Jamaica land of bleachers, true or false?

Why am I wearing a tacky Photoshopped stash? Besides it making me highly attractive 😀  IT DEMANDS that you take this post very seriously. Stashes make everything cooler and more serious, look it up. Isn’t  that right Geeves?


Staches are awesome aren't they Geeves?

Staches are awesome aren’t they Geeves?

But on a less humorous tone, I know a lot of Jamaicans have been viewing clips from the famous Bleaching documentary done recently by Dionne Jackson Miller on All Angles . For my international readers who might not know what “Bleaching” refers to, its a process of skin lightening through the application of harsh chemicals. Though the phenomenon is not limited to just Jamaica, people do it an AWFUL lot here.
One would pretty much describe it as an epidemic. Since the airing of the documentary, many Jamaican have been sharing their opinions of the act of bleaching.
“Nutten nuh wrong wid it!” “dem people deh nasty an sick” “a ghetto people a lone do dem sumn deh” “dem nuh love themself” are just a few comments I’ve been seeing and hearing through various media. I simply want to put my two cents and five dollas in on this.
Please keep in mind this is my opinion and nothing more.

Clorox bleach can go so far and no more:

In modern Jamaica, bleaching products are very easy to come by but are very expensive.

I might sound morbid or screwed up for saying that I found a bit of the documentary amusing. Simply because the women featured in the film also seemed to find it amusing. As if to say, this is a form of promotion of their lifestyle.
They didn’t in the least, sound as if they were sorry for bleaching the natural melanin from their skin posing them to great long term risks of skin cancer. They sounded like them did a get a “forward”. I think what made me really take this whole thing seriously, was when one woman was asked if bleaching her skin had anything to do with hating her black skin. Her response (and I’m paraphrasing) ” No a just fashion ova style”.
That made no sense to me at all. Worse so, when she said some women bleach so that their’s men can see the bruises on their bodies when they hit them.I could feel myself feeling sad for this woman  but then that would make no sense either she by no stretch of the imagination seemed to need pity. She was quite confident with her bleached skin. She also displayed quite an extensive knowledge of the side effects of these products but didn’t seem the least perturbed. Again… WHAT THE HELL…
Mek wi reason…
First you say it has nothing to do with hating the skin colour you were born with but you also say that the men prefer the bleached girls? Why? What’s wrong with dark skinned women? Among the women’s barrage of contradictions, I simply deduced that it did have a lot do do with self hate and the lack of self reassurance.
If you had any love for self and was reassured;  that indeed you’re beautiful just the way you are, you would by no means try to alter yourself to please others, for fashion, or even to to be accepted.
To me bleaching is no different from taking drugs. You do it to feel “better”. There are obviously more deep rooted problems within this huge festering “Clorox”  problem.
Based on the various doctors and professionals also featured in the documentary. These problems dwell as far back as slavery, to social classicism and beyond. Think Imma leave that one there for now.
Cyan tell people weh fi do enuh…

On another point,someone had mentioned the collective aggression of the populous. On the bleaching matter, when issues such as fake hair (braids straight haired weaves etc) and processed hair , fake nails and any other man made beauty alterations which make women “attractive” were being ignored but all hate flags were being lit up for bleaching. VERY GOOD POINT! HOWEVER it doesn’t take away from the fact that bleaching does indeed have some roots in “self” waaay more than simply relaxing one’s hair or wearing nails or contacts.  Let me try to address this the best way I can and try to navigate around stepping on corns.

Sure adding all the weaves, nails, coloured contacts AND bleaching one’s skin should all be placed in the same category but bleaching seems to be the most popular. Since “EVERYONE” is doing it or so it was said by one the women featured.
It’s good that we want to pick out all the other unnatural and predominantly European alterations but when we pick at those too aren’t we then saying people should live as purists? Embracing our true selves? Don’t relax your hair, don’t wear contacts, don’t extend your eye lashes etc. But then that leads to people to argue that you’re telling them how to live THEIR lives. Which in turn goes back bleaching, its a lifestyle certain people choose , shouldn’t they have the right to live their lives in the way they want to? Paradoxical? Indeed.
Now I’m NOT saying i’m for bleaching. I most certainly am not. It seems not only rooted in self hatred and lost of identity but it’s ridiculously expensive..  Up to seven grand fi rubbings ??! Seriously??? a nuff money that enuh. But I AM saying that one cannot tell people how to live their lives. People like variety and I suppose like the variety of looks they can create with these products (inclusive of weaves, nails, contacts etc) Emphasising the words of Dr. Donna Hope ” You can have short hair today, long tomorrow”, it’s the same for one’s skin I suppose.

There’s also the argument that it allows people to be more visible or seen as one woman said ” when yuh bleach yuh show up betta inna di video light”. Wearing a blinking banana suit sounds like you’d attract more attention to me. To others it helps them to express their individuality. OK… can’t argue with that.
There must be however, some way in which we can express our individuality without causing harm to ourselves and being socially segregated and stereotyped because of it. Most bleachers cannot get decent jobs simply because of how they look and the stereotypes associated with bleaching.
There is still a long way for Jamaica to go before we become GREATER people, a really long way and over nuff hills and valleys.
For those who haven’t seen the Documentary yet, scroll down to see it. Live Good. Love God. Life Goes on.

Let me know how you feel about all of this will ya? Your input is always greatly appreciated.




4 thoughts on “Jamaica land of bleachers, true or false?

  1. I have heard about this particular episode thanks for the link. it’s even sadder when you hear some of the logic behind such an action!!! “It mek who favah funky monkey look nice” (shakes head in disdain) These people have turned this into an ‘art form’ to hell!

    I want to laugh so badly but i want to cry just as badly..that video broke my heart.

    I’d say for the other beauty alterations that moderation is key (I started growing out my hair for a lil wile and it was the most difficult thing to manage!) but bleaching just defies logic especially now after seeing what extents people will go to!

    Nicely put though WELCOME BACKKKK!!! 😀

    1. Indeed. I agree that moderation is key when using other forms of beauty alterations. The documentary not only broke my heart but the sense of pride i have in my country. Imagine being known as the bleaching capital of the world? We already got crime and violence =/
      Thank yah lady 🙂 Your continuous support is much appreciated

      1. Tell me about it! Do they realize how ignorant they sound. I’ve lost hope .. they spoke to only one ‘type’ of the population but anyone else not really knowing Jamaica will just add that stereotype to the weed and ‘fast running’ and goodness knows what else.

        I’ll admit there were time’s I just had to laugh … but for the most part i wanted to grab them and shake the ‘brightness’ out of them!

  2. Wow! I had never head of this until ayoliag pointed me to this article. I don’t get it! Though it might be aptly compared to lighter colored people tanning maybe? To some extent they are taking the risk of cancer and darkening their skin instead of lightening. Although the sun is way better for your skin than bleach :P. I don’t understand why darker colored people would want to be lighter though. Enjoy who you are and don’t try to change based on what other people like.

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