Women of Color Spend More Than $8 Billion On Bleaching Creams Worldwide Every Year!

YourBlackWorld.net, By Victor Omondi, Posted April 20th 2021

The idealization of light skin as the pinnacle of beauty is causing women of color to spend more than $8 billion on bleaching creams worldwide every year. Many women of color suffer from low self-esteem around the world because of the social benchmark that has been placed on skin color. Socioeconomic status, marriageability, attractiveness, and even career opportunities are today directly associated with skin color.

From this pressure, women of color have resorted to using chemical remedies to lighten their complexion. This desperation has created a booming global industry of bleach creams and injectables. According to media reports, the industry is valued at “US$8.6 billion in 2020; $2.3 billion was spent in the U.S. alone. The market is projected to reach $12.3 billion by 2027.”

This practice is very dangerous as it poses risks such as kidney damage, cancer, neurological problems, liver damage, and stillbirth for pregnant women.

According to The Conversation, “The practice is not new. It became popular in many African countries in the 1950s; today, about 77% of Nigerians, 27% of Senegalese, and 35% of South African women bleach their skin. Indian caste-based discrimination was outlawed in 1950, but dark-skinned women (and men) are still persecuted – and fair skin remains a distinguishing social factor, associated with purity and elite status. In the Middle East, the practice of bleaching is most common in Jordan, with 60.7% of women bleaching. The Brazilian government seems to sanction white skin over dark by encouraging immigration from Europe and discouraging persons of African descent.”

Activists are increasingly putting pressure on Bleach cream manufacturers, arguing that they are promoting racism. As a result, some companies are marking their bleaching creams differently to avoid controversy. Some manufacturers market the creams not as bleaching products but as creams for removing “age spots” and “erase blemishes.”

Activists and the film “Black Panther” have moved to celebrate dark skin to change idealism. Though there is still so much that needs to be done, hashtags such as #melaninpoppin and #blackgirlmagic are a sign that things are heading in the right direction.

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