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Sociology : Skin Bleaching Epidemic - Research Paper Example

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The clamor for lighter skin derives from a number of factors, with most of them psychological or social. Several decades ago, skin bleaching was frowned upon in many parts of Africa and the Caribbean…
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Sociology : Skin Bleaching Epidemic
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Sociology : Skin Bleaching Epidemic

Download file to see previous pages... This development is interesting because it reveals several truths about skin bleaching.
The media, the biggest influencer of opinions and perspectives, is the catalyst for skin bleaching on many levels. There are other aspects such as personal preferences and the need to “fit in,” but even these are mostly influenced by the media (Blay, 2013). While watching TV or movies, anybody with a keen eye can spot the media’s preference for light(er) skin. Even in Africa, where over 90% of the population is black, TV presenters are not the typical “black beauties” that Africa is known for. It is far easier to find fair skinned or even white presenters in TV shows than dark skinned ones. However, is the media solely responsible for these trends? It does not seem so. The media are simply taking advantage of our mentalities on skin color and stoking its fires with it. In Nigeria, for example, skin bleaching has been largely perpetrated by the people, not the media. However, the media still hold most of the blame (Parks, 2011). The media often try to portray lighter skin as better than dark skin. In TV shows, for example, fair-skinned actors dominate dark-skinned actors unless the show has a black theme. In movies, we see black people or Africans playing mostly minor roles while white or fair skinned people are given the lead roles. We also see white or fair skinned people receiving more airtime in the media than black people (Blay, 2013). In such cases, the media are, indirectly, promoting bleaching. After watching how the media treats the issue of color, a highly self-conscious African teenager will start thinking that his or her skin is not beautiful and that if possible, it needs changing (bleaching).
It is wrong to suggest that someone has been “feeling white” since they were young; that is a fallacy. The media also directly promotes skin bleaching by giving coverage to celebrities and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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