Why do millions of black people try to dye their skin white?


Why do so many black people try to lighten the color of their skin? The situation has gotten so bad in Ghana, where up to 70% of women do it, that the country has passed a law against it.

On Aug. 1, Ghana’s Food and Drug Authority began a ban on certain skin-whitening products that include hydroquinone, a topical ingredient that disrupts the synthesis and production of the melanin that can protect skin in the intense West African sunshine.

With some estimates putting the number of women in West Africa using lightening cream at 70 percent in some places, officials say they are worried there could be a sharp uptick in skin cancer....

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But the ban in Ghana hasn’t extended to removing the countless billboard advertisements on how to get “perfect white” skin.

Not long after, the Ghanaian government’s chief officer in charge of putting the ban in place, during an interview at his office, expressed relief that his 3-year-old daughter’s skin is not as dark as his own.

The article goes on to say that the reason that Africans want to be white can be traced to white racism. When African countries were colonies of the Europeans, their white rulers held themselves out to be superior. This is supposed to explain why now, 70 years later, black people want to be white.

But this explains nothing. If black people hated their colonial masters they certainly would not look up to them and want to be like them.

This "whitenization" of black people can be seen even in America. The most extreme example, of course, is Michael Jackson. But if you look at before and after photos of Beyonce and Zoe Saldana and other black entertainers, you will see a stark progression from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to the Miss Sweden Beauty Pageant.

I think the reasons that so many black people do this is cultural in nature. When you look at Africa, it's a mess. But when you look at the US and even European countries, they are in much better shape. I think African people see American and European cultures as better and therefore think the people who inhabit them are beautiful.

Imagine for a moment if America was the land of AIDS and rampant polygamy. Imagine if many Americans didn't even have electricity or toilets. Imagine if we had no civil society, virtually no economy, we produced nothing the world wanted, and tourists only came here to see the Buffalo in Yellowstone. And now suppose if Ethiopea was constantly producing Nobel Prize winners in the sciences. Suppose Botswana was a powerhouse economy, and Zimbabwe manufactured 70% of the world's electronics, and the Sudan produced 30% of the world's patents, and Gabon produced most of the world's best literature and motion pictures.

People would be envious of Africa. You'd see white people in America painting themselves black, because they would equate success with beauty. That's what I think is going on.

If the Africans could only get their act together, and produce societies where private property is respected, where the rights of the individual are acknowledged, and where education and productivity are given higher priority than war and chaos, I think people would stop bleaching themselves.

Why do you think so many black people and Africans try to become white?



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