Mon | Aug 3, 2020

Don't be quick to slam bleachers

Published:Tuesday | January 11, 2011 | 12:00 AM


Skin bleaching has been described my many commentators as a form of mental slavery.

Mental slavery is any self-limiting belief an individual has which leads to a lack of or low self-esteem, no self-confidence, or the acceptance or feeling that one is inferior to others. This may be caused by many factors, including the manner in which society relates to, rejects or maltreats that individual.

This rejection or maltreatment may be reflected in the lack of, or some hindrance to, opportunities for upward social mobility ranging from education, employment and the no less-important issue of marrying across racial and social strata.

It is an inherent desire in human beings to seek social recognition and to have a sense of belonging to different social groups. In our cultural and social setting, skin colour is not taken lightly and does influence even our concept of beauty. Although we no longer practise blatant and crude discrimination based on skin colour, it remains an important factor.

While not advocating the process of bleaching, isn't it possible that not all those who indulge in this process reflect low self-esteem or self-hate, but are rather seeking greater social acceptance which can facilitate upward social mobility?

This is, therefore, a very complex social phenomenon that requires more in-depth evaluation, not just condemnation.

I am, etc.,