The other day we spoke about the different standards of beauty between men and woman. This made me think about the about the standards between African Americans as well as Caribbean people and White people in American society.

        After discussing this I started thinking about the standards of beauty in the Caribbean culture and how warped it has become. In a country such as Jamaica the people there are predominately Black. Many would think that the racism in a place like this would be less apparent, but that is absolutely wrong. There is a huge gap between the lighter skin Jamaicans and the darker skinned Jamaicans.  This discrepancy has led to some extreme measures which include skin lighting. Jamaicans with darker skin use bleaching creams that can be harmful to one’s health. These skin bleaching creams can contain dangerous chemicals which include hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is an organic compound than can cause onchronosis which ironically is a skin condition where the skin becomes tough and darker. Skin bleaching has been around for a long time but more recently it has been on the rise due to a famous reggae singer, Vybz Kartel, which has proudly admitted to bleaching his skin. Below is a before and after picture of the reggae artist.

            Reading about skin bleaching in Jamaica brought me back to the skin issues that many face in the United States. Skin bleaching is not very common in American but the world of tanning surely is. I cannot personally relate to tanning but it has come to my attention this is the most desirable look for many Caucasian and people of European decent. Although tanning in the sun as well as in the tanning booths are extremely harmful to the skin, it seems that some are obsessed with making their skin darker. Contrary to the standard of beauty of the people in Jamaica, darker or more bronzed skin is the more desirable in the United States.

            So is just that we each have different standards of beauty or is it deeper?  Is this a form of self loathing that many aspire to change their naturally given skin color?


2 responses

  1. sistakenya says:

    hi you are wrong skin bleaching is a problem in America, in fact its a global problem, any where where Africans live its exists.Yes they are are banned products, but because the issue is regarded as a black problem, there is no concern.On examination of the drivers it obvious that someone is making a lot of money based on the hate Africans have of themselves.This is a lucrative trade for the C.P.S who are collecting revenue from the fines, yes you can be prosecuted 100 times you are not going to prison, you get a fine, that way you can go back to business selling your poison over and over again, you see the patter.
    If life was fair and equality existed there would not be this problem the root cause is the impacts of racism cause this, and the practise is a survival tactic.

  2. sistakenya says:

    just to say that the skin bleach effect is offensive, ugly and reverts the victim to looking like a zombie, the skin is the largest organ on the body, it keeps everything in it place, dont abuse yourself.