Last year I heard famed nutritionist, comedian and activist Dick Gregory claim the number 1 cause of death in Jamaica was skin bleaching. I have no confirmation on that though I have asked around and I think it’s an exaggeration but maybe the question is how much of an exaggeration is it? I do know skin bleaching is a serious issue in the African diaspora.
Skin bleaching products are widely available in every beauty supply store in any Black community I’ve ever been too. I consider this a public health issue because, much like the powerful chemicals in hair relaxers as Chris Rock pointed out in his documentary Good Hair, there are surely long term health effects of skin bleaching. Some of those effects are more immediate as one woman commented in the documentary there are persons who bleach their skin and are now unable to go out into the sun without being fully covered because their skin would burn.
This documentary via wickedhype.com is sure to include that this phenomenon also affects men and boys, not just girls and women. Do you think this is a serious health issue that needs to be addressed? Do you agree with skin bleaching? Do you think it shouldn’t be considered an epidemic in Jamaica? Do you think it has any relationship to self-hatred or is merely a cosmetic choice? Do you think skin bleach and hair relaxers are completely separate issues?