Fair and Lovely – “Heavy Cost of Light Skin”


I recently started a topic discussion on Blackplanet.com

Titled: Heavy Cost of Light Skin.

Here is a preview as well as some of the comments people had to say about this growing issue…

By: Joan Baxter

The use of bleaching creams to lighten complexions seems to have reached epidemic proportions in Mali, despite widespread education campaigns. Women who refuse to bleach often find themselves regarded as second class citizens.
A woman who did not bleach her skin said she is often not offered a chair at baptisms, and is asked to make herself scarce when group photographs are taken at marriages.

How does everyone feel about this…being that it’s a huge issue nowadays?


Male, 22, Los Angeles, CA


Just sad that any society would have a perception like that.


Female, Age Private, Kansas City, MO


Self hate just like some in the US….strong feeling for an African country to emulate the beauty standatds of whites…

To read full article visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/718359.stm

For full comments on this topic (blackplanet.com)visit this url : http://www.blackplanet.com/forums/thread.html?thread_id=50213


For more articles on this issue visit:



For more interesting information visit:




Not enough info (wink)…here are some books:

The Color Complex by Kathy Russell

Don’t  Play in the Sun by Marita Golden

Blacker the Berry by Wallace Thurman


This video below is an ad by Fair and Lovely products… The video is in Arabic, but basically what’s happening is the young woman is discriminated because of her skin tone…

The video below is a scene from Spike Lee’s film School Daze which does a great job satirizing the issue (colorism).

The following video feature Shah Rukh Khan in an ad for

Fair and Handsom Cream- Emami




Filed under Africa, Asians, Colonialism, Colorism, Culture, Current Events, Discrimination, India, Life, London, Media, Middle East, Mode, News, Products, Racism, Science, Shah Rukh Khan, Skin bleaching, Thoughts, Video, World

12 responses to “Fair and Lovely – “Heavy Cost of Light Skin”

  1. The first advert you put up is in Swahili and I am sure you know what it means but it just pains me so much to read it because even in East Africa we still have such a long way to go. Using ‘urembo’ to symbolise lighter skin means that we are still serving the planterocracy which needs us to hate our skin colour in order for them to make money.

    I want to support the endeavours of all black people regardless of whether they are fair or dark skinned however we must end this favouritism towards people with light skin because our race ends up just being the hare — charging around trying to be something it is not but ultimately running out of steam.

  2. Sue

    I stumbled across this page, while looking for pictures of gontiinos dresses (traditional Somali dresses). For some reason I was drawn to this particular post. It’s damn shame that our women need to destroy their identity and skin for an ideology that looking Caucasian is beautiful. It really is a sickness that’s been around since the
    days of slavery and the colonisation of Africa, which was probably used as a tool to distract us along with their “divide and conquer” tactics. However sadly like many other things in our cultures, it’s us women who have imposed these silly ideas upon one another. Rarely do you see a Somali man who comments on the complexion of some women. I’m personally tired of the whole thing, I guess it’s up to us to turn it all around and make a change. After seeing the extents women is Somalia go to in order to be a few shades lighter you can help but think who are they doing this for?

    God I could rant on about this forever! I’d better stop it there.

    Fair and lovely? Ha! What a joke.

  3. I agree with you Sue on many points.

    However huuno, I find Somali men nowadays are literally picking out their wives solely on the color of their skin. They are just as much into the light skinned mentality as the women are. If not more.

    What is the first thing you hear when you go to a Somali house and the woman has just had a baby? How do they describe the child? They say, “Allah, manshallah waa inaan caad.” I’m sure you’ve heard it too!

    It honestly is a sad situation.

    Something else I’ve noticed is not only are our men doing this, but whenever you go to the cinema again and happen to see the previews, lookout for the major African American actors such as Will Smith or Denzel Washington. (I say this because I just saw it last night) I guarantee you they will be escorting either a very light skinned woman or a Latina woman. Nothing is wrong with either type of woman.

    However, when did it become wrong or unfashionable to date a dark skinned woman?

    What kind of message are they trying to send to the youth?

    If you stop and think about it, it’s affecting us in more ways than one.

    Thanks for your insight huuno!

