Melissa Barnet is daughter of a Nigerian nurse.
Melisa, who is now in late 20s reminisces how she felt being black. We quote her verbatim:
“Throughout my childhood it just wasn’t cool to be African or dark skinned, and every day at my all-girls secondary school I was reminded of this cruel racial hierarchy.”
She recalls, “Being a lighter-skinned Jamaican made you superior to anyone darker or African.” Melissa would hate herself for being black.
She would write notes like: “Why are you so ugly?” Statements such as “he’s monkey”, “far too black” and “ugly” were commonplace while speaking about the dark boys or girls.
WHAT DID MELISSA DO?
Melissa began using bleaching creams for she felt miserable with her black complexion.
The penchant for looking fair in ingrained amongst us. How fair is the girl?
How fair is the boy? These must be answered before horoscopes are matched for marriage alliance.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU USE FAIRNESS CREAMS?
Ms. Anderson (name changed) has this story to tell.
“It worked quite well to start with, but as I carried on using it, my skin became thin and dehydrated. If I moved my mouth, my whole skin moved, too. My forehead looked like crinkled up piece of paper it was so cracked.” Ms. Anderson then started having ugly blotches that developed into boils and ulcers on her face. “I was a complete mess.”
Ms. Anderson had been using ‘Maxi White’, which guaranteed results almost overnight. Stand at the chemist shop and you are sure to find various FAIRNESS CREAMS.
The advertisements and the brand name are targeted at black and Asian women and men.
Vicco Turmeric Vanishing Cream is unlike these creams.
It contains amongst other ingredients ‘turmeric’ and looks yellow not white as against all other fairness creams. The advertisement recommends using it as a face cream the way traditionally Indian Asians have been using but also as an antiseptic cream or after shave cream.
DANGERS OF FAIRNESS CREAMS like Maxi White.
Look at the list of ingredients written in fine print which is difficult to read for a person of normal eyesight unless he takes a magnifying glass.
HYDROQUINONE is the substance, which we buy to damage our skin in the hope of getting brighter. Some powerful steroids are also harmful when used in FAIRNESS CREAM.
The peer and cultural pressure undoubtedly has a powerful influence in instilling an inferiority feeling for those with dark skin
and impel them to buy something that could be damaging. Not all FAIRNESS CREAMS are harmful.
WHAT DOES HYDROQUINONE DO?
HYDROQUINONE strips off the darker outer layer of skin, which chemically causes the skin to look ‘brighter’.
But brighter (skin) is not necessarily better.
HYDROQUINONE by chaffing off the outer protective layer of skin makes you vulnerable to infection and the harmful Sun rays.
Skin is one of the biggest organs of the human body that protects you by careful packing.
When this natural defence is lowered you are at a risk of developing skin cancer.
HYDORQUINONE, the chemical used in certain industrial processes, can cause fatal liver and kidney damage if they enter the blood stream.
Other side effects are:
• Permanent scarring
IT IS ILLEGAL TO USE HYDROQUINONE and HARMFUL STEROIDS IN COSMETICS. ‘MAXI WHITE’ is banned. But you will find names like “Sure White”, “Fair and White” and other such suggestive names at your local chemist shop.
THE PURCHASER AND OFTEN THE SELLER IS IGNORANT ABOUT THE HARM FAIRNESS CREAMS CAUSE. FAIRNESS CREAM is a multi million dollar industry.
Sherry Dixon is flooded by letters from female readers whenever
a typical Black African is shown on the cover of the magazine ‘PRIDE’. “It’s cultural racism or shade-ism as I call it,” says Sherry Dixon,
editor-in-charge of ‘PRIDE’, the life style magazine for British Black Community.
The adored and most photographed black women are
• HALLE BERRY
• NAOMI CAMPBELL
They have Westernised or European features and hardly provide am inspirational role model.