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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Black Is Beautiful

A model from one of my recent shoots
Ever since I was small I have always heard that phrase, "Black is beautiful". Yet it seems for a large number of people with darker skin, especially here in Jamaica frown upon such a thought. Many, especially those in the lower socio-economic group admire the fairer skin and seem to me mesmerized by what seems to be the illusive power of the fairer skin. Yes, the relish the thoughts that by getting a lighter skin they will achieve more in life, wealth, prestige, acceptance and yes, most of all Beauty.

Photo of local Dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel before and after bleaching (
This infatuation with being fairer, or for a local term, being brown, has permeated our society in so many ways that it seems the lightning of ones skin has gained even more acceptance. Bleaching of the skin has become common place in my sections of our society and is now embraced with open arms. This is quite evident in the many songs that are promoting bleaching and especially a famous Dancehall artiste, Vybz Kartel, being the poster child for this bleaching culture! Despite his many public denials about his bleaching and his flimsy excuse of being lightened by the his use of cake soap, it is quite evident that he is bleaching... no, not just bleaching, he has now invented the category of extreme bleaching! Bleaching and the dangerous and ridiculous attempt to become "brown" has crossed gender and even age.

Another model from one of my previous shoots.
It is time that these people wake up and stop burying their faces in "cake soap" and realize that true beauty is not in the pale, zombie like appearance that bleaching gives! They need to realize that a clean, dark skin is a thing of beauty and nothing to be ashamed of. Beauty is not defined only by the lightness of ones skin, but by other factors both physical and within. Living in a country like Jamaica and being a photographer, I have come across many beautiful women who have lovely, rich, dark, clean, beautiful skin. And that is something I definitely admire. Beauty is not just skin deep for me, pun intended, it transcends colour to multiple factors including figure, facial features, how well a woman puts herself together and of course her personality. To me the colour of ones skin is not the definition of beauty, it's merely a variation of beauty, given by the Creator to be admired by all! White is beautiful, brown is beautiful, tan is beautiful and of course BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!

9 commented:

Preach it.I think though society makes it plain howstatus is seen in relation to color. That's probably why we have kartel and others like him bent on self mutilation. I started a post on this but got side tracked

This coming from a very brown person means a lot, good one Stu.

You and I share the same love Stunner! BTW, just remember that it was MJ that started it (even if it was to compensate for a medical condition).

excellent post master Stunner!

Very well written. I feel very proud when a man appreciates my color. I think I speak on behalf of all Black women.

Great post! Our society has become too colour conscious, it's sad really.

Well said Stunner, why someone would want to change their skin tone is beyond me.

I share the same thoughts Stunner. I feel so sorry for the children in school who wants to find an identity or to belong to a group so they bleach in order to fit in. I guess ignorance will have a lasting effect.

It's a shame. A real shame. I was in a braid shop over the weekend and it was sad to see all the wounds on the women's faces from bleaching. Big red bruise-y looking things. The skin God gave them was not good enough.