A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

Yellow Fever: Look Who is Bleaching
By Sowore Omoyele
Though coming to America can change the way people see themselves from the mirrors in Africa, some things are never going to change. Look at the preferences of some Africans. They are clearly different from the socio-cultural preferences in the Americas. I do not understand why robust and chunky women are not very popular in the US, whereas some ladies had to be fattened for the purposes of attracting eligible bachelors or to even find a date back home. I wish I could run a lucrative business whereby I would be licensed to bring all our chubby and robust sisters over to Africa. The heavens will come down as African men glorify their beauty! The issue though, is not about those things we would love to have, even though we are thousands of miles from the continent, it is those things I wish we had never brought with us to the Diaspora.

Recently, I was walking through an African Caribbean grocery store in the Bronx. The busiest part of the store was the skin-beauty aisle. I was a bit curious, because African grocery stores are the places we visit to buy African food ingredients and herbs. As I approached this aisle, I noticed that some women, predominantly Africans and I suspect some Caribbeans, were picking up different tubes of skin toning creams. They could not hold back their excitement about some newly arrived from Nigeria skin toning cream. To them, Nigeria is a blessing in disguise in their desire to become light-skinned or look white. Although I pay too little attention to these women, I could tell that the more they bleached their God-given ebony skins, obviously, the nastier they become!

Black skin is very resilient to change, both politically and scientifically. It is a sheer waste of time to attempt to change the blackness of a man. Black skin is beautiful resilient, and resistant to germs, weather and climate. White people, even though they have been able to hold their race as the standard of beauty, spend millions of dollars every year to look dark by tanning. The most exciting time of the year for white women is when their skin is well tanned.

Apparently, some of our people have not been able to shake off the inferiority bestowed upon their psyche by the white world. Not even African beauty parlor owners and hair braiders, who earn their living through the black beauty renaissance, are exempt from these practices. In reality it is nonsensical to rest their beauty dreams upon Made in Nigeria skin toners when, as a matter of fact, Nigeria is currently battling with a proliferation of fake drugs and chemical products. The idea of skin toning is completely insane and can be fatal. Besides that, why would anyone from Africa or any black person ever think that a toned skin would enhance social status in the US or anywhere for that matter? The light skinned bi-racial average Joe or Jane is not culturally accepted as a white person.

Being black is uniquely beautiful, strong and attractive, even to those who may not like black people. We need to keep it that way. I mean black is beautiful, bring it on to me in any shade or color-yellow, dark tan, chocolate, but if it is toned or bleached or modified I want nothing to do with it.