Skin bleaching or skin toning as some people prefer to call it has been around in Nigeria for a long time. In the ’70s Satina Skin Tone Cream was quite popular among the youths as the “thing” to do for a lovely skin complexion. I have known for a long time now that one main reason we have people peeling off their skins to be lighter than their original skin tone is lack of self-love. Most of what we were made to belief about what skin bleaching or toning would do to self-confidence only exists in the head.
Black women bleaching their skin to oblivion always makes headlines on newspapers not because it’s any positive news but because it shows how insecure the person under the skin was. Oftentimes, this is triggered by the fact that the society tend to equate light-skinned shades to being more attractive – this is not true and we all know it. Societal pressures and media skewed reports are all to blame for this.
At a recent US African Leaders Summit, Cameroon First Lady – Chantal Biya made the headline not because she is an African and a First Lady but because her look and hair bear no resemblance to an African she claims to be. Washington Post had a few words for Cameroon First Lady and her ship-load of hair. Also, the skin tone? No wonder lots of younger girls who looked up to women in her position for guidance were going nuts with skin damaging.
My question is as a First Lady you are already in a position whereby many people both women and men alike looked up to you as a wise one whose character is worth emulating, do you really need to go through several pots of bleaching cream to be noticed?
Nineteen years old of me did exact same thing. Working and earning my money for the first time in a big city Lagos. My sister was kind so didn’t ask for me to contribute to the housekeep and me having no responsibility spent my hard-earned naira on clothes and Tura+. This cream – I can’t even believe how it managed to get Health Minister’s approval to be allowed on the market. It was hot to touch like hell, within one week my skin tone was noticeably different – lighter. And yes, I was more noticeable mostly to the most unwanted crowd you can imagine. Their perception of me was based on what they see outwards whereas my reason for bleaching my skin was of low self esteem – a village girl in a wild city. And of course I did not find solace in the cream it was such a waste of time and money and needless risk on my skin.
I don’t particularly liked it when Nigeria religious leaders tie everything to God and heaven, it doesn’t work when you want people to see the truth about the damage they are doing to themselves. Cheesy reasons like the one Pastor Mrs Adeboye of Redeemed Church gave works for people who are under the spell of religion, hope they wake up soon enough.