And then when one gets very close to a bleacher one could smell this uneasy smell that was certainly the result of a combination of at least three factors – the soaps and chemicals, the bleached skin, and perfumes used in an attempt to cover up the more basic smells. If you have ever experienced it, you know being around them can be very unnerving.
To fast-forward, the high tide of the economic re-colonisation of Africa has brought other modes of bleaching. Two modes are worth mentioning; direct skin-bleaching cosmetics, called skin-toning cosmetics, and the pill that one has to swallow. The cosmetics started with lower concentration of the active skin-bleaching component, some of them with mercury base elements, which is lethal to health. When you use them, it lightens, de-pigments or brightens your skin. However, the way Onyame (God or Allah) made the human body, it automatically fights anything that seeks to upset its optimal settings responsible for the harmony among the systems to ensure good health. And bleaching is one of such bodily harmony up-setters. (This does not include disease, which we fight, because disease is not part of the conditions responsible for the body’s health.)
The skin is designed to protect the internal anatomy of the body and to bleach (peel or remove) it, only tells the body “I am under attack.” N’ansoobae is clear indication of that – it is evidence of the body fighting back because of the severity of the attack and saying, at least, “There is danger to body anatomy under this part (area) of skin and I will protect them no matter what is done to it from outside.” Also medical practitioners have told us, consistently, about the dangers of the bleaching components of these cosmetics. Two have been mentioned above. The same medical experts also tell us that the skin of all human beings is designed to protect us, our internal organs, against certain dangerous radiations in the sun’s rays. Thus to tamper with the skin through bleaching or skin toning reduces the ability of the skin to perform that task of protection.
When the body begins to fight the peeling or removal of the skin, the low level of bleach component is eventually no longer effective. And so one now has to upgrade to a more effective cosmetic with higher content of bleach. It means applying to your skin a more dangerous dose of the lethal chemical. And it also means spending more money; for what; buying disease.
Ti-Kelenkelen is yet to hear anyone articulate it, but the fact that the skin does react to any action or product that disturbs it healthy harmony, means the pill used for bleaching is bound to be more dangerous than the cosmetics. It is more lethal simply because it works from inside the body to cause the bleaching on the surface; it disturbs a whole lot of balances in the body. According to medical officials who have explained it, the bleaching pill works by destroying in the black human body the layer or body system responsible for our blackness, melanin. Unfortunately, melanin is not a disease, so why take a pill that destroys it. Melanin makes us black or chocolate or the different shades of it. More importantly, and critically, melanin helps strengthen the texture of and protects the skin of the black person to enable it (the skin) protect the human being against dangerous rays of the sun. So why remove it? Removing it to look pretty (which Ti-Kelelenkelen doubts) and then getting cancer because of the destruction of the skin and even of melanin that protects us, which should be the preferred choice?
The interesting thing is that the companies that manufacture these cosmetics and pills have learnt that you can get people to use their products more and more if only you could give it free of charge to persons people generally consider role models and actually paying them to use it. It is application of the saying using fish to fish fish. Thus they target among others film stars. Ti-Kelenkelen does not know if that is how African film stars, such as Yvonne Nelson of Ghana and a line-up of them living in Nigeria, came to use the pill, but there is rumour flying around that Yvonne Nelson, particularly, used or is using the pill. And one needs to compare pictures of her early days of acting to pictures of her now to see that she is much fairer now that back then.
Ti-Kelenkelen is yet to find out if a long line of African actresses are bleaching because movie producers and directors are either explicitly or implicitly demanding fairer skin by say tending to cast fairer skins in lead roles. Fortunately, so many other African film actresses did and have maintained their blackness and chocolate complexions, which did and have become one of the hallmarks of their star appeal. Legendary Alexandra Duah (MHSRIP) maintained her blackness and gained worldwide fame as Mama Africa. Worldwide, contemporary actresses who have maintained their black or chocolate complexion include Phylicia Rashad, Halle Berry, Sanaa Lathan, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Queen Latifah, Genevive Nnaji, Jackie Appiah, Mercy Johnson, Teyonah Paris, Yvonne Okoro, Lupita Nyong’o, Lydia Forson, Gabrielle Union, Ni Long, Regina King, Patience Ozorkwor… The list is indeed endless.
In the end, for emphasis, speak to anyone who is a constant skin bleacher, through whatever mode, and one will be amazed at the amount of money each puts into the act each month. And all of that for what? Buying disease? And then the same companies that make the products will make other products that are intended to deal with what they will term “complications” that result from skin toning or bleaching. And this set of complications includes cancer, particularly in the case of the pill. This second set of products is even more dangerous, since to be effective these must, plausibly, have chemical components that are stronger than those in the bleach cosmetics. And those who are habitual bleachers find out too late, that is, when they are saddled with diseases they could have walked away from at the crossroads where they chose bleaching.
So LADIES, let us now reason together in confidence! To try to capture in English something we say properly in African (Ghanaian) languages: Even when you are healthy, how well can you trust a man to stand with fidelity; then to talk about when you are, taflatse, sick with an intractable or terminal disease. This is not to offer bad advice to men married to ailing women, but really to establish a tactical point for our black and chocolate ladies. Why bleach today to appeal to a man and then ten or more years later you are saddled with a disease you brought upon yourself thereby; if the man is unfaithful to you in that situation, who will you blame? And this is a man you bleached to attract. And it hurts most when a man abandons you during ill-health. The whole point is this: If you are healthy then, you can go out and find a guy who treasures you.
“However, the way Onyame (God or Allah) made the human body, it automatically fights anything that seeks to upset its optimal settings responsible for the harmony among the systems to ensure good health. And bleaching is one of such bodily harmony up-setters.”
“…The fact that the skin does react to any action or product that disturbs it healthy harmony means the pill used for bleaching is bound to be more dangerous than the cosmetics.”
“Unfortunately, melanin is not a disease, so why take a pill that destroys it.”
“Legendary Alexandra Duah (MHSRIP), maintained her blackness and gained worldwide fame as Mama Africa.”