The World Health Organisation defines bleaching as the intentional alteration of one’s natural skin colour to one relatively if not substantially, lighter in colour, through the use of chemical skin lighting agents, either manufactured, homemade, or the combination of the two.
Statistics indicate 30% of Ghanaian women and 5% of Ghanaian men bleach. I find bleaching really appalling and despite the awareness being created to sensitize all and sundry about the dangers involved, they will still not give up.
I don’t know what drives people to commit this ‘injustice’ against their own body. The CEO of skin care company, Second Image, definitely knows why women get involved in this. She says ladies who try to change their skin colour by bleaching may have a mental problem.
Nikki Boamponsem cautioned women who bleach their skin to desist from the practice. The Second Image CEO made the comments while speaking at a seminar organised as part of the Africa Makeup and Beauty Fair in Accra.
“If you try to change your colour, you are mad. Apart from the physical madness, you can become mad from using some of the products,” she claimed.
According to her, it is very disappointing for any women to feel inadequate and therefore desire to change God-given given skin colour.
She said, “It’s a [symptom of] very low esteem to say that ‘I don’t like my face; my man likes fair women so I have to change my colour’ at once it means you are mad.” Mrs Boamponsem urged women to be content with the natural skin that they have been blessed with.
“The reason why we are talking about skin is that, any colour of skin is beautiful if you look after it. If you have dark skin and you’ve allowed it to go dull, you think your colour is not nice… but then if you treat your black [skin] well, it will shine, it will glow and at the age of 90, you can still look good.
“Those of us with this colour, we struggle to keep it because if I get [a] mark [or two], it will show but if you have dark skin, you can get away with it,” she observed. The Second Image CEO cautioned women that bleaching could have dire consequences on their health.
“So be proud of your skin because all these injections, they tell you, they are causing cancer, they are causing brain damage, kidney problems and all that. Why do you want to interfere with anything in your body just because you want to be fair?” she stressed.