Student-athletes share reasons for skin-toning
Tyreke Sutherland and Chrissette Miller both attend the same prominent Corporate Area high school. They are both ardent 'bleachers' who represent the school in sports - Sutherland in football, with Miller wearing the colours on the netball court.
They both defended their skin-toning activities, while sharing the reasons behind their decision.
Both student-athletes admitted that their parents are against the behaviour but say that their determination to continue forced them into acceptance. The positive feedback they get generally, especially the boys from girls, is one of the main motivations to continue doing it.
Sixteen-year-old Miller has been bleaching for about three years now. She initially started using Nadinola to get bumps off her face.
"When I used to rub, I didn't use strong cream, I used Nadinola to get the rid of the bumps on my face. But I realised my face was getting two colours, and is one colour I want, so I just continue using it (Nadinola) and use Idol soap. That time it was my face, but now I lotion my body so my skin looks cool, and from I use Idol soap and get one colour, I get cool and pretty," she said.
Sutherland, who grew up in a Christian home, says that he has found it difficult to stop the practice.
"I just like the little bleaching thing. It's nothing serious. It gives me a nice little colour and coolness, and those thing," he said. "Nobody influenced me. No one in my household bleach. I live with my mother, father, brothers, and sisters and none of them bleach," said Sutherland
"They (family) don't like it, but I hide and do it. I hide and put on the cream, and by the time they realised, fashion gone," he boasted. "And the girls like when you clean."
Miller also confessed that her mother tried to discourage her from continuing to lighten her skin.
"My mother is brown (light-toned) but she got pregnant for a black man, so I come black," she noted. "She hide the bleaching cream and I thief it out again ... but she see that I am getting pretty so she accept it now."
Sutherland says that he has not experienced any discomfort from his bleaching except when he gets cut, while Miller quit netball in order to preserve her new complexion.
"I use to play netball but too much sun so I stop it. And I have CXC, so I have to buckle down in school. But I can't bother with the sporting activity and the running up and down in the sun," she noted before dismissing warnings about possible health issues.