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I Just Bought My First Bleaching Products! (But So What?)






"In Africa, Light skin is shoved in our faces by the media and cosmetic industries in ways that suggests that light skin equals superiority or privilege and not as a skin tone among the many shades of black, none better than the other."

"Then why do we have so many Nigerians bleaching? When I was younger I only knew of one woman that bleached nowadays everyone n their mama is doing it. Where do we think it comes from? Its the same dark vs light issue at the root of it all. Not saying its a national epidemic but its still something that needs to be addressed. I swear I look on IG and it seems there are no more dark skinned girls in Nigeria, or at least there are more light skinned girls than dark skin. Again its not an epidemic but an issue nonetheless"

"many of our people particularly our women don’t seem to know that bleaching goes beyond skin,it is a sub conscious ruminant of slavery.they told u been dark is evil u believed now u have self hate but u call it skin toning..d west defined beauty for our women now they r lost,peeling there skin all day to fit into white colourism.ask your self y do women keep bleaching even when there skin is light?because when they look at d mirror they still dont feel beautiful.


All these comments and more on Skin Colour issue on Bella Naija, I read casually as I sipped on a tall ice cold glass of smoothie. (Can I tell you about my smoothie; one small cup of low fat yoghurt, ginger, a piece of pineapple, an apple, a slice of water melon, one banana and seedless grapes. Pure heaven!). I read these comments while trying to ignore the neon colored bag that held the skin lightening goodies I'd just purchased. 

All the words were written in equal fonts and colours but some words stood out; big, bold and red. Words like; SUPERIORITY, EPIDEMIC, SLAVERY, SELF-HATE, WHITE COLOURISM, ...THEY STILL DON'T FEEL BEAUTIFUL. while I read the comments other words like; low self-esteem, inferiority complex, western influence and the sort jumped around at the back of my head. 

I tried to focus but the bright neon bag kept distracting me, so I finally gave in and gave it my full attention. I grabbed it and gingerly peeked into it. Is this who I am, am I a victim of white COLOURISM and black slavery? Do I feel inferior to light skinned girls? Do I suffer from self esteem issues? Hmmm. 

Earlier in the day, I walked into a room and I saw my friend's skin. She glowed, Lord how she glowed! I couldn't stop staring at the beautiful flawless skin. I stared and stared. Notice I said she "glowed", not that she was fairer or lighter, no not that. Her skin just had this beautiful shine and texture to it and I adored it. Eventually I asked her "Girl you look good, what products are you using?". Then she smiled and brought each one of them out. It turned out that while they weren't exactly for bleaching, they all had written in some discreet corner; skin lightening. She told me how she used each one and encouraged me to try them. 

I've never had a problem with my skin colour, I never knew there was some kind of segregation between the light skinned girls and dark skinned girls before social media so effectively pointed it out to me, and although I've never turned my nose at people who bleach or tone, I just never thought I would. But Dang that skin glowed and I wanted my skin to glow just like that. Is that a bad thing? Biko who no like better thing?

Off I went to the stores to buy these new products that burnt a small hole in my pocket and as the cashier took my cash and handed me my bag, I felt a tiny shiver of excitement run through my spine; Awesome skin here I come!

And if in the process of my quest for that silky smooth lustrous skin I happen to get a shade lighter, anyone is free to point their fingers at me and say I suffer from Low Self Esteem, Inferiority Complex, call me slave to Western dictates and influence... I'll smile and understand where they're coming from. But then I'll roll my eyes, chuckle and mutter "it really isn't that serious, I just want that type of skin; skin that's looking so smooth and shiny, you'll be tempted to bite into it!"

And at the end of the day, isn't that what we all want; to be as beautiful as we can possibly be?

.... So while some might think it's fine to shame people who bleach or tone or whatever, and while some people who bleach or tone or whatever might actually hate themselves and feel so inferior they need to change their skin colour, I sit in my corner reserving my God-given right (yes, I think it's God-given) to do with my own skin what I think best. 




That said, I can already see these products going to waste. I forgot to use them last night and this morning... I just don't have the patience, time or energy to be consistent with these things! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?! *sobs*






Comments

  1. Nne,biko im coming over to release u off them...*big grin*
    As I always say bout bleaching,if black is so beautiful,how come people don't sell skin darkening products? (or can't they be made too?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the last quarter of 2014, I was in a meeting with some of our foreign partners outside of Nigeria. One of them (a Lebanese working in DIFC) asked about a particular person whose name he couldn't remember. In a bid to get a description from him, I asked if he was talking about the dark or fair one and he answered in an amused manner 'all of them are African/black'. That goes to show that if your intention of bleaching is to look less 'African', you most likely won't achieve that.

    -F

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Typo: his answer was 'all of them are black' (making reference to all the people who attended a previous meeting in Nigeria which he was involved in.
      -F

      Delete
    2. Thaats unfortunate. He's sounds racist. Pls tell the Lebanese guy that there are naturally fair Africans in Africa (both men and women).

      *the Lebanese man doesn't even fall under "white" but under "others"*

      Delete
  3. Thelma pls I know say I don collect shoe before...but even at that i wont mind 'some' of the products that are about to 'go to waste'....please give me some...i am light skined...thank you very much in anticipation of a favourable response.....lolzzz....no be so we dey talk am for emplyment letter?....#JoyDaNuGirl

    ReplyDelete
  4. All I think about when I hear about bleaching is the HOT NIGERIAN SUN!!! Chai I can't even begin to think of the dangerous uv rays wrecking havoc on poor little me. That's all

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tee biko inbox d name of d products na! Abeg. I want to glow too! Lol. I'm serious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. why inbox??? abeg, thelma..make it public... we all need some glow in our lives *shines teeth*

      Delete
  6. To each her own. Its funny because i was the opposite. After boarding school destroyed my legs with scars from environmental allergies i hated my skin. It was bad enough that once i began college in the states, every Sunday i would go to Jones beach and lay out in the sun. I hated being mixed i hated being light skinned. I wanted to be bronzier like my older bro.
    3 things woke me up - my mom had liver spots and they were coming up with mild melanoma as a possibility, i had gotten so burnt that my bra straps were burning into my skin. 3rd issue was i started building a relationship with God and i realised he didnt make a mistake.
    as is, i only use the local shea butter and it has worked wonders on my skin. Skin tone is super even, all my scars are gone etc. I still like to sleep in the sun, but i make sure i do it only b4 11am.

    I shudder to take i used to spend money on skin bronzers and tanning lotion.

    My husband makes fun of me, because i still claim i am darker than him, which i really am not, but it makes me feel better

    www.pynk360.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. T love,your post came right on time! I've been meaning to get products for my skin and face but just too confused on which to get as there are too many products out there..I'm fair too..just wanna glow like you T. Thanks mami.

    Fina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  8. ..All I'm saying T is I just want to know the name of the products..thanks ooo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nawa o..d bleaching hustle is real . Biko love your skin the way it is and build up your self esteem.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thelma biko can I know the name of the products? No dulling o its a nu year.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is now called skin toning loool

    ReplyDelete

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