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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bleaching for Dummies

I would say something about this, but it would evoke words like stupid, idiots, fools and an assortment of &@^#$*#^&! So watch the video and draw your own conclusions.

22 commented:

Bwoy, you always stun mi...are these people insane? It is strictly a vanity issue now but I ask you, what part of the mother looked good? I don't get it. They walk around in their socks and long sleeves inna di boiling sun, don't they realise that this couldn't possibly be what God intended. We need to love ourselves more.

Just sickening! I posted about this too. Its so surreal, still can't fit it into my head.

So, many comments, so little time. From he small sample, I want to know how the reporter arrived at 'global trend' in the sample. Show me the figures.

That being said, I found it hilarious that he 'daughta' never taper her 'h'accent' at all for TV, sah. No way. Talk about keeping it real. Thank the lord for the captions, oddawise, mi wud nevah have understood her!!

wow, i didn't even know it was illegal. When i go down town they keep calling to me,telling me that i have their desired colour. It sad to see what we have come to. But as they said in the that it started rampantly in the 90's i'd differ as old people used to use Ambi skin lotion to get a little bit browner.

Sad,very sad. That young girl don't even realise how pretty she is.As for the older woman.she don't realise how she harming herself?

That is some kinda addiction right there!

Tragic, insecurity issues, no love of self, mannn, I can go on. As a Haitian man, I'd heard of this practice, but never actually saw live stuff. Unreal!

@Mighty Afroditee
I don't know--I'm thinking the reporter meant that it is practiced all around the world
I've heard of bleaching being done in parts of Asia
It's not necessarily globally popular, but as a trend, it certainly is global

Whitening creams and soaps are also a multi-million business in the Philippines... strange... white people want a nice brown color and will risk skin cancer for it... brown people want to be white....

I alluded to this when I posted this T-shirt slogan:


Someone said it is practised among some West African women as well.
The wholesalers and manufacturers(read the Chinese) are licking their fingers from this. Not playing a blaming game, just answering the question, who benefits most? The bulk of the people who do this do they actually get what they want - acceptance, self-respect, beauty? I don't think so.

Stunner, I have two awards for you to pick up over at my place.

Thanks a lot for posting this film, Stunner!

The film itself as well as responses here are interesting, for different reasons.

We think we are all participating in the same conversation, but we are not. The doctor is talking science and health and what not. As if most of the decisions we make about beauty rituals are based on such extensive clinical information - he calls them facts - or such a rational, calculated process.

We are here evaluating the individual psychologies of those who bleach, and are seriously asking whether they really know what they are doing. Taking that patronizing attitude sure feels like a moral entitlement doesn't it?

Meanwhile, the people in the film about talking about creating culture, how they demonstrate autonomy over their bodies and selves, and are offering a serious critique that shows all the criticisms and uproar about bleaching in Jamaica to be really empty and self-indulgent.

But there are some basic things that are being ignored here. Thanks Jacqueline for making the comment about the role of those making the products. If there was such sincere concern for poor people's wellbeing, the products would not be able to come into the country in the first place. We would organize ourselves accordingly and see to that. Whose job is it to make sure that products imported into this country are not going to damage the health of our citizens? Don't know? Neither do I. Maybe Danville will help to deal with that issue in his crackdown, but don't bet on it.

The people featured in the film are also using the same logic to disregard the effects of the creams that are regularly used by our political leaders etc. to dismiss the need for action on important policies. Its all about WHO says something is important. Those in the film don't trust doctors, they trust each other. Politicians don't bother to listen to research and experts; they trust their bible-toting pastor and gun-toting rum-drinking friends. Either way, neither group is interested in dealing with the evidence that does not confirm their perception of reality.

I seriously doubt that any of us are willing to stand up and challenge the profound racism and anti-blackness in the culture that has helped to produce this problem. Its just easier to beat up on the people who can't seem to defend themselves against our righteous indignance.

To this day we [collectively] are still fawning over brown people like they are the second coming.
Were we to think about this issue more deeply, we could recognize that it is no more sick to be bleaching than it is to constantly forced to ingest newscoverage devoted to the princely lives of brown people strutting around flipping dem straight hair, showing off dem money, pretty clothes and brown babies, as if the rest of us should wish to be like them. "Brown" is still a potent disclaimer in this country; it offers value, privilege and whatever else is necessary to put someone above ordinary black people.

[No, I don't have too much regard for people who gladly, naively identify themselves as "Brown" as if they want a trophy or a red carpet.]

