Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Skin Bleaching

Every single Jamaican who is thinking about returning should be perplexed.

What does the current rage -- skin bleaching -- tell us about our identity?

There are parts of Africa, South America and the Pacific in which men and women apply scars, tattoos and piercings to their faces in an attempt to increase their beauty. These are not accidental or individual incidents, but entire societies where the norms are simply very different from that of the rest of the world.

Apparently, in Jamaica, we have some that firmly believe that bleached skin is also a sign of beauty.

It's not too hard to pick out someone who has applied these chemicals to their skin. The colour of the epidermis takes on a reddish, purplish tinge and often it has a different tone from skin on the neck, hands and chest. The process must be continued to keep the true colour from coming back.

Meanwhile, there are millions of tourists coming to Jamaica each year in order to obtain a darker skin tone -- one they proudly show as proof that they had a great time in Jamaica - "see."

Both groups suffer from the threat of skin cancer, as it turns out, all in order to achieve a certain ideal of beauty.

As someone who recently returned to live in Jamaica, I find the contrast baffling.

Here is an interesting video on the bleaching industry in the U.K., including some of the negative side effects.

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8 Comments:

At 8/08/2008 12:51 PM, Blogger Morpheus Rablings said...

Hi
When I first heard about this "bleaching", I was shocked. Maybe I am naive, but I don't get it and I don't understand the reasons why anyone would "bleach" their skin.
In the video it refers to "lack of confidence" as one reason.
I am proud to be black.
As they say "it is not going to happen" to this black person.
Peace

 
At 8/08/2008 10:06 PM, OpenID diatribalist said...

I have recently come up with a label "black inferiorism" as a complement to white supremacy though it is sometimes an independent phenomenon. Our black inferiorism is what causes us to forswear our language in favor of German and Italian; and what causes us to feel that black skin is not good enough. This is the legacy of colonialism and slavery. I just finished reading the White Witch of Rose Hall, a novella, and was amazed to see how someone writing in the early 1900's described white supremacy in Jamaica under slavery.

 
At 8/08/2008 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skin bleaching or dermatological metamorphosis is nothing more than internal racism and self loathing.

 
At 8/08/2008 11:44 PM, Anonymous ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

The above comment can be attributed to ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID.

 
At 9/02/2008 1:29 PM, OpenID longbench said...

Its amazing how we are quick to demonize individuals who bleach their skin, calling them self-loathing and generally tainted goods. Yet, we have nothing to say about the system that continues to reward too many of us for having the "right" colour skin, and punish the rest of us for having the "wrong" colour. I don't hear any brown-skinned people rejecting the unearned and largely undeserved privileges that are heaped on them simply because they are/act/look "brown". The criticism and demonizing of people who bleach their skin is just heaping blame in the least useful of places. They are doing exactly what too many of us wish could happen to us overnight. Failing that, we just marry or have a child with someone lighter than us so at least our children "can prosper." But people who bleach their skin are the problem? What hypocrisy.

 
At 9/26/2008 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breakthrough Skin Lightening

Skin discoloration, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation is caused by a number of factors: sun damage, hormonal changes, photo aging, and other environmental factors. Everyone has experience some form of hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration. Remember those dark spots left over from old pimples in your teenage years? Well, that's hyperpigmentation. Even freckles and sun damage are considered hyperpigmentation. Essentially, any area of the skin that's darker than your natural tone is the result of excessive pigment formation. Simply put, the color in our skin comes from a pigment called melanin. Melanin is formed inside our skin and is created to protect our body from the damaging UV rays of the sun. When too much melanin is formed in a localized area (resulting in a dark spot or patch), we refer to it as hyperpigmentation.

One of the more popular skin lightening products on the market is the DermaBright Skin Lightener by Rosa Skincare. This advanced formula helps treat hyperpigmentation and prevent new occurrences by providing skin lightening and skin brightening qualities which evens out your complexion. DermaBright's effective skin lightener includes eight key ingredients which fades hyperpigmentation. At the same time, it hydrates your skin to reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and dullness on areas where hyperpigmentation occurs. You will experience improved radiance results within 7 days and gives maximum results in six weeks. From the numerous positive testimonials posted on the internet, it is clear that the Rosa Skincare did their homework when creating the DermaBright formula.

DermaBright formulation is also used by estheticians and dermatologists to help patients safely and effectively lighten their skin. In clinics, DermaBright is used in conjunction with facial masks, IPL photo-rejuvenation, and micro-dermabrasions to provide dramatic results within the first day. DermaBright is just one of the many options available to consumers. There are literally hundreds of different skins lightening products available both online and in local stores. In fact, nearly every major cosmetic company carries its own line of skin lightening creams. In some countries, skin lightener are also used to "brighten" or "whiten" the entire face. In the USA however, most people use these products to treat dark discolorations, spots or uneven skin tone. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that these skin lighteners are in much demand. Though hydroquinone was an effective solution for hyperpigmentation, it's now a thing of the past. Most people are interested in more natural alternatives, and with products like DermaBright, it is clear that the manufacturers are catering to the consumer's needs.

Editor - Sharon McWhinnie

 
At 7/22/2011 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anne said...

Skin bleaching - as adults we have a responsibility, to stop telling our children that they are too dark or dem too white!!! Its the same old story that the grass is greener on the other side!! if your hair curly, you want it straight.. If it straight you want it curly.. White people want to be black or get a tan!!
So please, lets learn to accept who we are and realise it's nice to be different, and what a boring world it would be if we were all the same!!

 
At 7/22/2011 6:43 PM, Anonymous Gabrielle - Skin Bleach said...

Skin lightening products were introduced to me to treat acne scares and sun spots, then I was very surprised when I started seeing them everywhere, advertised directly as "skin whitening products". Funny thing is... I am white. And everyone I talked to in Mexico (most of them are much darker than me) where happy to see those products available.

 

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