MODEL KHOUDIA DIOP FACED RASCIST BULLIES WHO CALLED HER ‘DARKY’ AND ‘DAUGHTER OF THE NIGHT’
Yesterday I received a very disturbing email from a brand asking me to review a skin lightening and brightening product. Let me make it clear. I’m all for skin Brightening, which is when you use products with ingredients like vitamin C, mulberry and liquorice to help get your skin to glow, help even out hyper pigmentation and add radiance. I am 100% against skin lightening or doing a Micheal Jackson (allegedly), where you bleach your skin to change your skin colour. This is still a huge trend in India, the Middle East and Africa, as it’s still perceived that the lighter you are the more affluent and beautiful you are. It’s a nasty hangover from colonial times when people with lighter skin did have more privileges and power in society. To be dark was to be disempowered and with centuries of people and a political and economic system telling you that your skin tone is something to be ashamed of – it’s not a surprise people reach for the bleach to help what they think will elevate their status. It’s makes me so angry that in the 21 century, in 2017, this is still happens and I’m receiving the email like the one below.
“Given the negative press surrounding skin whitening and the dangerous chemicals that are rampant in some products, we are addressing the need for a safe whitening/detanning method. Our ethos is focussed on the welfare of women and we are committed to providing a caring solution for their skin whitening aspirations. We are looking to launch in Kenya as it has a market in which our products would bring multiple benefits”.
Email from Skin Lightening Cream PR
MODEL NYKHOR PAUL WROTE AN OPEN LETTER ABOUT THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL OD MAKE UP ARTISTS BACKSTAGE AT FASHION WEEK
“Skin whitening aspirations”, I almost spat my tea out when I read this. Was this PR really saying that It’s aspirational for me and other women with darker skin tones to want to be lighter? I’m so angry and offended. I actually have had someone in my Nigerian family die of kidney failure due to years of their skin bleaching using toxic skin bleaching creams. Having poor self esteem and identity can literally kill you in many different ways. Everyone should love the skin they’re in and own their pretty. My beautiful philosophy is all about elevating and expressing yourself through make up and beauty and celebrating what your mama gave you. The thought of this brand unleashing their products in Kenya makes me very angry. Women should be embrace their beauty and who they are. That’s why beauty is so interesting and important, it’s totally all about identity and how you view the world and how you view yourself- like anything in life this can be positive and negative. I’m fighting for positive, fun and loving representations of beauty and self expression. These are dark Trump, revisionist times and please let’s not fall backwards into old holding patterns of negativity and self loathing. Let’s fight. I’m up for it – are you?