An Open Letter to Bleaching Nigerians

Nollywood actress Thelma O’ Kaz

Nollywood actress Thelma O’ Kaz

My Dear Female Bleachers,

This open letters trend might be stale but someone needs to write a line or two to all of you before this season finally comes to an end.

When I say female bleachers, I am also referring to men that bleach. I don’t care how big you are down there or if your pronounced 6-packs stick out when you put on a suit! You betrayed your masculinity the day you dipped those fingers into a tube of bleaching cream. Real men don’t even use creams! Makers of bleaching creams are not excepted from this rant too.

Last weekend, I was passing through Ikeja Bridge when a weird looking roughly pulled my hand. I was about admonishing him when he said ”Sister, I get one cream and soap wey go make you white like oyinbo, you go fine no be small”.

In a space of two minutes I spent there, about three other guys walked up to me offering to give me natural pink lips, big boobs and a fairer skin. I’m sure a thousand and one girls that pass through that place go through a similar situation.

Whoever told these guy I am not proud of my black skin? I thought my Ikeja experience was disturbing until I attended my secondary school reunion party some nights ago. On stepping into the venue, echoes of Phyno’s ‘ghost mood’ filled the air. I guess the scenario for the music was just perfect because some of my once upon a time ‘shadow looking’ classmates had now ‘toned’ to Russian ghosts. I felt so uneasy and petrified in their midst. Eventually, I had to go sit among ‘natural’ Nigerians.

I am against the insidious marketing of these so-called whitening products. In a foreign TV commercial for one maxi fair & white cream, a girl handed her miserable’ dark skinned friend a lotion. In split seconds, her complexion changed dramatically. She instantly became a head turner, got a superstar boyfriend and she also landed her dream job.

But dreams don’t always come true. If bleaching cream could perform such magic, what went wrong with these sisters I see around with dark knuckles, green veins, red arms, yellow legs and black butt? Are they modelling for the rainbow with this ostentatious display of primary and secondary colours all over their bodies?

It has gotten so bad that these bleachers have now ‘spoilt market’ for the genuinely light skinned ones.

Pardon my ignorance but why are people suddenly dumping their black skin despite the health implications of mercury and hydroquinone?

Those with black skin have no shadows?

Have dark skin people been using their teeth as a torchlight in a dark room?

Are bleachers trying to use their to outshine the sun or their future with their complexion?

Black skin no longer matches these hair extensions and dresses in vogue?

Is a lighter skin needed to boost someone’s portfolio on social networks like Instagram?

Does it take a full bar of soap to clean a black skin properly when taking a shower?

Is a lighter skin more durable?

Does the black skin itch?

Does black skin stain white clothes?

Are you bleachers ready to look like an embalmed living being by the time you clock 55?

‘Get light in 7days’ banners are now more prevalent than weight loss banners. Adverts of skin lightening products has suddenly dominated the internet and TV. Nowadays, when someone wants to boost sales after releasing a new commodity, they just need to add phrases like ‘fair & white’ to the product name eg fair&white sachet water, whitelicious hair cream. It is very troubling to see how this works as a catalyst.

In a few days, that product becomes ‘SOLD OUT’ and the maker smiles to the bank with a million dollars. I think its high time Nigeria takes off the ‘black’ from the phrase ‘The most popular black nation in the world’. We are sorry to announce to the world our women are no longer black.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 77 percent of women in Nigeria use skin-lightening products, if this statistics is true, we, the dark skinned endangered species may have to offer ourselves to museums around the country so the next generation could go there to see what a black skinned woman once look like.

– NaijaSingleGirl


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