In poor countries like Senegal, Jamaica, and India more people are spending what little they earn on cosmetic products that lighten their skin.
Not Fair, Still Lovely – skin lightening in India
The reason why these people are doing this is to emulate the white people they see on TV. Despite the fact that these products usually contain cancer causing ingredients and sometimes even mercury, these people — usually women, still want the products.
Fair & Lovely Ad – India
They want the products because they feel “it is more beautiful to have lighter skin” and because they feel as if “men want women with lighter skin.”
When I was a child my mother used to give me skin lightening products; but as a child I never thought about it as being lighter, she just told us it would make our skin look better, smoother. Blotchy skin from pubescent acne was a “no-no.” I could never have imagined the act I was committing against myself; and my mom got this from her mom, or whoever told her about skincare, so I doubt my mom thought about this as being racially motivated as well.
Though for Black Americans, (imo) one could argue these acts against skin color have worked in their favor; being of fairer skin sometimes a lot of the time made life easier for you.
Family of Skin Bleachers — Current TV
With the new commander-in-chief in office, one of the things I hope the Obama presidency will do is force mass media workers to rethink how and what they create.
With his inclusion into the “American normative.” It is my hope that mass media learns to see that maybe this role in a movie, TV show, theater piece, etc, could go to anybody: not just the stereotypical white male/female. Or that when we write and assign articles, we preserve the thought that news for black, asian, arabic, lgtb, etc people is just as important for those outside of those groups. It’s news for everyone.
I hope that those who create mass media learn to embrace more than what they have seen in their life. For example, as an editor of a site that deals with so many people, I actively search for this “outside the normative” when sending in stories to be written about to my writers.
And this has given me great results. Those groups who aren’t normally included for whatever reason feel recognized and valued; and the business is now seen as a “brand that cares” when in reality it’s an editor that cares.
So please, lets start using our unique positions in the world to create more diversity and less self-hatred in the world.