Hi Lovelies. It’s been a long hot minute since my last blog post and I am so glad to be back at it again. In a world where the makeup community and brands have shown radical growth from 2015 to present, it is clear that the idea of ‘perfection’ is still very real. Brands all over the world are selling the fantasy of a perfect looking woman and whether it’s her high end foundation or low end contour stick –we all get lured in to some extent. My question today: to what extent do we stop?
I personally love make up and I love looking good all the time, I also have a small monthly budget towards my makeup collection. I also remember the days when I would apply eyeliner, lip-gloss and be good to go (aaaah the good old days). It was much simpler back in the day when women would require the essentials which are up to 6 items and be totally chilled with the outcome of their appearance. This is hardly the case as the makeup community has evolved and created 100 steps from prep to finish in order to create an illusion of the perfect face. Now I would be contradicting myself if I said that I didn’t enjoy prepping and priming my skin. Brands have to grow, makeup had to evolve and I am not here complaining of the 100 steps to your glam make up look.
So what am I here to rant about you may ask?
And indeed it may be a rant or some would consider that I am being a hater, whilst others would appreciate the message I am trying to get across. Well, I’m opinionated and I promised authenticity so let’s discuss the underlying issues of the illusion of the perfect skin…
The sad truth about being brown is the transparent visibility of our society deeming the ones that are fairer to be known as the ‘elite’ or ‘preferred’. Growing up as an Indian girl and being surrounded with predominantly Indian people, we dealt with racism within our own race. I know that may sound absurd, but being a fair brown girl was considered to be of a benefit and being a darker shade of brown wasn’t ideal. This stems from back in the day when our grandparents would tell us stories about marrying out of your caste and what may have seemed as light-hearted is actually the sentiments we grew up with.
When we seek perfection, does this mean that we need to have a fairer complexion to be the perfect woman?
If you’re like me and follow just about every trend on social media, you would quickly notice the rising market of whitening skin creams, brightening capsules and glutathione treatments. Brands are selling ‘fair’ to be the preferred option of skin colour and this makes me so angry. In a world where we are constantly moving ahead of times, why are we still then not embracing our skin colour and leaving society’s disapproval of ‘brown’ where it belongs?
The scariness of these whitening treatments is the obsession of it amongst our brown people… I’ve seen influencers endorse and promote whitening of skin as if it is okay to do so. You’re blessed with a following of people who look up to you and what do you do with that? Basically, you tell them that you’re unhappy about being who you are and sell them what you think is the better version of themselves. The idea of the better version of oneself is not depicted by the colour of their skin.
Whilst we’re obsessing over being extremely light skinned, the world recognises powerful women like Priyanka Chopra, Beyoncé Knowles, and Gabrielle Union as being some of the most beautiful women in the world. What do they all have in common: brown and beautiful.
Let’s talk about skincare
In this obsession of being the fairest of them all, your skin is going through torture.
Skin Whitening is an expensive procedure, so many people who can’t afford opt for drugstore products that promises fairer skin in 14 days (like seriously). It also has the herbal ingredients so no harm right? Well not exactly, these are some of the hidden ingredients you probably don’t see on the list of herbal ingredients stated on the box:
According to a New York Times article, long term use of a whitening cream containing clobetasol may lead to paper thin, easily bruised skin, hypertension, elevated blood sugar, and stretch marks. Arguably the most common substance that is often found in skin lightening creams –mercury. Mercury is a compound that prevents melanin to be developed which results in a lighter skin tone. Melanin however, plays an important part of natural skincare as it protects us from the damage of the UV rays and reduces the chance of skin cancer.
The trending skin whitening treatment Glutathione has taken the Indian market by storm with multiple beauty gurus endorsing this treatment. Glutathione is produced in everyone’s body and serves the purpose of an antioxidant that removes the bodies’ toxins. Glutathione that can be used for male infertility and chemotherapy adjunct is also sold to women as a whitening treatment along as a multi vitamin dosage that can be used to boost your energy and last in your body for several weeks till your next session. My view on this: Well, I know of women that have gone for this and it has indeed lightened their skin tone and I also know of women who went for this purely out of daily fatigue and it did not make a difference. With that being said, there are side effects to Glutathione treatments as there are benefits. I would definitely suggest researching thoroughly and understanding your reasoning behind such treatments before attempting it.
I know this blog post would not be favoured by brands that I could have collaborated with but I am not here to sell you anything. If I like a product, I will talk about it. If I dislike a product/trend then I will still talk about it.
Harming oneself just for a lighter skin tone can never be justified in my books. I believe that we are all God’s creation, made perfectly in his image, regardless of one skin colour. The sad truth is that we as humans take the phrase ‘we are never happy with anything’ way too seriously. It’s time we stop blaming human behaviour for the choices we are well aware of. You are indeed capable of loving yourself as you are, period.
Till next time…