In that post I discussed the emphasis by many on being fair/light to emulate a white vision/version of beauty.
This morning I read the following article in The New Age newspaper that covers some of the same contrived socio-political ground. According to the article Jamaican women, particularly poor women, use harmful skin lighteners (bleachers) as "a ticket to a better life."
The lighter your skin the more desirable you are:
Mikeisha Simpson covers her body in greasy white cream and bundles up in a track suit to avoid the fierce sun of her native Jamaica, but she's not worried about skin cancer.Skin color prejudice among so called 'non-whites' (still hate being a 'non') is still very prevalent just about everywhere. Even now, 16 years into apartheid, relationships/marriages are often decided on skin color (the lighter the better).
The 23-year-old resident of a Kingston ghetto hopes to transform her dark complexion to a cafe-au-lait-color common among Jamaica's elite and favored by many men in her neighborhood. She believes a fairer skin could be her ticket to a better life. So she spends her meager savings on cheap black-market concoctions that promise to lighten her pigment.
Simpson and her friends ultimately shrug off public health campaigns and reggae hits blasting the reckless practice.
"I hear the people that say bleaching is bad, but I'll still do it. I won't stop 'cause I like it and I know how to do it safe," said Simpson, her young daughter bouncing on her hip.
People around the world often try to alter their skin color, using tanning salons or dyes to darken it or other chemicals to lighten it. In the gritty slums of Jamaica, doctors say the skin lightening phenomenon has reached dangerous proportions.
The need to emulate whiteness in skin color and hair color/texture is astounding. Just yesterday I was reading about a black artist who was talking about her proud African upbringing and in the accompanying picture she was wearing a blond wig and blue contacts.
What kind of pride is that?
Have I missed something? Is it OK now to just accept the white beauty myths and pile them on-top of all the other racist baggage that comes from our past and act like we have overcome?
Surely there is still a need to think critically about our liberation.
If you are still thinking about lightening your skin, or dealing with "hyper-pigmentation", you may want to check out this self-help remedy.
My brain is fried and I need to take a break from ranting here :)
And we are not free.