(Honestly, I don't know if I can express myself eloquently enough or if I can adequately articulate my thoughts and emotions, but here goes nothing)
Often times, when I see a post or an article on the 'HORROR' of bleaching creams, it usually goes on about how 'bad' and damaging it is and how we should all 'love' the skin we're in.
But it never goes down to the deeper issue, to the internalized issue.
If it's so bad, why does it make such a bundle every year in third worlds countries? (Bringing in $140 million yearly)
Why don't we see it for what it really is?
This unholy obsession with fairness, white skin, is damaging not only to our self-esteems but on our whole perception of race.
Who gets put onto a pedestal because of this? And why?
Internalized and systematic racism is everywhere and is evident in the boom of 'Fair and Lovely' crap.
It affects every person of color because of the perceived superiority of white people and those 'blessed' with fairness (although they are nothing compared to white people).
Personal experience- I grew up seeing my mother touted for her light skin in comparison with her other sisters. I was lighter than my own sister, but could never compare to my cousins. This led to summers spent mainly inside in order to avoid the 'darkening' rays of the sun and a very low self-esteem. Whenever I did venture outside, I would go into shady areas and if I did happen to come home a bit darker, I would be my harshest critic. One of my aunts gave me a bleaching cream that I would use sometimes, to the point of becoming obsessed with the color of my skin. But it'd never be enough. I would never look like those girls on the cover of my Seventeen magazine. Now, don't pity me. I was foolish. I was subtly (my aunt would recommend me to use the cream in order to 'even out' my skin tone) led to believe that my skin color was inferior to my lighter cousins who were also told to use the cream. And this isn't even about my aunt, who is a good-hearted person, but what she was also led to believe as child. This feeling of unworthiness was internalized as child as my parents grew up in Africa. They went to missionary schools filled with white nuns and teachers who taught them English and made the connection that white=good.
Although they didn't notice it at first, this reverence for white people and their skin color is rampant in many third world countries.
It's stupid ads like this that reinforce such ideals although an argument can be said that along with the post-colonial effects, such views could be stem from the culture.
From society upholding such damaging views. Although it is not limited to India, of course.
Can I be frank here?
We need to get a grip on ourselves and work hard towards dismantling the perception of white equaling goodness and beauty. To stop wasting our money on half-assed creams and staying indoors but traveling by night.
The world is not post-racial, meaning we still have a long ways to go until such stupid perceptions and views are gone and creams such as Fair and Lovely are banned.
I love my skin color and admit that I compare my face with that of my arms, my arms are covered all the time outside the house.
Even the word 'fair' bothers me.
What's fair about being prized while anyone darker is rejected?
I guess what I'm trying to get at in this entire ramble is that racism is still a big issue and one way I'm choosing to retaliate is racism in the form of bleaching creams.
Thank you and have a nice day.
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