Anti-bleaching advocates will tell you to shun the practice because of the potentially harmful side effects. They’ll tell you studies have shown that the mercury contained in most of these complexion-altering lotions can be carcinogenic. They’ll tell you to ’embrace your true natural self’ and stuff like that. A section of these advocates (some of whom assume the tag ‘activist’) are individuals who aren’t primarily concerned about cancer and propagating ‘blackness.’ These are the individuals that are insecure about their dark complexions and post stuff on social media about how they’ve come to love themselves for themselves. Deep down, a lot of them desire a shade like TBoss’ or Jordin Sparks’, but feel like admitting it would mean admitting to being inferior. They put up a facade of satisfaction in front an edifice of shame.
Empress Njamah posted a throwback photo of herself and fellow actress Rukky Sanda on Instagram last year. In the photo, Sanda, who is known for her glowing skin and her pretty smle, looked like someone entirely different. She looked thinner and her complexion was as dark as Njamah’s. Perhaps, Njamah was just trying to remind her of the good old days or maybe she posted the picture for the purpose of revealing to the world what a fake-ass slay queen her friend truly is. Who knows what Njamah’s intentions were, and – to be honest – who cares. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Rukky Sanda deserves some kind of credit for pulling off such an impeccable ‘transition’ considering her previous shade. I know a woman who has a light face, dark feet, light hands, dark knuckles, light upper arms, and monumentally black elbows. It’s not a pretty sight.
Personally, I have a theory (you are free to contend). When a darkskinned girl is pretty, there is a very good chance that she would also be pretty if she was lightskinned. When a lightskinned girl is pretty, she would be better off staying that way for the sake of her prettiness (that is, of course, if she’s interested in living up to popular culture’s standards of what being pretty is) . I know what some of you are probably thinking. ‘Did a twelve year-old write this?’ No, I’m not 12. Think about it. Imagine how the prettiest lightskinned girl you know would look like if she had the complexion of the prettiest darkskinned girl you know. The anti-bleaching advocates who secretly admire and covet Anna Banner’s skin will tell you also tell you they feel great in their own skin. A portion of them just happen to truly feel that the lighter their skin, the better they look. The other portion, who read and hear praises showered on the alluring glimmer of the lightskinned, want to be manifestations the standards previously mentioned and be objects of adulation just like the lightskinned people.
Self-image is very important. It can influence levels of confidence and mental health. There is nothing wrong with making alterations that can boost your comfort and confidence. It’s like wearing a yellow suit jacket and a pair of tight pink shorts. If you don’t like how you feel in it, then it’s OK to take it off if you want to. So, why does it have to be different when it comes to skin. I do acknowledge that bleaching isn’t just like changing clothes, but as adults, we should all try to know the pros and cons of our choices and accept the consequences of our decisions. I just find it funny that certain black people look at fellow blacks whose complexion lightened overtime as sellouts who let their race and continent down. When white people get tans, you don’t see their own kind crucifying them for ‘betraying’ their own race or some silly shit like that. This tells you a lot about black insecurity. A lot of darkskinned black people despise their own skin, but feel obliged to remain ‘original’ by retaining their complexion. Perhaps, they feel like giving in to the urge to alter their complexion will spell out ‘losing’ to white people again. What’s even more perplexing about this issue in Nigeria is that we don’t even have to deal with race, so what are we trying to prove? Dear pseudo-advocate, I think Mama Africa would appreciate it if you stopped being such a fucking hypocrite. Thanks.