By Fatuma Mohamed.
One of my many friends asked me, ‘my dear, have you ever thought of changing your skin shade (a polite way of saying, why not bleach yourself)? Having had to answer that question many times, I decided to answer with a question. I then asked, ‘why did you change from your beautiful skin tone to this?’ And she answered me without hesitating “why not when every man stares at the light lady?”
I didn’t notice that men stared at the lighter ladies! Of course my curious mind had to look at every man who passed by us to see if they really stared at my friend who looked like a real “mzungu”. Oh boy wasn’t I shocked! My friend was right because every man literally ogled at her and not a single one looked at me, ouch!
I asked her if that was the only reason she started using those bleaching agents and she answered in a disapproving manner, “when I board a “matatu” I want every man inside and outside to stare at me and not to glance and then just turn, then I won’t be a woman if I can’t make them get a sore neck” she said laughingly and she winked at me.
I had to stop laughing because this lady thinks that being of a lighter skin tone is beautiful. I started lecturing her about the effects of those creams in the long term and she said that she knew. Then I asked if she intends to use them till she dies and she says “No!, I think you are not serious” adding that we are in 21st century and she needs to get married to a rich man who can take her to the US if she gets skin related problems caused by the use of those creams. I wished her all the best in finding her ‘loaded’ man and she left.
I thought of what compelled this young beautiful lady among the highly educated ladies to use these bleaching creams.
I had to do a research; I prepared a questionnaire and distributed it to my brothers, my brothers’ friends and boys who are my friends to find out how true is the relationship between light skin and boys liking you. I got 24 boys to do the questionnaire and I analyzed the data I collected. 90% of these boys/men love light women and didn’t care if they were naturally light or bleached themselves, one of them joked “am attracted to glittery things” and from that I knew what he meant. 5% love intelligent women and it’s not about the looks but whether they can have an intellectually stimulating conversation and the remaining 5% were undecided on whether they found girls of fairer complexion beautiful, to them beauty is in the body structure of the girl and not necessarily her complexion.
My question is who is to be blamed for this disease?
Men are to be blamed for this disease; if I had paid attention to if guys were drooling over light girls probably I would have started lightening my skin color (probably). Women are very insecure when it comes to what men think about them, that is why girls suffer anorexia and all those perception related diseases.