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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Skin Bleaching on The Tyra Banks Show


As a chocolate sista, I can honestly say that there is not one time in my life where my skin color has ever made me feel self-conscious or insecure in any way. In fact, it has been a source of pride and has always made me feel unique and beautiful. I was really taken aback the other day when I caught an episode of The Tyra Banks Show, which featured a panel of several dark-skinned women who admitted to hating their skin color and bleaching it to achieve a fairer complexion. Discrimination, negative remarks from family and friends, teasing, and even being ostracized by other Blacks have led these woman to feel ashamed about their complexions. It didn't matter that the featured medical physician on the show warned of the dangers of bleaching (some formulas contain toxic ingredients such as mercury and arsenic). The woman were still determined and willing to go through hell and high water just to achieve what they prize as lighter, whiter skin.

One woman described how she even used the same bleaching products on her 3 young sons. This troubled me most. In order to have a fighting chance in this world, it's imperative that we instill within our children a strong sense of self-love and self-worth from jump street. Being force fed this ignorance, those babies don't have a fighting chance. This woman is doing her children a great disservice and I am saddened by this. The audience was very angry at the panel. Instead of judgement, I honestly felt sorry for them. While it's hard to understand what could bring a human being to a place of such self-loathing, we can't pretend like our community doesn't have some deeply rooted issues that would facilitate this type of thinking. Anyway, in case you missed the show, you can check the video above. Big up to Tyra for bringing light to important issues like this on her show!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Skin bleaching has been an issue of controversy for the past couple of years. Skin bleaching can be harmful since most of the creams contain chemicals such as Hydroquinone. The issue of beauty has always been the lighter you are, the more 'acceptable' you are. It appears to some that people who lighten their skin support this belief. Well, people of color, generally experience uneven skin tone due to the overproduction of melanin. Dark skinned individuals that use skin bleaching creams are not necessarily interested in lightening their skin; they simply have an interest in having even skin tone and to fade dark spots and blemishes. In fact a great deal of white individuals use skin bleaching cream to get rid of dark spots such as freckles, blemishes, age spots or other forms of discolorations.
Since there was this issue of people bleaching their skin with products that contain chemicals, MAKARI de Suisse has manufactured an amazing array of 100% natural and Hydroquinone Free skin care products that do not fall within the FDA’s recent proposed ban on skin bleaching creams containing Hydroquinone. The FDA’s proposed ban requires skin-bleaching formulas that contain a drug called Hydroquinone, a possible carcinogen also linked to a skin-disfiguring condition, to be purchased with a prescription due to the potential of disfiguration.
There needs to be some awareness to people of color about the issue of skin bleaching. Statistics extrapolate that around 87% of all dark skinned individuals experience uneven skin tone and dark spots due to hyperpigmentation. It is not only necessary, but a must to use skin bleaching creams to eliminate imperfections and show the world how beautiful black can be.

http://www.makari.com/Default.aspx

Ella said...

wow. The woman who bleaches her children got me... those poor boys are going to grow up insecure and with a complex and-God forbid-an illness. I know that when I have kids I'd be wary of putting standard skin moisturiser on them yet we have a woman putting a dangerous chemical on her children.

I really feel sorry for them. I'm pretty much dark-skinned myself, and when I was in my early to mid teens I did notice that my lighter skinned friends recieved all the attention which I wont lie made me feel insecure.

It also didn't help when that singer craig david released a song where he was basically naming woman after Ice-cream flavours (vanilla, chocolate and some other ones... I think he went for toffee or vanilla or something like that). At school the boys made their preference clear and it certainly wasn't dark chocolate. But I never for a minute wanted to bleach my skin.