The Emerging Skin-Whitening Industry

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Empress Verite

Black Women and Skin Whitening

Post by Empress Verite » Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:00 am

Sak Pase Zanfinginen?

Thank you so much for that link. I have read so much about that topic for my dissertation and other papers that I've written on Black women and the body n the post modern era. I found the article helpful in identifying the companies that profit from this. However, it did not focus enough on the small fries like Ambi and so on which Black women tend to use a lot. More than that during slavery and for some time after some Black women in the US bathed their babies in bleach to lighten their complexion!

I feel that although Asian women have the most plastic or cosmetic surgeries to alter their look and make them appear more Western European. Black women undergo the most insideous and detrimental bodily transformations. These females perm or straighten and highlight and use skin bleaching creams as well as fake hair or extensions (imported primarily from Asian countries). The fact is that we are the worse victims of this industry because most black females feel that they cannot make it or succeed in society without these accessories that alter their natural beauty. I was shocked when I was in Senegal to find that so many women had disfigured themselves with skin bleaching cremes and I found that those who had the most contact with whites had the worse problems. These were women who had migrated to Senegal from Mauratania.

It is unfortunate but it affects Haitian women at a high rate also. For us, success is highly associated with our physical appearance and this means undergoing serious transformation and altering our looks to make us appear more white and less threatening or savage (like a marroon).

There's so much to say about this that I had decided to write a whole dissertation about it specifically as it relates to Haitian women in the Dyaspora.

Mesi anpil. Please post any other such articles that you find or know of.

EV

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Post by admin » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:27 am

Hi! This is just a little editorial comment on your use of the forum, Empress. I am truly impressed. I am not sure exactly how you go about it, but it appears that you go to all the different categories and you read all articles of interest, whether they were posted yesterday or several years before!! I should not be surprised because that is exactly the reason why I instinctively spent SO MANY HOURS (incalculable, really) saving, categorizing everything on the forum, always striving not to let it go out of hand, in spite of its tens of thousands of posts (as of today, this latest format of Ann Pale, has over 13, 700 posts but one should not forget the other formats that preceded it which also contained tens of thousands of posts that were mostly written in Haitian Creole). Over the last many years, I have in fact acted as the volunteer librarian for Windows on Haiti, always securing, archiving, and organizing its million bits and pieces, in the hope that it will serve current and future generations in search of knowledge with a Haiti-centric perspective. In the past, we have often referred to this approach, naming it "a popular university". Whatever it is, that is what I have spent a significant portion of my life building over 8 years! I sense that the vast majority of people have no idea whatsoever of the true magnitude of efforts and time spent creating this repository of knowledge. Whay have I done it? Since there is a well-known theory that everyone acts out of self-interest, whether that is money, glory, power, defining one's legacy, or whatever else can be construed as self-interest, I would say that I have often wondered WHY I do this, WHY I am spending my life doing it, without seeing the direct benefits most of the time. The best way I can answer that question is that perhaps it's the legacy thing. I have always been acutely aware of my mortality and my life takes meaning, to my own eyes, in as much as the things that I do have a positive impact (however small that positive difference) on the living environment I came into being (without asking). To me, true life is a series of positively angled steps and Windows on Haiti is just one of them. That is just my way, everyone else will find their way. But all those steps should be interlocking and spiralling towards a superior archictecture of life on this planet.

All of this to say that it is hugely satisfying to me to see the evidence of someone truly searching the archives of Ann Pale and Windows on Haiti. The few people who feel motivated to participate usually respond only to what has been posted today or yesterday. But what of the treasure of information we have accumulated over the last eight years and a half of WINDOWS ON HAITI? It's all there for every person who cares to probe it. It's evident that is what you do, Empress. I thank you for making an example of this in so many ways.

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Post by admin » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:36 am

Now to go back on topic. Would you include Michael Jackson in that category? He used to be such a fine looking young man. What happened to him? Was it skin disease or mental disease? Anyway, the way he looks is really none of my business on a personal level, but perhaps we should be grateful that the example he has set has failed in the eyes of most? Otherwise, we would have witnessed more blacks trying everything to look like the new Michael, which is definitely not happening.

