A lot of water has passed under the bridge as debates abound over the recent crackdown on shops selling bleaching or lightening creams. The issue is not changing one’s complexion, but the dangerous chemicals that are a high health risk factor.
“Mukorogo”, as the creams are locally known, inundated the market at an alarming rate that a few years ago the government banned over a 1000 brands, but with little success.
It would not be stretching it to suggest that since the advent of the smart phone with equally smart cameras, the selfie has become a powerful tool of vanity.
Instagram and other social media platforms have become competition grounds and people are obsessed with how many “likes” they get and the kinds of comments they get.
True, there are some metrosexual (obsessed with looks and dress) young men but young women take the honours.
A few years ago, rich western women were the only ones who could afford plastic surgery to alter their looks. Today, those in quest of “beauty” have some shortcuts. Some women have undergone unsavoury methods of injections to enhance their backsides, those who can’t opt for padded undergarments that are sold everywhere.
Beauty is relative depending on seasons, era or different parts of the world. In West Africa for example, a plump woman is a sign of affluence, her husband takes good care of her. In the West, thin, skinny or even some would call scrawny, are the ones who feature on magazine covers and fashion runways.
This part of the continent it could be said it’s a mixture of both; slim waist and wide hips. So, trying to alter natural endowments with abandon, without taking into consideration the dangers involved is being irresponsible
They say that; “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, so trying to influence perceptions is not only a sign of self-hate, it is also the highest level of insecurity.