Whitewashing. It is something that is happening far too often in the black community. Some people refer to it as bleaching. For those that don’t know what it is, it is the purposeful lightening of dark skin through the use of specifically formulated products. We read about it. Some of us probably know people who do it. It is a shocker to me personally when I hear about it. To change the color of my skin just because someone else has expressed his or her dislike for it is unfathomable.
This isn’t a judgment it’s a declaration. Black is beautiful, people. I know black folks have spent years trying to fit into a mold that the dominant society has predetermined to be the ideal whatever. But it’s time for us to stop and look at who we are and embrace it. I cannot express this enough.
Not too long ago I wrote about Lil Kim and the fact that it’s pretty obvious she bleached her skin. She has said on numerous occasions in the past how her poor self-image and the hurtful comments she received from men over the years made her reject her natural black beauty. As a result of the constant criticism and the feelings of inadequacy, she did what she felt would make her worthy. At least she was coy about it. Azealia Banks, on the other hand, the latest “celebrity” to whitewash her skin, is just a sellout.
If you know my writing, I am not a fan of hers. In fact, I think she is a foolish young woman who is okay with her notoriety for causing controversy over making good music. She is, to sum up my feelings about her, a joke. So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that this trick is not only openly proud about whitewashing (bleaching) her skin, she also encourages others to do it. How exactly is she doing this? By promoting the product she uses to destroy her melanin on her social media.
First of all, the very fact that she is one of the “celebrities” used to promote the product (I refuse to name it in this article because I cannot feed into the horrible trend) is laughable. Since when did D-list personalities count as viable investments for products? I am disgusted by this. Not only does it show how utterly dumb Azalia Banks is, but it also further shows how much of a hypocrite and, did I mention, SELLOUT she is. How dare she put her mouth on Beyonce saying she’s exploiting black women’s hurt through Lemonade and then turn around with this foolishness? She’s leading black women in the movement to hating themselves.
To add insult to injury, the girl tries to reason with her fans by rebranding what she’s doing as evening out her skin. And the worst part about it is that there are women who have jumped on the bandwagon to support what she’s doing. There are even those who say they would do the same. One of Banks’ followers said,
“Its called making your skin tone EVEN, a lot of us dark skinned women have dark spots and very uneven tones, so it would look HELLA dumb if she just fixed one area. She is still brown.”
Another one said,
“I’m a proud dark-skinned woman but my face is literally 2-3 shades darker than the rest of my body, and I would totally do this…”
These arguments don’t hold up, and nothing that Banks says can take away from the fact that her actions are centered in self-hate. In the past, she has spoken about the treatment she receives as a dark skinned woman, complaining many times about the shit she goes through because of her skin.
“Seriously… The treatment I get for being a dark skinned woman just makes me want to lay down and die sometime… I don’t care what anyone says: men, in general, despise dark skinned women.”
We are human beings. Sometimes our humanity gets the best of us, and we give into the things that reflect what’s deep inside. The pressure from society that dark-skinned women feel to change is strong; so strong that too many women are acting on the notion. In Jamaica, bleaching your skin is a thing. It has become a growing problem because people believe that they are “fixing” themselves. An individual who goes to these lengths to be happy with themselves has a warped psyche. We have society first, then ourselves to blame for it.
What is it going to take to stop this? For black people all around the world to see their worth in the power of their skin? Advancement, happiness and success are not just for those who pass the “brown paper bag test.” It is detrimental to our existence and continued to climb up the proverbial latter that we love ourselves for exactly who we are.
As far at Azealia Banks is concerned, we must stop giving shine to individuals whose self-serving actions are damaging a group of people. Who show no regard for the effects of their decisions on others.