The person most likely to be offended by this post is one whose hair style represents a ‘relaxed’ (apparently it was ‘uptight’ about something) version of their natural mane. But I guarantee you this is not the purpose of the post. The last thing on my mind is to tell you what to do with your assets so #KeepCalm. All I want you to do is stop pointing fingers…deal?
Last night, a popular Jamaican television program shed some ‘light’ on the skin lightening phenomenon in Jamaica. Amidst criticism from my tweeps on how self-depricating it is to attempt to change the complexion of your skin I drew their attention to the similarities between ‘creme hair’ and ‘cream skin’. Needless to say, I drew blood as well.
Is the skin cream worse than the hair creme?
Similar to the medicine prescribed by the doctor with a raft of other potentially devastating side effects, so too is each creme/cream carrying its own baggage. Take a look and decide which risk you’re more willing to take based on that annoying thing that keeps punching holes in arguments….uhhm…I think it’s called empirical evidence -_-
It’s not my place to say which is worse because at the end of the day we must all choose our poison. I simply want you to be aware of the evidence before you go sprouting nonsense to anyone who will listen.
The Shared Roots
So since they’re both carrying dangerous, unhealthy side effects I guess we have one similarity in the bag! But wait…there’s more. 😀
When you ask a ‘bleachaz” as we call them in Jamaica, why they’ve decided to bleach their skin the responses are clear and simple – they prefer to be ‘brown’; it’s more convenient socially and professionally; it looks better; they get more attention/compliments.
When you ask somoene why their hair is processed what do you think their responses are? They reflect the same themes of convenience, preference and aesthetics. *gasp!*
So what makes the lightened skin inferior to the relaxed hair? What empowers the ‘creme hair girl’ to lash out at the ‘bleachaz’ for applying the same principles to her personal asset – her skin? The answer… HYPOCRISY!
SO JUST SHUT UP!
All this talk about loving the skin God gave you and being proud of your ‘blackness’ and embracing your roots doesn’t seem to apply to our (hair) roots as black women. Why try to ostracize and point fingers, lambast and ridicule when the same reason you’re straightening your hair (chu becaw it did lean when yuh bahn?) is the same reason they’re trying to be brown?
Both groups are convinced that they have the right to alter their assets to achieve greater convenience (in whatever realm), to suit their personal preferences and to look beautiful. I have never known someone to change their appearance with the aim of looking less attractive so evidently whatever an individual does to enhance their beauty is their business! It’s about what they think when they look in the mirror.
Since we care so much about how badly damaged someone else’s skin is why don’t we all start distributing sunscreen at stoplights because the collective damage of this special Jamaican sun is far greater than the number of people who are voluntarily damaging theirs.
BUT WE WON’T DO THAT!
We won’t because we don’t really care about “di gyal skin”. Our true intention is to criticize so we can exercise some ill-perceived superiority when little do we realize that we’re both sailing in different boats that are headed to the same dockyard. The only difference is one sailor is docking to pick up their shipment of Nadinola and the other to pick up that “Dark and Lovely”.
What do you think? Do people bleach and creme for the same reasons? Tweet with me @kryticamind and take this quick poll!
Please feel free to drop you comments below and I welcome differing perspectives! 🙂