Skin whitening is perhaps the sickliest form of plastic surgery.

Though there are others... like women paying for fat injection in their vulvas (no kidding!) in order to be more pleasing to men; women "restoring" their lost virginity by recreating their hymens, either with the intention to fool the next fool or in some cases, with the full knowledge of their husbands who do not mind paying thousands of dollars for the re-enactment of that illusory "first time" after years of marriage and sometimes more partners than one could possibly remember. That's what I am told is happening now across America, by way of Argentina where those intimate operations came first in vogue, following the now run-of-the-mill face and T&A jobs.

My friend who works as a surgical assistant tells me that I would never suspect the number of women that now submit themselves to optional labia reconstruction (a bit like kitchen resurfacing) for the sake of beauty and sexual attractiveness. And in another part of the world, some women and their children are dying of starvation.

But that is the way of the world...

Empress Verite

Reconstructive Surgery

Post by Empress Verite » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:19 pm

Greetings Guy:

Thank you for the comment about my use of the vast posts on the forum. I really enjoy reading the materials because it gives me a Window on what the "family" is thinking about and cares about. Besides, as a social scientist, I am always interested in people's motivations and the "archive" of materials provides me with that. Also, I am very interested in the content of these threads and responses...reading them is like doing a content analysis to which I can respond and interact with the authors and posters. So it's great that you've done this. As an architect of this forum you have indeed created a great way for us to interact and communicate our concerns in these times about various issues. It's so good to see the breadth and scope of our imagination. Thank you so much because this will be here for a long time to come.

With regards to the plastic surgery issue, I have many thoughts about that. First, I saw a segment of Dr. 90210 where a Black plastic surgeon refaced a Muslim woman's hymen to make it appear as if she was a virgin. I am glad that these women can do that because it would be seriously hazardous to their health if they did not. Some folks in various cultures around the world (including Haitian culture) revere female virgins in spite of the fact that males are encouraged to roam the field. Well, what are we supposed to do? In fact, I have no problems with women who choose to play around at all. I don't think that this is what makes someone any more or less desirable or attractive as a mate. Unfortunately, the double standard hurts females too much. And when we factor in the reality that so many females don't make it to 16 without being sexually assaulted or molested well, where are these guys going to get their virgins with no broken hymen? This is the idea that motivates so called healers (charlattans and quacks) to tell their clients to have sex with a young child virgin when they have a sexually transmitted disease. This has cause havoc in so-called 3rd World countries and it's wrong.

I believe that we should emancipate ourselves from mental slavery and get with the real. How did black men feel during slavery when the females that they loved were sexually exploited by massah, his mistress and their friends or whomever they bred her too? For that matter how did the females feel when the same thing happenned to their men. I am continually appalled at how Black men and Haitian men in particular are exploited sexually by the establishment. When will we ever discuss that part of it and how this is killing us softly? (and just as an aside, I understand that Jean Claude Duvalier is currently in a relationship with a woman who looks like Angelina Jolie. The latter super movie star has been known for her sexual exploits both with men and women. I don't see that stopping Brad Pitt (the sexiest man alive and a super movie star) from wanting to be with her! And I don't believe that Paris Hilton's promiscuity will discourage suitors from high class backgrounds either. Again, it's the poor girl who is most at risk for being held to this litmus test of virginity in our society. And unfortunately, she is the most likely to be sexually exploited.

I have strong reservations about the issue of plastic surgery. However, I understand what motivates people and particularly women to undergo these procedures. Looks are everything in this world and for women to want to put their best foot forward in order to succeed is their perogative. I just don't want to be victimized because I don't partake in the madness for whatever reason.

And finally, Michael Jackson used to be a good looking black man. I think that he fell victim to the white run entertainment industry. At this time, the black entertainers are not following in his footsteps but they are promoting white beauty standards in their music and videos. And women with ample bosoms are sought after greatly to make up their harem of videos "hos" and this promotes another form of plastic surgery-breast augmentation not to mention butt additions and lip adds and hair extensions. I feel truly sorry for these black sistahs especially since Haitian females of certain age groups are partaking in this industry at record numbers now.

Best,
EV

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