Bleaching in Paradise

My final project for my Masters course required me to make a 15-minute radio documentary on any subject of interest. I chose the subject of skin-whitening. 

 

The Ivory Coast has just become the third African country to ban skin-whitening creams, following in the footsteps of Senegal and South Africa.

But despite the ban, some dangerous, and even deadly, skin lightening agents are still openly sold into the UK. In Nigeria, up to 77% of women have admitted to using skin bleach.

This year according to ONS predictions, the island of Mauritius is expected to match Nigeria as one of the biggest exporters and importers of these creams.

Ashna Hurynag, has been to find out more.

For more on the topic of Shadeism, visit:

The Shady Minority‘ & ‘Shadeism. An Update

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“Fairer is better?”

Mr. Abdul Alim, owner of UK Skin Lightening brand Nur76 appeared on BBC 1Xtra back in 2012 for an interview with host Mike Anthony.

The interview set out to discuss and debate the concept of skin-bleaching – and answer questions about why people (particularly women) feel the need to do it, and why it’s a growing ideal in Black and Asian communities to be whiter and lighter.

 

Here are my thoughts:

One comment from Mr Alim stuck in my mind after listening to the discussion:

Most men, prefer fairer skinned Black and Asian women

What’s a listener meant to do with this information? Surely it’s damaging enough for an adult to hear it on the radio, but what about a young person hearing such a self-assured sentence?

It’s frustrating to hear such a ‘fact’ uttered in 21st Century Britain, the mentality behind these words is disturbing and distorted.

Backed up by what Mr. Alim deems as “his own research”. Interviewer, Mike Anthony admits he finds Mr. Alim’s words, “insulting‘.

Mr. Alim admits he is perhaps creating “more hatred”  by making these skin-lightening products, because it’s encouraging “more segregation”.

So if people are so worried and aware about the damages –  even if there’s a “market for it” – why do people feel the need to pump money into harmful practice?

Dangerous side effects from using the creams include: swelling or thinning of the skin, cataracts, osteoporosis, birth defects and neurological and kidney damage due to high level of mercury used in the creams – but it doesn’t stop there.

Mr Alim’s lightening creams and serums work by reducing the level of melanin* in the body.

But with melanin known as the biggest preventer of skin-cancer, why would they want to stop your body producing the polymer that could stop you developing skin cancer? His answer –

But obviously, you don’t need that much melanin to prevent skin cancer

This naive and astonishing utterance proves to me that as long as these mind-boggling ‘fairer is better’ ideals are in existance, we’re still no closer to solving the Shadeism enigma.

Do you agree with Mr. Alim?

Vote anonymously here:

 

*Melanin is the pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their color. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people have.

Mindy Does Make-up.

Despite my adoration for serums, toners, primers and more – I would never normally publish a make-up related post on this site. Mindy Kaling however posted this glorious shot on her social media and it made me want to jump for joy.

For all my Shadeism talk and issue with skin-shade discrimination, the word’s ‘girls with dark skin’ and ‘make-up’ is so rare that I felt the need to embed it into my blog.

Thanks Kaling, you’ve restored my faith in celebrity.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMindyKaling

Snip20141114_1See more on Mindy:

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Fair Skin Obsession

‘Be brown and be proud’

BBC Asian Network’s Nihal has dedicated 6 minutes of his show to a public phone-in regarding the matter of the fair skinned obsession of the Asian community.

I makes for a interesting listen, these ideologies are hundreds and thousands of years old, yet affluence, beauty and education is still associated with the skin tone of one’s skin.

Click here for the ‘Fair skin obsession’ radio package.

For more on the topic of Shadeism, visit:

The Shady Minority‘ & ‘Shadeism. An Update

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