WOMEN AND THE OBSESSION OF SKIN WHITENING

Hey Waarnasisters! Long time no see, hope all is well for all of you! So in this piece, we are going to talk about women and the obsession of skin whitening. In today’s world, our mind has been brainwashed with the fact that having fair skin is beautiful while having dark skin is ugly. That’s the ugly truth that we have been swallowing all this while. In fact, growing up as a girl with dark skin, I was also not excluded in friends and family making fun of my skin color. But yeah, as I grew older I learned the fact that people will not stop talking and you can’t really shut their mouth so I let things go and didn’t keep any of what they said in my heart. You’ll be fine, trust me.

It is not too much to say that our environment itself is forcing us to follow the beauty standard of having fair skin; making us obsess in finding whitening products and treatments. Did you know that most of whitening products contain mercury and that is bad for your health? I’m sure you must have came across articles or writings about the danger of consuming whitening pills and applying whitening creams containing mercury on your skin. In worst case, mercury in the products you consume could damage your kidney very bad.

So I got a few of my close friends to tell me what are their thoughts of this obsession and what we can do to educate our girlfriends about the negative effects we may face.

“It is because of the beauty standard that has been set by all. Fair skin equals to beautiful; so women think they should whiten their skin to look beautiful hence the search for whitening treatments and products. Media should highlight the danger of mercury to their skin and especially their health. Expose clearly the short term and long term effects. Don’t stop educating until we are all aware of the consequences.” – Anisah, Lecturer

“The blooming of Korean skin care products and make up routines/tutorials contributes to the obsession of skin whitening, I guess. You know that pinkish make up look they always show on tutorial videos are not suitable for those with dark skin color. That’s when our girls think they need to be fair to get that look. I think social media influencers could help in this case, by providing make up tutorials for those with dark skin tone too. Use the right shade of foundations on dark skin to show that your make up can still look good without having to brighten your skin color.” – Nadia, Freelance Interior Designer

“I feel that some of the women are just overly-obsessed with trying to get their skins white. To me, we are all made with different physical features, and it is this, including skin color, that defines and differentiates us from others. If you want to whiten your skin, by all means. But don’t get too obsessed and end up doing a Michael Jackson. I feel like a lot is being done, especially on social media, by users and influencers of the danger of whitening products containing mercury. But it just doesn’t seem to work. Maybe, more experts or even the government should go on a campaign or come up with advertisements on the TV and newspapers to warn users of the dangers.” – Amar, Journalist

What I wanted to highlight in this writing is the fact that being obsess in whitening your skin is really not good for your health. To me beauty is not just having fair skin, slim waist and long legs. To me beauty is when you are confident with your own skin tone. Beauty is when you see the beauty in others. So let’s educate our girls again. Tell your sisters and girlfriends that they are beautiful just the way they are. Tell them to appreciate their skin, flaws and imperfections. Because after all, it is all of these traits and features that makes you different from anybody else and what makes you different makes you beautiful in your own unique way. LOVE YOURSELF!

Cheers,

AMALIA

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