The Painful Reality Experienced By Dark Skin Girls

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Sep 02, 2020

The Painful Reality Experienced By Dark Skin Girls

By Lydiah Nyanchwa

Christabel is just a young dark skin teenage girl in campus who is already facing discrimination due to her skin color. 

At her age and in Kenya, she can earn a decent amount of cash from promotion jobs, which favors most university students.

Unfortunately for her, the effort to secure some cash through promotion jobs has proved to be futile. Her skin color, being the root cause of all these.

Facing setbacks when hunting for these brand ambassador hustle, has been something she has gotten used to. "Well, there was a time i was really broke and in school, so i had to secure myself a job to get some cash. I attended an interview with a marketing agency in Kisii. To my dissapointment, they were basing their choice on colour. Having been exposed to this kind of jobs, the interview was a walk over for me. I knew i had nailed it during the interview keeping my hopes high that i would be in for the job. What happened next was so shocking because i was actually cut off from the list!!" She recalls...

This encounter made her to start questioning her beauty and her self-worth. On trying to ask why she was cut off from the list, Christabel was silenced with these hurtful-diminishing words, "You know you are dark!! This job doesnt suit you!!" this derogatory comment killed her soul and mind leaving her broken. As  a young teenage girl, just like that,, she lost her self-esteem and self-belief.

"I dont mean to say that dark skin girl are not beautiful, but in the society we are living in today, the lighter you are, the greater your chances in securing a job and the better opportunities are available for you!" Derrick Njue, who was a team leader for Trueblaqs' guiness activation at that time said.

Contrary to this, most people have argued that skin color doesn't count if you don't have the brains. "most dark skin ladies are ambitious and goal oriented with a rare touch of self confidence in what they do," says Brian Maraga, a student from JKUAT university in Kisii County.

Wendy Mboya, a dark skin lady who has faced the same humiliation wonders why these companies have a wrongful assumption about dark skin girls. "When the lights go off, everyone is dark!! What is left is the brain," she says, adding that choosing skin complexion over strength and capabilities doesn't add up  considering the goals set aside which are to promote sales.

Most campus guys feel that the marketing companies are making dark skin girls feel disregarded for priotizing light skin girls when looking for brand ambassadors.

Struggles To Fit In

University girls have been conditioned to believe that they have to be light skinned to be a brand ambassador. This is forcing the dark skin girl to pursue the light toned skin.

Genevieve Mumbi (not her real name), a young teenage girl in the university of Nairobi, was forced to do whatever it took for her to break free from the humiliation due to her skin colour. She ended up bleaching her skin. "I visited a cosmetics shop where i was recommended to use a skin lightening lotion. I remember the harsh, irritating scent that smelled of ammonia. It made me so uncomfortable but what choice did i have," she explains. Her goal was to transform into what Kenyans call "rangi ya thao" a lighter-skinned person.

"I slowly saw the gradual transformation of my skin, which gave me a sense of jubilation. On the other hand, i felt the irritation effect on some parts of my body including my cheeks. They had an itchy feeling" She says.

"Being fairer has made me feel pretty and its easy for me to get most promotion jobs making my life and better tgough deep down am not comfortable because this is not the real me." She says with teary eyes adding that her body has yet to recover from years of exposure to the harsh chemicals found in bleaching creams.

To Genevievs' family, skin bleaching was nothing new to them since her mother had done it before. Her friends and schoolmates judged her and looked down upon her viewing her as a woman without dignity. "The same people who never appreciated my dark skin tone before," she says.

Around the globe, skin-lightening procedure and products are widely embraced. The main reason being to hope for acceptance in cultures that value the lighter complexion. The prizes include increased money making opportunities, more chances of getting a male partner, and being admired by the society and looked up to.

This is where skin bleaching comes in, many of which are from fake bleaching products. This is extremely dangerous. "Bleaching has negative effects which include damaging of the blood vessels, premature aging, peeling of the skin and ochronosin condition," says Dr. Pranar Mahendra Pancholi, one of the Kenyas' biggest  dermatosurgeon.

He warns that skin bleaching is to be avoided at all cost because it may cause parmanent darkening of the skin, liver, kidney damage and skin cancer.

"Most people try lightening their skin, not bleaching. Skin bleaching is when one uses products which contain harmful chemicals such as hydroquinone, mercury, steroids, and chloride which destroy or block melanin from being produced."

