I think before the house on the hill, this is the one thing I have wanted to do more than anything else. A friend of mine said if I shed the excess weight, she’d pay for the first round of my skin lightening procedure. It’s been a year and I haven’t tried to lose the weight. I keep putting it off.
Whenever I speak about my desire to bleach my skin, it’s like, “no, why, you’re fine like that.” I don’t wanna be just fine. Fine is not the end goal here. Why are we always trying to talk people out of their choices? You can’t chit chat someone into changing their sexual orientation or even out of their inner issues or religious beliefs. Respect people’s choices bathong! What they choose to do with their bodies is none of your concern.
Someone decided to lie on Pokello about how she said Zimbabwean women don’t know how to bath. I wasn’t there, I don’t know. But I watched the debates that sprung from that and I realised that a lot of black people truly believe that having darker skin is because you don’t bath enough. You know nothing about being a little girl, scrubbing daily with a pumice stone, hoping you’ll get lighter. It doesn’t happen so you keep doing it everyday and even when your skin is sore and raw you keep at it because you know one day the results will come but they never do.
I dislike the texture of my skin, for personal reasons. I dislike that when we have to take a picture, mine needs a lot more editing work. They had a whole episode on it on Blackish when Diane had to take to take the class portrait and Dre says, “They OJ’d my baby,” just cause the photographer dropped the ball photographing a black girl. I remember speaking to my mentor in Nebraska and she explained to Lilian and I how the cameras were racially biased towards white people which is beneficial to light skinned people as well. There’s a whole article on it here.
I literally just came off of Khanyi Mbau’s Instagram Live where she said, “the reason I lighten my skin is because it’s easier for lighting on a movie set.” I screen recorded it if you wanna see it. And I get it, you know like when you watch dark movies like Harry Potter on the cam version and all you can see are eyeballs and teeth. Happens everytime I try to take pictures. It’s even worse when I take pictures with people of a lighter complexion. I try to avoid it but all my little sisters are yellow borderline coloured. Tricky. In 2015 I blogged about what life was like being the only dark skinned girl amongst light skinned girls (The Black Sheep.)
Thembi what about the little girls who look up to you?
Uyabona ke, I did not shoot the sheriff or hang our Lord and Saviour. The weight of the world is not mine to bear. To each his own and to thine self be true. This is a choice I have made for myself based on the internal dialogue I have between self and I. What other people choose to do with their bodies isn’t up to me. It’s ridiculous to think I have that much sway in people’s lives. I have never once said, I will bleach because such and such did it. Not once. I want it cause I want it.
I have a different view on bleaching one’s skin after reading this post.
I will say “to each his own”
I badly want to have my body worked on but at the end of the day, what comes to mind first is the aftermath of it all.
Will there be any health challenges /side effect?
This is irreversible, will I still be cool with it in years to come?
I also want to be sure it’s not just a phase that will soon pass.
Thank you for sharing this.
You took the words from my mouth!
Hey Thembi, I actually read this like it was poetry but if this were your personal thoughts I hope you do not Beach your skin for any reason. I know people who’ve gone down that path and are facing serious health issues now. Please be more loving to yourself. Accept your skin colour and everything else will fall in place.
Everybody edits pictures nowadays especially for professional shoots so that shouldn’t make you take the jump.
Please love yourself. Cheers!
Thank you so much for this post, Thembi.
Although I love my colour (sometimes wish I was darker even), you’ve made me see reasons why I shouldn’t be quick to judge those who choose to bleach their skin.
Yes, she really wants to, and I think that’s totally fine. Especially after reading her post which says she’s a proud black woman who still wants to bleach. ♥️✨
I find it distressing that you want to bleach your skin. Do you really or have I misread your post? I’m a Black woman brought up in the UK I was brought up to be proud of my skin colour. I have never wanted to bleach my skin.
Very interesting take, people think colorism is all talk but I would know having gone through all the black emanating nicknames a child dreads. It really affected my self confidence for the longest time. I didn’t understand why i was angry or umsure of myself, it cut deep but when i began to understand what i was up against… I fell in love with my dark skin. That said, always do what makes YOU happy, we ain’t getting any younger anyway!
New outlook you have given to the subject, I think I now have some form of respect for those who take the path.
But I disagree with the camera issue
I agree with on everything and respect your views but I disagree with the camera movie photography issue, think about it critically
No, Benjamin, she’s actually right.
I’ve faced discrimination in front of the camera because I’m of a darker skin shade. And really, I don’t blame them. The production team wants a great job at the end of the day and they have limited resources to pull that off.
I share the exact same sentiments. My little sister is light and you can just tell the difference in how people perceive us. Let’s bleach our skin girl!
This is really interesting and deep to read. Bookmarked it for later to digest it very well. Well done