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Start Right, Start White

Monday, October 18, 2010
I don't want to be a downer on a Monday morning, but I feel a little weary.  As a one person movement out here in the Blogosphere advocating for feeling good about the skin you're in, I am horrified every time I see an ad for skin bleaching cream.  Start Right, Start White?  OMG.  Is this real?  I'm dying over here.

It's not like I didn't know about skin bleaching creams before I started blogging.  And although I feel a little weary at the moment, usually these type of ads fuel my Brown Girl fire.  It's not like I've never seen women shading themselves from the sun (with those lovely sun umbrellas!) in an effort to remain fair.  (And please don't give me the skin cancer lecture or the "I'm just trying to get rid of my freckles and blemishes" lecture.  I know the difference.)  And like hundreds thousands of other bloggers and television shows (Tyra and Jessica Simpson's Price of Beauty (see video below) to name just two), I am confused, saddened and just wanna cry my Brown eyes out because of the sheer magnitude of this horrific worldwide phenomenon. 

How can I help?  What can I do?  Am I wasting keystrokes?  If Tyra and Jessica can't change it, isn't this a bigger problem than my little blog can cure?  Women in all parts of the world including Thailand, Jamaica, Africa, the Phillipines, India, etc. not only have identity issues, but they are using unsafe bleaching products with hydroquinine and/or ammoniated mercury in them with terrible results.  I've seen skin bleaching products in Costco (!) right here in the good ole U.S. of A.  Deep sigh.  I feel spent.
I'm going to seriously give this some more thought and consider a quote an OBG advocate sent me some time ago:  "To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world."  I certainly hope that's true.
In the meantime, I'm curious.  What kind and thought-provoking advice you would give to a Brown Girl using skin bleaching products to lighten her lovely Brown skin?  Tell me quick.  I need to feel better.


Anonymous on: October 18, 2010 at 4:38 PM said...

Your blog and website are fabulous, Tracey, and much needed. Thank you for all your work.

canelawomyn on: October 18, 2010 at 8:17 PM said...

I feel the same way when I see stories about WOC who are unhappy about the beautiful skin they were born into. It's devastating to know that they don't associate brown with beautiful because I think it's one of the most beautiful honors to be born a WOC!

The work is just to continue validating brown womyn and hope that more people will do it so that it starts to rub off.

Unknown on: October 18, 2010 at 8:51 PM said...

Thank you both so much, nathalievondo & canelawomnyn! =)

Unknown on: October 19, 2010 at 2:01 PM said...

Facebook comments:

OMG let me go into prayer about that one and get back to you.
Yesterday at 11:52am

Don't do it!!!
Yesterday at 11:56am

Although you're right, I don't think saying don't is enough.
Yesterday at 11:59am

lighter skin doesn't bring happiness! Peace with one's self (through God) does!
Yesterday at 12:16pm

Being lighter doesn't make you better, smarter, prettier or richer, just deeper in denial about yourself and your true beauty.
Yesterday at 1:04pm

You are so right! 21 hours ago

Love the skin you are in!
16 hours ago

The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice. It is lovely that God made brown girls in different shades, ever the more sweet.
6 hours ago ·

jnguyễn on: October 19, 2010 at 7:37 PM said...

I wandered over here from Love Isn't Enough and I just want to mention that you're doing good work here XD It's always wonderful to see!! (btw, your link from there was broken)

To someone using Whitening cream, I would ask them why they use it, what they think it'll do for them compared to their natural skin tone. I would let them know what I think of delcious, cocoa-colored skin and what I think of whitening cream, heehee. But in the end, we too must respect their decisions and how they choose to present themselves, but if, in asking, we find points of ignorance, perhaps you can fill them in. And it never hurts to find lovely examples of dark-skinned beauty to surround and support your ideas. XDDDDD

Either way, pitying doesn't do anyone much good. That look Jessica Simpson was giving Panya Bunjun made me gag.

And here, I know you're an ally so I think you will find this interesting:


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