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To not get the problem with skin whitening?

(260 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Mar-14 10:59:31

Just seen a video with a singer Dencia 'defending' her decision to lighten her skin and the interviewer suggesting that it means she's uncomfortable being a black woman. Provided the product is safe to use, I don't see why someone lightening dark skin is any different ethically to a pale person using fake tan, or someone putting a dye on grey hair.

OpalQuartz Sat 22-Mar-14 11:01:00

Is there a safe way of lightening skin?

specialsubject Sat 22-Mar-14 11:04:52

no, there is no safe way. Most of the lightening creams don't work (like anti-wrinkle creams) but there are some that do and they are dangerous.

fake tan and hair dye are not dangerous.

so this woman is very, very dumb.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Mar-14 11:05:38

I've no idea about safety, but let's assume the product is the some kind of all-over 'concealer'.... It didn't appear to be the safety of the product that the singer was being harangued about. It was the idea that she was encouraging others to be ashamed of being black. Heavy users of tanning product might get a few sideways looks but I've never heard them accused of being ashamed of being white. hmm

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Mar-14 11:09:02

link to video No mention at all of product safety.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 22-Mar-14 11:11:10

I have no problem with anybody, of their own volition, doing anything at all to their own body.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 22-Mar-14 11:13:14

Because historically people with dark skins have been persecuted / enslaved / banned from using public facilities / banned from holding certain jobs or entering professions / banned from marrying people with lighter skins than them.... I could go on.

So by a dark skinned person choosing to make herself appear lighter, she is supporting the narrative that light skin is better / more attractive / morally or intellectually superior...

Does that help?

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 22-Mar-14 11:14:44

This article about India might help explain it better as well

Thetallesttower Sat 22-Mar-14 11:15:28

The phrase 'skin bleach' should tell you all you need to know about product safety.

Hair dye, used constantly, has been associated with health issues, but it's difficult to know what these are long-term or what the risks are- but for sure it's more risky than letting your hair go grey.

tethersend Sat 22-Mar-14 11:16:41

It's the idea that dark skin is less desirable than light skin.

SauceForTheGander Sat 22-Mar-14 11:19:29

It's damaging because of the pernicious message telling women of colour they are unattractive, lesser, inferior. It's racist.

Changing hair colour and skin colour are not the same.

FreudiansSlipper Sat 22-Mar-14 11:20:47

because white people for generations have not been told they are inferior because of their skin colour

in many countries being fair is a sign of good genes, wealth and the ideal beauty will often be of fairer skin

I have family who are very dark but insist their grandparents are European (have European names) because they were and for some still considered to be more intelligent and of better class

it is sad that anyone wants to lighten their skin it is not the same as wanting a tan which for many gives them a healthy glow

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 22-Mar-14 11:22:10

I agree with FamiliesShareGerms. The irony is that a lot of pale skin women will sit in the sun and burn their skin to make it brown when ladies with darker skin will use products to make their skin pale. confused I think we have a fucked up idea of what beauty is.

NewtRipley Sat 22-Mar-14 11:25:07

I think you are being disingenuous

There is and has been, a massive store set on lighter skins within African-Caribean and African-American people, based on the relative privilege of not having dark skin.

diddl Sat 22-Mar-14 11:25:47

"The irony is that a lot of pale skin women will sit in the sun"

But that also shows that you have got the money/time to do it.

Years ago pale was valued as it showed that you didn't do manual work outside.

NewtRipley Sat 22-Mar-14 11:26:48

That's true diddl

And now, being able to afford costly beauty treatments is a sign of greater wealth and free time.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 22-Mar-14 11:26:59

True, diddl. I'm not sure that applies today though.

EmpressOfJurisfiction Sat 22-Mar-14 11:27:28

I agree too. DW gets stopped and searched and DD gets followed in shops because they're black. It doesn't happen to me because I'm white. They're already getting a negative response to their colour and crap like skin whitening just makes it worse.

NewtRipley Sat 22-Mar-14 11:30:39

Link to documentary about this issue

MrsDeVere Sat 22-Mar-14 11:33:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDeVere Sat 22-Mar-14 11:33:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grennie Sat 22-Mar-14 11:33:55

Skin lighteners are used because we live in a racist society. People are treated differently if their skin is darker. That is what is wrong with it.

thornrose Sat 22-Mar-14 11:35:50

I think it's very naïve to compare skin bleaching with tanning. The reasons behind skin bleaching are way more complex.

Birdsgottafly Sat 22-Mar-14 11:36:20

I sencond what has been said about Paler skin being more valued.

People's features were listed with White/Blond/blue eyes being the highest and descending to people who came from regions in Africa, suggesting that they were not Human but part of the animal kingdom and therefor it was ok to use them and have little regard for them. This justified slavery, breeding and Eugenics.

More modern day examples are, when deciding to award a higher status in SA, to Mixed Race people, their colour tone was used as a deciding factor.

When Nazi Germany was running out of workers, those allowed to survive and work outside of the camps, were chosen depending on their appearance.

It is a big criticism in Asia/India that the Media seems to want those in it, to follow beauty/attractiveness by Western standards.

It has taken a long time for all types of looks to be portrayed as valid, by our Media.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 22-Mar-14 11:37:03

Of course they are, I was just highlighting the fact that people's ideas of what beauty is is wrong. I do know there's a lot more behind it.

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