  4. Sue

    I guess you’re right to some extent, but I do honestly believe that women are just to blame as the men. I might not have mentioned men earlier but as a raving feminist I do think that men go without saying! Believe me I’m the first to thrash them.

    However, in other topics women are often the first to impose things on one another, and because they’re women it makes it that much more unbearable. Such as FGM and twisted cultural gender roles! You can’t honestly tell me that it isn’t your mother or aunty that moans or chastises you when you’re not being a good little “modest” girl or the local female gossip queen isn’t ridiculing the unfortunate single mothers and questioning your choice of clothing? I’ve personally had enough of hearing “well…in my day we had it worse, you should count your luck stars” as some sort of justification of why they’re enforcing the very things they found unfair or wrong. It’s almost sadistic! That Somali women can impose things for the sake of not becoming the talk of the town, but in my opinion who cares what these shallow individuals think about your life, why subject yourself to a life of misery for their benefit? I can’t even go on a holiday these days without being told “they’ll wonder why you keep going away and say…” are they really counting how many times I go away on holiday? ARRGH! How truly sad.

    Ok enough maybe I should rant on my own blog!

  5. I agree on many aspects huuno (sister). This discussion might need to transfer to email…lol

  6. habibi

    my husband adores my dark skin, though he is himself very fair, he always compliments on his wife being a beautiful woman of dark complexion. now, our daughter has my complexion, and it makes him adore dark skin even more. unluckily, u don’t find many men who think like him, eh!i think it comes down to us, blacks. the caucasians don’t have anything 2 do with this discrimmination and stupid preference. it is mainly US, blacks, who make this silly demarcation, which makes the whole thing really just plain SAD!!

  7. Sophia

    it’s not only an african american problem it’s a worldwide promblem. In india they favor women with lighter skin in asia people are getting eyelid surgery so they can have the “folds” in there eyes!
    How can you say it’s only US blacks who make this silly demarcartion. This is only a promblem because of the standard of beauy whites put on the media which is broadcast around the world. Black people can not only blame themselves when it’s really not their fault. Even white men say that light skin women look better than dark skin women. Go to india and the middle east please
    you’ll find out that it’s a MAJOR problem there too. Only a white women would give that type of comment, being ignorant as they are!

  8. In my point of view,black women are discriminated in most of the cases.at the time of marriage,both the parents of groom and bride look for a candidate with beauty and white cmplextion.In B-schools recruitment most of the recruiters prefer to select beautiful girls and boys.So beauty is important now a days ,it should be taken care off.

  9. lane

    I’m dark and I just tell people to kiss my black ass LOL. when they see that i am comfortable with me, they don’t understand…strange people. i’m really brown. the ones i have probs with are really really dark black people, which i don’t notice until they tell me about my skin tone. u can mess with their heads so much.

  10. Dex

    I am what people would refer to as a light skinned woman and i am aware of the little step up in society with lighter skin but not aware of the gold medals or the millionaire husband that people think they will achieve with lighter skin (well not in london anyway). Its all being blown out of proportion. The truth is when some bleaches their skin, it is very noticeable (with the darker lips,knuckles,nails and whatnot) I believe its all about how you see yourself if your a darker skinned female/male and believe that lighteing your skin is somehow gonna make you happier then you have some deep self-concept problems and are very nieve. i know plenty of dark skinned sisters who are happy and content in their colour and very beautiful so i argue its all in the persons head. These bleaching products also leave the persons skin sensitive and hollow and it is not at all worth the damage of the long term use.black is beautiful.

    someone mentioned that somali men look for lighter woman…this maybe true but light skinned or not who would wanna be with someone as shallow as that.

  11. I encourage everyone to read this article
    some of the things stated are very interesting.

  12. Anonymous

    It’s effed up how people still have preferences over skin color. Who the hell cares? God made you a certain skin color. The color of your skin doesn’t make you smarter or anything. Maybe it’s just a thing… like men typically dislike hairy women, so they really hairy women have to constantly shave just to please their preferences of attractiveness and whatnot… it’s a damn shame that people look on the outside and not what’s in the inside, because the outside cannot be helped… except for plastic surgery, but that stuff is stupid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s