If there is one thing that I can generalize about working class and poor black jamaicans - sufferahs - (who are the ones who are really under the microscope on this bleaching issue as we know) it is this: they have infinite ways of dealing and working with what has dealt to them. Mainstream society don't have to like or appreciate it; and the more mainstream ignores/villifies the persons connected to the issue, the more it is going to be practiced and embraced. Bleached skin *has become* a badge of honor for poor black women and for young gay men. These individuals in the film made that quite clear.

If that means to flaunt a big striated belly in the face of those who have become obsessed with the "gym" and "working out" in the name of health and what a " beautiful woman" looks like, then, that's what's going to happen.

We big up dancehall and patwa now, but that wasn't the case 10 years ago; and when dancehall is no longer useful to us "mainstream ones", we will discard it, along with the people who created it. Funny how the bleachers (just like the big-belly women) help us feel so "normal" and self-assured, isn't it?

My point? The instinct for sufferahs to create value for oneself by working within the system to get what they want/need is not going to go away anytime soon. Maybe the rest of us might want to work a little harder to create a different kind of system where people are valued for more than how they look and for their social lineage. Then, it will not become so urgent and necessary to create this particular kind of alternative culture in the first place. If we want this kind of bleaching to stop, then we need to creating opportunities for people to invest meaning in something else besides how they appear to others. That's not going to happen if we don't also change how invested WE are in how we/they appear.

Until then, all this moralizing talk is really for nought. Sorry for the long post; it wasn't intentional.

skin bleaching is practiced whereever european colonialism/white supremacy spent a night.

Nigerian women seem to do it a lot; but I know it happens all over Africa, some places in Latin America and throughout Asia incl. India and Pakistan. Modernization often came in the name of whitening toothpastes and "beauty" soaps.

Thanks for dropping by my place...I have a party started com'on over ...put your irresistible smile on and the dancing shoes everything ells is on me... :)

but wha de backside ah just see doh. de lady obviously doan see sheself in de mirror, cause dah bleeching ein doing she nuh good atall... I din realize it was such a fashion statement in Jamaica. But this is a sad reality of the notion dat anything black isn't beautiful and only white/light bright is beauty. blame the North American/European media for this. How sad. We must teach our chocolate brothers and sisters, that Black,brown or any shade darker than white is just as beautiful.
Sometimes I see Jamacian women with the blotchy skin, but I didn't realize that it came from bleaching. Wow.. but they are not the only ones doing it, other Caribbean island are engaging in this dangerous practice.

@Emanicipated?: Insane is hardly the word.

@Gussie: It is sickening. I got the link in my email and just had to post it too.

@Mighty Afroditee: Well, I think bleaching is practiced in a lot of countries, so I guess she is partially right.

@Tami: It is illegal, but as with most of our laws, it's not enforced.

@Abeni: It is indeed very sad.

@Luke Cage: A byproduct of the lack of self esteem these people have and lack of pride in their skin colour.

@justacoolcat: I know, speechless right?

@GC (God's Child): True, quite a lot of societies are involved in this practice.

@Sidney: there is a saying in Jamaica " wnti wanti cyaan get it and getti getti nuh want it" which encompasses your statement of people not liking their skin colour and go to lengths to get the desired skin colour.

@Jacqueline Smith: If only they could feel that confidence to express themselves like that.
Thank you for the awards, going to check them out.

@Fancy: thanks for the invite.

@Long Bench: You indeed said quite a mouthful, but you had some valid points. Our collective society does share part of the blame by being prejudiced towards the lighter skin and this is something which has been engraved is our culture from colonial days. Until we get to the point of viewing all persons as equal regardless of skin colour and successfully educating our people so they have the mental capability to think logically, bleaching will continue. Stopping the import of bleaching creams is not an answer as people who need it for blemishes will be deprived and these bleachers will only find alternatives.

@Campfyah: It seems the eyes see what the mind want them to see. And for these people, being brown is beautiful, even if their skin is falling apart.

I was gonna post this video yesterday but decided not to. It is just plain disgusting. The sad part is they actually think they look better after doing it. Dem sick. Head gone.

Stunner - The practice of bleaching or lightening one's skin is not illegal, nor can it be made so. It is the particular products in question that [many claim] have been banned.

The products that are used for these radical cosmetic interventions is not the same - in quality, type or content - as those used by most people for "blemishes." These products in question are not formulated according to any established health and safety guidelines, hence the argument for their supposed illegality. And that they are made in China and distributed as contraband says a whole lot right there. I have to check into this, because I don't know how or when they were banned, if indeed that is so. Like everything else, we love to make laws, but not a soul want to enforce them.

bwoy Jamaica really going to the dogs

EWWW this is disgusting. So she doesn't notice that her face is falling off?

Those people that always bleach always look 10 years older than they are...

Oh wells, When they're skin peels off they don't have to worry bout anything
light skin

is this for real??? O M G!!!