‘Well, I don’t think being dark skinned is attractive, so I’d rather bleach…’ ‘All my friends are light-skinned and strikingly beautiful, no wonder they’re all dating so I gotta do it too!’ ‘I’m way past the ideal dating phase so I’d rather yellow my way into marriage’ can just be excuses for a girl to abuse skin lightening creams. But, is it really necessary to change your outlook in order to seek male attention or be noticed? The recent upsurge in the yellowbonism fiasco is worrying. Yes, being naturally light is beautiful but…when one’s not gratified by her darker complexion and decides to bleach, it becomes a not-so-attractive sight. So before permanently damaging your skin, ask yourself the following questions:
Is beauty defined by complexion?
‘If beauty is measured by one’s colour, then why are some successful women dark?’…should be the first question you ask yourself. Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama are amongst the dark-skinned women who embraced their looks and flaunt their beauty unapologetically, so why shouldn’t you? Always remember that being darker doesn’t entail that you’re unattractive so instead of talking yourself down, remember that whoever told you that being artificially light skinned is classy, lied! Beauty is never defined by complexion so the sooner you embrace your shade, the better.
Is my skin a hindrance?
Sometimes our imaginations can play the devil’s advocate on the overall decisions we make. If for instance you feel like your complexion is blocking your passages, it sure will make you feel uncomfortable. Not only will you under-perform be it at work/school/society in general, but you’ll also have very low self-esteem. But before you rubbish your melanin, first determine if it’s hindering your overall performance. Here, you’d soon realise that your hue is just part of your identity as an individual because it sets you apart from your peers. So instead of looking down on yourself, berra use it to your own advantage girl!
Is it really worth it?
Imagine the after effects of ‘when bleaching goes wrong.’ Remember: not only is facial skin tender, but it’s also very sensitive. If a basic soap bar can change its pH balance and regimen, what about some heavy; unauthorized creams/pills/injections? Well, you can insist its worth trying but hey girl, is it of any value? If the risk is higher than the outcome, then it’s not necessary to take it. Always remember that changing one’s complexion hinges on something deeper than the new colour. It’s that colonial mentality of thinking that white is always right, a serious identity crises that one needs to work on because at the end of the day, embracing your natural beauty does more good than harm.
…before you assume a new skin tone, ask yourself: is being artificially light-skinned attractive? If your guess is good as mine, you’re probably agreeing with me that it’s just a mindset but in actual fact, it’s NOT a determinant! Beauty is based on inward, not outward appearance. If the whole world goes yellow, where would the melanin balance be found?
By Miriam C.R Mushaikwa