Skin lightening creams and even the conversation of a skin lightening cream has always been the big pink elephant in the room among black women, but especially Nigerian women. Most of the skin lightening creams, pills, and potions are considered somewhat taboo in the community, but that does not stop the hundreds, if not thousands of women who are looking for that magic cream they believe will transform their lives.
It is not hard to see why Nigerian women covet such skin. They are constantly bombarded with images of movie stars, and singers that all have flawless beautiful skin. In their minds, they equate the lighter skin with having a happier life. They want a life where they will be loved and admired by others.
So, what is the Big Deal?
Most people who argue against the use of skin lightening creams believe that these women are expressing a form of self-hatred, or that they are selling out their race. This argument is somewhat flawed itself because there are many different shades of skin within the African community.
The argument does not hold a lot of water because there are naturally light skinned Nigerian women with green eyes, and there are Nigerian women who have a deep blue black skin tone. This does not prevent both groups of women from seeking out a skin lightening cream.
The Answer Could Be Psychological
The choice to use a skin lightening product could be based deep in the psyche of these women. There are some members of the African community who seem to be more favorable in the eyes of others because of their lighter skin tone. There is also a hidden dissent within the community itself where some members seem to favor their lighter skinned sisters over the darker ones.
So, in essence, a darker skinned woman will believe that she will feel better about herself, and others will like her more if she has a lighter skin complexion.
It is a Matter of Choice
A lot of people believe that using skin lightening products is no different from using a relaxer, getting a French manicure, or shaving. These are all attempts at changing the way you appear to the world. These people believe that they should be able to use skin lightening creams without the negative backlash.
Safety is a Big Issue
Even if Nigerian women decide to proceed with the use of skin lightening products just because they choose to, they should be aware of the hazards that can accompany the products.
Most of the products are created and manufactured overseas by foreigners who have no regard for the safety of the women who are buying these creams. Numerous health complications can accompany the use of these products with some of the consequences being fatal. Diabetes, birth defects, cancer, and Cushing’s disease are just a few of the diseases that a woman could get from the prolonged use of skin lightening products. Other complications that could occur is the imbalance of the endocrine system and mercury poisoning that can cause liver and kidney failure.