I have observed that the amount of Nigerian women who bleach their skin has reached epidemic proportions. There has to be something that motivates these women to bleach their skin, and one of the alleged motivating reasons I have heard is that Nigerian men prefer “light skinned women.” To that end, I feel compelled to clear some misconceptions that may be motivating our women to bleach their skin.
1. Not all Nigerian men like light skinned women.
In fact, many Nigerian women prefer beautiful, dark skinned women who have that beautiful glow. There is nothing as disappointing as seeing a beautiful dark-skinned woman damage her skin by bleaching it, thereby damaging that skin forever. The beautiful dark-skinned woman now becomes an ugly “light-skinned” woman. Beauty comes in all shades, both dark and white. Even the Nigerian men who like light-skinned women prefer a natural light-skinned woman, not a bleached product. If a man does not like your natural complexion, then that man is not meant for you. What if you bleach your skin white then you find the man of your dreams who prefers your skin darker? You cannot damage your skin to please those men, for in a bid to please those men, you end up displeasing other men.
2. Bleaching your skin makes you look ugly.
In fact, bleaching your skin makes you look ugly. Yes! I said it. There is nothing more unattractive that having uneven skin tone as a result of bleaching; Or there is nothing more annoying than having a “white face” and black neck, or a “white” forehand with black knuckles. Yes. An observant eye like me will notice your black knuckles alongside your “white” fists. It looks disgusting. Once I notice those inconsistencies I shy away from women like that.
3. Bleaching your skin makes you stink.
In fact, any time a girl who bleaches her skin comes around me, I run away because of the offensive odor she effuses. Although she would have attempted to mask the offensive odor with strong and excessive use of perfumes, the result is even worse, as the offensive odor typically competes with the scent of the excessive perfumes, and the offensive often prevails with a vengeance.
4. Bleaching your skin typically forces you to wear heavy make-up, which makes you look like a caricature.
In fact, the resultant imperfections caused by the bleaching cream prompts many women to wear heavy make-up to cover those imperfections. Those women end up looking like a transvestite or a clown who is appearing in a circus. End result? You end up appearing as a joke, and no serious man will take you seriously.
5. Bleaching your skin wipes away your purity, natural beauty, and youthful exuberance!
Being pure means undiluted. Being natural means something exists as nature made it. Having a youthful exuberance means you have that glow that radiates from within as a result of being youthful. Regretfully and unfortunately, bleaching your skin obliterates all these characteristics. You are no longer a pure woman because you have diluted your skin tone by bleaching it. You are no longer natural because you no longer exist as God made you, for you have bleached the natural skin color that God gave you. As to youthful exuberance, it is now long gone, for you now look like a beat-up, used-up “Tokunboh” engine that is being sold in Mushin. You no longer have the “new car” look.
6. The heat and sunshine in Nigeria does not foster an environment in which to bleach.
As you can tell, I vehemently oppose bleaching your skin. Nevertheless, bleaching your skin in Nigeria’s weather is like smoking a cigarette in a non-ventilated room. You will gasp for air. Nigerian weather is hot, sunny, and very humid. In addition, the unstable power supply does not allow many women who bleach their skin to power their air-conditioners round the clock, save for the very few who can afford the high cost of diesel to power their diesel-thirsty generators. The result is that you have to bleach your skin and walk in the sun and in the heat. Since the melanin in your skin (which was meant to protect your skin) has been damaged, your skin therefore loses its protection from the sun. Your skin is now highly susceptible to being damaged by the sun (and most times it gets damaged by that sun). Your skin now has black patches and starts to effuse the offensive odor I discussed in Paragraph 3. When you include the heat factor I mentioned, the odor that your bleached skin produces in that heat is often unbearable.
5. Bleaching your skin sends a message that you have low self esteem.
Yes, it does. It tells me that you are not comfortable in your own skin and there felt compelled to bleach your skin in order feel better about yourself. It says you do not like how God made you. Low self esteem often dictates how you will act in other circumstances; for example, how you will be able handle herself in the midst of learned, sophisticated people.
6. Bleaching your skin will make you look terrible at an old age.
Once you become old, your damaged skin would look 100X worse than it would have looked had you not bleached it. Your husband would be desperate to find a younger, youthful woman to fill that void. Bleachers take heed.
7. Take care of your skin, drink lots of water, get plenty of rest, and your skin will glow.
Taking care of your skin is a precondition to making your skin glow. You take care of your skin by having a good skin regimen, having a proper diet, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of rest. You don’t make your skin glow by bleaching it. To the contrary, bleaching your skin damages your skin.
I am a concerned Nigerian man who is appalled by the alarming rate of our women who bleach their skin, and I have made it part of my life’s mission to stop skin bleaching in Nigeria.