Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Deadly Fashion: Senegalese Women Bleaching Skin To Look White!

To see the effects of racism based on skin color most clearly, one should go to the developing world.

In Senegal, bleaching your skin is seen as a way to get ahead.
In richer countries people are increasingly comfortable, and successful, regardless of their natural skin color, but in many African countries like Senegal, trying to change one's skin color is still seen as a way to get ahead.

"Some Senegalese women," Emilie, a student at Dakar University, told ABC News, "are trying to look like the white girls they see on television."

From ads on highway billboards, to little stands in marketplaces, skin bleaching products are almost everywhere.

They sell well, despite what public health officials say are grave risks of using them, including cancer.

The cheapest creams cost around $5 per tube, a small fortune in Senegal, and they are also among the most dangerous.

At a market in Dakar, a young hairdresser who was unwilling to reveal her name told ABC News she had used the creams. "It's more beautiful to have lighter skin. A bit lighter, it's a bit better," she said.

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