“Well, I pray when I’m dead and the ages shall roll that my body will blacken and turn into coal”


So during one of my numerous casual strolls, I ran into an old friend from high school. It was a slightly hot afternoon and she had on shades and an umbrella. I had seen her coming from afar and barely recognised her. I was busy wondering who this lovely light-skinned girl was and anticipated walking by her. I cannot begin to explain how shocked I was when I realised who she was. I was tongue-tied and only managed to say hi and after an exchange of pleasantries, I quickly ran off before she could notice my weird facial expression. Now when I knew this girl back in high school, she was very dark in complexion. It was an inexplicable magic that she was somehow now light-skinned. People grow darker with time so what form of voodoo had turn her almost white? Then, it occurred to me, she must have bleached her skin. It turns out this was not my first rodeo with a bleached skin.

The demand for light-skinned girls is very high. Everywhere, light-skinned girls are seen as beautiful specimens. Now there’s a difference between a light-skin and a white-skin. Where a light-skin is colourful and glows, a white-skin is just bleak and unappealing. Never confuse them. Light-skinned girls get more attention from guys than their chocolate-skinned. Nowadays, nobody finds a ‘burnt offering’ very appealing. With all of this happening, it seems the dark-skin populace went and found a way to even grounds. The bright solution was bleaching. At first, it was a thing people didn’t want other people finding out. They hid when they did and stop at the first sign that their skin tone had changed. But now, well, I cannot even begin to tell the amount of skin-care product that contain a bleaching element. From soaps to creams to lotions, it’s bleaching all the way. People now take pride in coming out with their new bleaching product and everywhere in the market, people are rushing to get them. Whatever feverish craze started this bleaching doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Now, I do not think the creator, in his infinite wisdom, made a mistake with our skin colours. The need to look light-skinned is just an unnecessary burden of fashion. I call it an unnecessary burden because without continuous application of the said product, you tend to revert to skin tone that is worse than what you had before. Everywhere you go, you see shining light-skins in a country of predominantly dark-skinned people. Different products with different results. For some, the result is actually very bearable and sometimes, appealing but for the others, it is actually an eyesore. I once had the chance to converse with a girl with an obviously bleached skin and I had the chance to notice its perks. The skin was looking unnatural, the colours were uneven and she was shining so bright I expected her to burst in flames at any moment. I do not if it’s peer pressure or insecurity that leads to this but the number of girls with bleached skins are too damn high. The bleached ones no longer let one appreciate the beauty of a natural light-skin. When you sight a light-skin from afar, you automatically conclude that she’s one of the bleached ones and half the time, you are right. It’s time to start a campaign #BringBackOurLightskin.

The adverse effects of bleaching seem to be numerous than its benefits. It’s rare to find a bleached skin that looks flawless and given time, that one too tends to bite the dust. The craving for a light-skin is more prominent with ladies; guys tend not to bother much about their skin colour. Now, whatever magic bleach does to the skin’s melanin remains a puzzle to me but one thing I am sure of is that not all bleaching products work for everybody. Skin types are different and react differently with the products. But some of these girls don’t care as far as it is a bleaching product. It is not surprising to find girls with green streaks on their skin, looking like Joseph’s multi-coloured coat. The sun also becomes a problem for these girls. Its rays react differently with their skin and tends to cause all sorts of skin mutations and burns to their skin. It is like nature’s own retribution for having a fake light-skin. There are even stories about how angels with blessings for these girls can barely recognise them because of their bleached skin and return back to heaven with their package while the girl is down here screaming to God for a miracle. Also, age does not help the bleached skin as the adverse effects of bleaching become more pronounced with time. In the nearest future, it would be sad to see a lot of women with dangerous skin colours and different kind of skin mutations.

Now I do not still see the point of bleaching. There are other ways to make yourself appealing without having to damage your skin. For example, a good personality goes a long way in bringing out your appealing side. Also, dressing helps too. It seems a pointless effort to have to be a slave to a product which tends to cause more harm than good. I would never advise anyone to engage in bleaching acts. In the end, like everybody else, your body will still blacken and turn into coal.


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