“Black is beauty” is a term that is slowly but surely going extinct. In this era, many people, especially young girls, struggle with living up to society’s expectations. Bleaching has now become a habit that some young people have taken up to look a certain way, or feel a certain way.
There are various reasons why people desire a lighter skin tone. Some have low self-esteem and are not content with the shade of their own skin. They feed their minds with the belief that the only way to be beautiful is if they lighten their skin tone.
“Most of the time, lighter toned girls are more noticeable, their complexion pulls attention,” says Nisha Keza, a high school graduate.
Since they are seeking for societal acceptance, they will stop at nothing to make sure that they ‘look good’. They make an effort to fit into the image of what they think is preferred out there.
“I personally use a cream that lightens my skin not because I am seeking for attention, but because I like how it makes me look. Plus, it doesn’t cause any side effects so I don’t see why not,” says Annet Mwiza, a college student in Canada.
Another reason behind the bleaching of some young ladies today is men. There is the view that ‘lighter’ girls attract men more.
The hypothesis that most men would rather go for lighter toned women is just that, a hypothesis.
“I personally don’t mind the skin colour of a lady, whether it is light or dark. As long as they are beautiful,” Shema, a university student says.
That statement proves that young ladies don’t have to worry about impressing men with their skin colour.
What people don’t realise is that there are side effects to skin bleaching. When one’s skin is bleached, it loses its natural protective barrier, making it vulnerable to damage by sun rays.
Additionally, one may develop a rash due to unfamiliar products being applied to the face.
“Once one decides to bleach their skin with chemicals, they are tampering with the melanocyte cells in their bodies. This disorganises the cell layers. This is dangerous because cancer can be easily generated,” Dr Rudacyemwa, a dermatologist says.
If we can accept ourselves for who we truly are, and what we look like, we wouldn’t have to change the colour of our skin to feel good about themselves.