Skin Bleaching- The Unfair Fixation Of Lighter Skin
All over the world skin lightening has become more and more popular. Many people of color who obtain and use skin bleaching products now have skin discoloration, skin cancer and other health issues. This practice has been linked to self-hate and having low self-esteem for years. How you’re portrayed in society and how fair your skin is, is an issue that is deep-rooted to the colonial rule. During and after slavery and imperialism, having fair skin was always associated with having power. More power brings success and acceptance, and unfortunately to many feel racial obscurity can be the key to having crossover success.
However, there is a social campaign that is speaking up about this issue. Pax Jones, a young black student at the University of Texas in Austin launched a campaign with other students called ‘Unfair And Lovely’. Their campaign celebrates darker toned women all over the world. And according to Jones, they’ve decided to name the series ‘Unfair and Lovely’ because it addresses all the characteristics of people of color in the West and colorism in the African-American communities.
Their campaign is a backlash on companies like ‘Fair and Lovely’, a company that provides skin bleaching products that claims to provide “hope to millions of women around the world especially in Asia. These women desire fairer and even-toned skin because of how it made them feel about themselves and for how it made the world see them.” (www.fairandlovely.in)
As disturbing as that may have sounded, this is the reality for many dark-toned women. Some believe they are being seen as weak or inferior because of their complexion . As a result, they choose to bleach their skin for acceptance. With today’s beauty standards women are already under so much pressure physically and emotionally to meet society’s beauty ideals, but as a women of color, beauty is often linked to having a fair complexion. With their campaign there is hope for women of color to embrace their skin tone and to feel comfortable in their skin.