Success in light skin tone? African whitening practice accused of colonial legacy
[Global Times Special Correspondent Liu Haoran] In recent years, Africa has caused a violent "whitening wind", and believes that light skin tone is the key to success. However, due to the lack of regulations in related industries, many whitening products in the market in Africa have great safety risks, posing a direct threat to consumers' health and even life.
According to Agence France-Presse reported on the 10th, a report by the World Health Organization shows that Nigeria is Africa's number one "whitening country", and as many as 77% of women in this country have a daily habit of using whitening products. Togo, South Africa and Mali are ranked 2-4 with 59%, 35% and 25%. In these countries, people's pursuit of "whitening" is regardless of age, and the user groups generally show the characteristics of "older generations oiling, younger generations taking medicine and injection".
In some extreme cases, some women even bring "whitening" into "prenatal education". For example, many women in Ghana start taking medicines for their children when they are pregnant.
In this "whitening" frenzy, many people have paid a heavy price for the pursuit of "beauty." According to the Nigerian news network "Naji", a young girl in the country has "whitened" since the age of 23, but she did not expect a few years of back burns, atrophy of the skin, and bulging blood vessels throughout the body. Recently, at a clinic in Lagos, Nigeria, a mother who "does not want her child to lose on the starting line" used a wildly blended "whitening cream" to apply a large amount to a two-month-old child, causing the latter to get up. Full of large abscesses.
From the perspective of the cultural departments of some African countries, the locals are obsessed with "whitening". This mentality stems from the "legacy of colonialism", which reflects the sense of inferiority of the consumer group itself, and this mentality greatly erodes African society. Nowadays, this concept of "white noble, black and low" has become deeply entrenched in certain social groups, and has become a basic reference for some people in employment and mate selection. Experts said that the strong demand has greatly promoted the brutal growth of the African whitening industry in recent years. Various beauty venues have sprung up, and various "three-none" products have poured into the market in batches. Limited by the level of consumption, only a few rich people can enjoy guaranteed products, and most ordinary people can only buy inferior products blended with unknown ingredients on street stalls and the black market.
Experts warn that these products may contain toxic substances, which can cause serious damage to the human respiratory and reproductive systems, liver and kidney functions, and severe cases can cause cancer, leukemia and neonatal deformities.