Itisalways baffling why people with beautiful dark skin want to bleach it off. We have seen in history and heard that some can never succumb to the pressure of discrimination being faced. However, at that point a huge number of Americans still believe in solid and dark skinned ladies like Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Jordan, and Maya Angelou. Dull, excellent ladies like Beverly Johnson, Iman, and Naomi Campbell graced the fronts of design magazines like Vogue.
When people of all colors proclaimed the grace and beauty of women like Michelle Obama and Lupita Nyong’o, I was certain that a new day had dawned because it seemed to me that Black women of all shades were declaring themselves beautiful.
As it turns out, I was only partially right. While skin bleaching did wane in popularity after the early 20th century, it has never completely faded away.
In recent history, a number of celebrities – most notably Michael Jackson, Sammy Sosa, and Lil’ Kim – have appeared in public with visibly lighter skin. Though some of Michael Jackson’s melanin loss may have been due to vitiligo, it appears that other celebrities have whitened their skin for purely cosmetic reasons.
While it is easy to dismiss the actions of celebrities as the whims of eccentric wealthy people, regular people bleach their skin as well. New treatments and products are continually showing up. My initial reaction to the news of the new drug was the same as it always is whenever skin bleaching is involved: “Why would anyone want to bleach their beautiful black skin?”
But then I remembered the words of an old blues song that describes the dilemma perfectly:
If you’re White, you’re all right, If you’re Brown, stick around, But if you’re Black get back!
Though the benefits of whiteness extend beyond bank accounts. White skin is less likely to produce fear in police officers. White people are more likely to have their pain taken seriously by doctors. White people do not get followed around while shopping.
But then it has to be in the heart of Black people that the color ‘black’ has everything to do with evl. The carriers of this skin colors must first change the mentality behind it. Not until then can people respect the color itself
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