photo credit: BBC

A black woman from Kingston, Jamaica has been bleaching her skin for three years.  She claims she simply wanted to try on a new look.  You know, like a pair of shoes or some swanky tattoo.  Now the bleached woman is warning all bleach-seekers to (one) reinvest in the beauty of black skin; (two) study the ancient art of loving oneself; or (three) use milder bleach?  You guessed it.  Three!  Hydroquinone [skin bleacher] ruined the woman's skin and she advises to use something that doesn't create stretch marks or makes one look like a troubled haint.  Note:  Hydroquinone has been tagged a medical no-no for quite some time.

At the end of the day I don't care if people bleach, rinse or tumble dry their skin, I got larger hoops to jump through and I'm committed to that.  However, DURING the day I got something to say.  I know black people are not monolithic and to each his own and the residue of colonialism is a mother, but come on!  Somebody needs to take a trip to Kingston [or Los Angeles or London] and tell this sister that bleaching one's skin is not a trend rivaled only with pan-seared Char.  Somebody needs to school this sister about the works of Assata Shakur, John Hope Franklin, Audre Lorde, hell, John Brown.  You know, to inspire some critical self-reflection.  Then again, I may be officially "Old School" because nowadays when disgruntled bleached women submit a complaint it's not about the lack of self-love, it's about insisting on a better bleaching product.

Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.