Ever wondered what it’s like to be a young dark-skinned individual in Nigerian society? No?
Let me show you.
It’s hearing things like;
“Hello blackie”, “why your skin black like charcoal”, “your skin looks so dirty”, and “you’d be prettier if you were lighter” from total strangers. Sometimes on a daily basis, even from people, you know.
It’s facing prejudice and discrimination from potential employers. It is being picked last for jobs in the banking, modelling, advertising and social media/influencing industry
It is the constant criticism and scrutiny that you suffer from fellow Nigerians.
You are made to feel that you aren’t pretty enough and not up to the standard of beauty. You are being sold death in a bottle by chemical alchemists packaged as skincare gurus. They sell you the hope of a better life in their bottle of pills, potions and serums. These “gurus” sell you death in a bottle in exchange for an allegedly better skin colour.
Nigerian skincare gurus have built a multi-million naira industry on the backs of the pain faced by dark-skinned individuals. So many of their products contain chemicals like Mercury and hydroquinone, which can be deadly to the body. These chemicals can cause kidney and liver malfunction, blood poisoning, nausea, abdominal pains, and long-lasting neurological and kidney impairment.
But you know what is sad about all this?
The constant increase of these brands, new ones are popping up each day to make money off the suffering of others. Sadly, nothing is being done to curtail this skincare menace.
Young dark-skinned people fall prey every day, every minute and second to these skincare brands. All because continuous scrutiny has instilled in them a lingering sense of self-hate and low self-esteem.
Society has shown numerous times that a lighter skin or a fairer complexion is the true definition of beauty. This is why mixed-race or light-skinned individuals are always held in high esteem.
Which is quite ridiculous because we live in an African society where the majority of citizens are predominantly dark-skinned.
This colourism is so deeply rooted in our society, in our hearts, that it would seem like only a miracle could tear it away from us.
There is no denying that in recent times there has been more exclusivity in specific industries. But only a fool would say that there is no more colourism.
So, It should come as no surprise that dark-skinned individuals are looking for a way out. A way out of feeling restricted, scorned and overlooked because of their colour.
So who is to blame for this problem, society, the dark-skinned individual? Is this a problem that would eventually go away? Or will it continue this way for more generations to come?
This article was written by Peace Eke-Efeme; connect with her on Instagram via here
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