My Bleached Tan

Somewhere in Sakumono Estates Ghana, a lady comes out of her bathroom, stands in front of her mirror and then drops her towel; she smiles because she likes what she is turning into. She turns around and satisfied with her looks, grabs the magical potion which is transforming her, pours a generous portion into her palm and starts massaging the portion into her skin. In Miami Beach, Florida a lady in a two-piece swimsuit applies a tanning lotion all over her body and spend tones of time lying on the sunbed to achieve the perfect tan.

Over the years we have been made to believe black is beautiful and all the bla bla bla associated with it and we actually allow people to say that we do bleach because of self-hate, but that cannot be said to those who tan themselves. It is even said that those who tan themselves don’t do that because they are not comfortable in their skin, but for the black person, it has to be one reason and just that one. I don’t see the difference between tanning and bleaching they are just the same thing on opposite sides. They both involve altering the skin pigment.

Could it just be that, it is easier to live in the world in which one is perceived as whiter, because it portrays beauty, acceptance and one gets to be in the spotlight, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but it’s about time we stopped being all hypocritical about this issue and come to terms with the fact that people just do it to enhance their beauty and it just ends there. Those that engage in this toning, it isn’t call bleaching anymore, the new word is toning, it would be so cliche to say bleach, moving trends huh, obviously know what they are about so the whole world should just stop the self-hate theory,  is getting boring.

You know what is funny now when the issue of toning comes up people usually go with the Michael Jackson jokes, but society thinks it is perfectly normal to tan the skin, so tell me who dictates what is right and what isn’t, it all involves some element of change in the skin pigment. It is even said that blacks that engage in bleaching do so because they what to be accepted and noticed and the whites do tan because is a choice and just a part of vanity, but a closer looks just show that we both are just trying to be something we are not. When you are white you want thinner lips, darker skin, and when you are black, you want longer hair and lighter skin and those are the things that” supposedly”, makes us beautiful.

Osteoporosis, liver damage, swelling of the skin and cancer wouldn’t just affect the one who bleaches but also the one who tans the skin, and both sides know what they are in for.

So whether it is toning or tanning don’t let people tell you the reason why you do it, there is a lot of education on skin care and how to maintain it, is our choice if we want to look like whatever insane picture we have painted in our heads.

I perm my hair,

I wear make-up,

I color my hair,

I fix hair extensions,

Who am I to be hypocritical?

But truth is you get to live with whatever choices you make, bleach or tan there is always a price to pay eventually. Plus knowledge about the side effect and societal expectations would not let our conscience rest. It is better for one to save oneself the agony of all these.

Whoever defined beauty to mean a much toned elegant face with makeup and not forgetting to add the blush got it all wrong. And to those who believe they are never going to be described as beautiful enough because they haven’t tanned enough should redefine it.

 Because, beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love who you are, that’s when you are most beautiful.

Zoe Kravits

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4 responses to “My Bleached Tan”

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