The WHO (World Health Organization) released a report on skin bleaching that identified the percentage across the countries, and Nigeria’s results was shocking. Apparantly 77%, meaning that more than 3/4s of the women in Nigeria are skin bleaching, according to the WHO. Usually the preferred method is to use lightening lotions and soaps. Some may use stringent facial cleansers, body scrubs, and even anti-fungal creams.
The list identifies the percentage of women in various African nations that uses the skin lightening cream. See the order of the highest percentage below. (WHO Report Link)
South Africa 35%
How the WHO accumulated this result is not something we have researched into and we can not confirm it’s accuracy nor it’s truth nor which part of Nigeria their research take place in Lagos, or did they visit every corner of Nigeria.
Proudly acknowledging Ghana was nowhere in the report considering our neighboring country Togo sees 59% of it’s women applying this poison to their bodies. It is also fairly shocking to see Ivory Coast no where on the list as many are aware this epidemic is a major issue in the country, so much so that the government banned bleaching products earlier this year.
From my own experience growing up and living in Ghana and concerned about social issues such as these. I honestly find it hard to spot a bleacher amongst many. Most times if one does, they are either from abroad or living a lifestyle you won’t want to know about. I’ve only learnt that when it comes to natural hair and dark skin, women in Ghana never shy away from those and express pride in them. In fact there are a growing number of natural hair shops and events in the country. And not it’s very obvious that a large number of women in Ghana wear their hair natural. So what bares the difference that makes neighboring country Togo, and the closest english speaking country, Nigeria swing in the opposite direction.
In a general sense many point their fingers to the ‘media’, but then the next question follows. If it is or isn’t the media, who is really absorbed by the admiration of light skinned. Is it the Nigerian women who are totally in love with what they see in the ‘media’ and chose to mimick it. Or is it the Nigerian men who admire light skinned women of which their behavior is acknowledge by the women, causing women to follow in this direction.
I’ve always believed girls learn from a very young age what they need to do to appeal to a man. When growing up they analyse their moms, aunties and family friends, and which of the lot is more successful or in the best relationship. When a bit older, they look at the girls older than them and see who is admired the most by men or complimented more around them. And even when in school they see who the boys chase and the so called sugar daddies come looking for to spend money on, take this and then add the psychological media influence. By the time they hit early twenties, or late teens for some, they would have made up their minds what they need to do to get a man that can give them a better life.
Surely if they were growing up and saw light skinned girls had no extra appeal to Nigerian or Togolese men, by the time they reached their teens or twenties this would not even be an issue. So the question is, is it the men who are being sucked into the ‘Media’ and the ladies doing whatever it takes to get a decent life in male orientated nations, which is given birth to the bleaching and perming epidemic in the said countries.
Today, an idiot lady who I hate to mention her name (yes I said it) is currently a pop star in Nigeria because of skin bleaching and selling skin bleaching products. She failed at her music career with horrible singing and songs, she wears the worst outfits to the red carpet moments, she sounds silly and immature on tv, LITERALLY. But yet is a celebrity because of the controversy around her skin bleaching to the point western media featured her on various mainstream network channels. Also Nigerian bloggers continue to hail her for her stupidity, whilst true heros like Ama K Abebrese from Ghana who is actually a talented actress, and pushing an anti bleaching campaign goes ignored.
What most girls who bleach don’t understand is, They are easily identifiable by the uneven patches of darker skin fading away and the dark colour still retained by the joints, the elbows and knuckles. Those who who successfully bleach look almost ghostly, because even with the new skin tone on top, there is an underlying layer of dark skin that makes them look slightly off-colour. And to date, you will not find one before and after bleaching image on the net where the after is more beautiful than the before.
At times, one might come across racist or race centered by consistently re-iterating the words Black is Beautiful, or I love Black skin and so forth. But only when you can acknowledge the damage in the absence of promoting the beauty of black skin does, it make sense why we have the Ama K Abebrese’s of the world.
In closing, The society needs a complete attitude adjustment concerning the meaning of true beauty. The phrase “black is beautiful” needs to be revived both in speech and action. The entertainment industry has a responsibility to promote the image of dark skinned Africans as the essence of true natural beauty. The rest of us have to learn to take pride in how we are made. The truth is that no one else will do it for us. It must begin with us.
Hopefully Nigerian networks, musicians, stars, bloggers and all others with media influence, will start to acknowledge and promote the natural beauty of their nation in order to ensure the younger girls ‘AND GUYS’ in Nigeria can learn to admire women of such skin tones.
Source: WHO Report
Slanted Text by Reported By Jennifer, Mass Comm, OFFA POLY
Featured Image: Skin Bleaching Gone Wrong, google
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