This paper looks at the way the guy I mean people rationalize their use of skin bleaching products. It also looks at the forces that have led to this predicament of shame and ugliness in any skin tone other than white skin. I have also looked into the psychological and physical effects of colorism on the people of Ghana.
The idea of Colorism is not new. It is only recently that a name has been placed on it and it has been studied. Countries that have people with various skin tones have always practiced ways to lighten their skin. Due to the growth of technology, mass media and other ways of communication people who would not have been exposed to Western ideas of beauty are now being bombarded by the white beauty .Europeans ideology of attractiveness and power has taken every step to destroy non-whites image of them. This has allowed for people in what we considered Third World countries to relate color to access to resources and privilege (Hunter, 2011).
European ideas of beauties has had a significant effect on is urban Ghana. The Ghanaian people have been brainwashed into forgetting who they are. They see themselves as ugly compared to Europeans. This is a mindset that is shared between some men and women in Ghana. The needed to be lighter is also shared between fair skinned and dark skinned Ghanaian. No matter how light a Ghanaian is they feel like they can always be lighter.
Even though many of the beauty advertisements are aimed towards women, men still feel the need to lighten their skin. They are told by beauty and cosmetic advertisements that the bodies they were born with are not good enough. They are told repeatedly to change and/or modify their bodies as much as they can to image that is accepted globally (Hunter, 2011 and Pierre, 2008).
The Dangers of skin bleaching
In Ghana skin bleaching is a widespread secret. People share their secrets and advice on which products work, which products do not work and which to mix together. This is very dangerous, “These products most often contain one or both of two chemicals: hydroquinone and mercury. Hydroquinone is a powerful and toxic substance originally used in photo processing, the manufacture of rubber, and hair dyes. Mercury is a heavy metal that exists in different chemical forms; skin bleaching products often contain ammoniated mercury that is normally used as an ointment to treat impetigo, psoriasis, and other skin disorders” ( Pierre,15: 2008).
Those who choose to lighten their skin are easily identified in several ways. One, they are normally overly dressed, their skin must stay covered. This is because the areas that are exposed to the sun will be tanned and therefore darker than the rest of the body leaving the skin uneven. Two, a person who bleaches their skin over months and or years consistently will develop an odor that is distinct to skin bleachers. Three, depending on the products a person uses to lighten their skin they will skin diseases. Even in a place like...