effects are pretty identical. Although I do not use skin lightening products, but I know lots of women in Africa do.
On offer in these local shops are a myriad of products designed to make dark skin lighter: Kojic acid soaps, fade creams, hydroquinone creams, whitening shower gels made from goat milk and for the more determined: skin lightening injections.
Vera Sidika, a popular Kenyan model and socialite, publicly admitted to spending tons of money bleaching her skin, she added fuel to an already smoking hot fire. Just one admission was enough to re-ignite the fierce debate about Africans’s perception of beauty.
Sidika says she is proud of the way she looks and thinks African societies are hypocritical on this thorny issue. But her honesty roused the ire of many social media users across the continent.
On the topic of skin whitening, emotionally charged slogans such as “black is beautiful” are often employed in an attempt to make women like Sidika feel as if they are somehow betraying their race. Such women are then accused of having inferiority complexes towards white people.
In Nigeria alone, 77 per cent of women use skin lightening products, according to a recent World Health Organisation report.
Yes, black is beautiful, but so also is white, brown, yellow and the many shades in between. Are self-affirming slogans going to be needed by black people forever?
People’s desire to have a particular skin tone, be it a darker or lighter one, stems from them wanting to be more attractive and sometimes for others to take notice. Yes, black is beautiful, but so also is white, brown, yellow and the many shades in between. Are self-affirming slogans going to be needed by black people forever?
Content by www.telegraph.co.uk