He recommends that the safest and healthier way to lighten your skin is through glutathione injections.

In 2001, the Kenya Bureau Of Standards announced a product ban via a public Notice that outlawed the sale of cosmetics that have a bleaching effect on skin. Anyone selling the banned products would face prosecution as prescribed under the Standards Act. The banned cosmetics, including among several others, palmer's skin success fade cream, Cleartone, hydroquinone, oxidizing agents or hormonal preparations.

The Societies' Perception

Experts believe that the root cause of lightening dark skin color is more complicated than disliking their natural appearance. "The idea is that your skin tone is directly connected to some economic value or some social or political value." explains Doctor Rebeccah.

Geoffrey Wango, a psychologist says "The world is making people believe that being a light skinned means 'being beautiful', this is causing too much pressure pushing dark skin girls to opt for bleaching."

"Skin color is just the skin beat and the media is the most influential site when it comes to diminishing the dark skin girls. This is seen in adverts, music videos and movies in which fairer girls are featured as most elegant and beautiful!" says Dr. Geoffrey Wango.

"If you want to know its beautiful , paint it black," he adds.

Embracing The Dark Girl Child

Most dark girls in Kenya universities feel that its not hard not to internalize these messages that aim at degrading and humiliating them. "I had to make a decision. In the end, what i felt right for me was accepting myself for who i am and establishing my reputation based on my character and the merits of my achievements," Christabel notes.

"The skin color is just the skin beat. High self esteem and self-identification are the key things for the dark girl child to put in mind at all times," Dr Wango advices.

Most Kenyans feel that the media is the main source of this nortion meant to degrade the dark complexion.

In a bid to curb this wrongful perception, they demand that the media should start embracing the dark girl child by featuring them as elegant unbeatable beings in mudic videos, advertisrments and other TV commercials. Through this, the mentality and perception about dark skin girls will change.

End

Comments

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Gift Achieng

Good job mamii😍 12 Sep 2020 - 22:09:34
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πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ 12 Sep 2020 - 23:15:00
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Susan Awino

Raw truth...the mindset of the society will never change...but the fact is we don't get to choose what colour we are born with...you may not get that brand ambassador job..but something is definitely out there for you...never feel pressured to change your skin so that you are accepted... 12 Sep 2020 - 23:15:12
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Dj Rhobiz

It's hard to understand the mindset of people based on colour, knowing well that all of us were created as per the image of God. 12 Sep 2020 - 23:56:31
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Peninah

Great work...πŸ‘ 13 Sep 2020 - 00:00:12
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Ibrahim Ondicho

Great piece! We need to embrace everyone irrespective of their complexion. Dark or brown-skinned, we are all Africans 13 Sep 2020 - 00:01:09
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Antony Ndirangu

Such a good inspiration 13 Sep 2020 - 00:01:39
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Thanks for being proud of Africa. Skin colour A nices creative blog with good morals 13 Sep 2020 - 06:00:15
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😍good 13 Sep 2020 - 06:07:00
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Derick Ogeto Nyamete

Great content.. i really love it 13 Sep 2020 - 06:34:59
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Felix Ogembo

Indeed nice piece with reality on the ground. Keep up the good work, press on we are supporting you. 13 Sep 2020 - 07:01:33
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Mercy mokaya

Black is beauty 13 Sep 2020 - 07:22:43
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David Kotut

Thank you for highlighting a very important issue in our society today. It is sad to note that people are been bypassed by opportunities because of their tone of their skin. Good article Lydiah! Keep writing. 13 Sep 2020 - 07:25:40
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Shanice Njoroge

WowπŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ’―this is some A level creativity and such great inspiration WelldoneπŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ» 13 Sep 2020 - 07:35:28
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James kaganjo wangui

Great work ... it a hell lota creativity in here 13 Sep 2020 - 08:21:17
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Derick Ogeto Nyamete

Wow.. 13 Sep 2020 - 08:22:06
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Good writting. Keep it up 13 Sep 2020 - 08:23:25
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Nice one Lydia. Good job. 13 Sep 2020 - 08:24:56
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I agree 13 Sep 2020 - 09:59:08
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Nice one good work 13 Sep 2020 - 09:59:54
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On point 13 Sep 2020 - 10:10:22
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Bernice

Interesting..You brought it all out.am happy gal.keep shining πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³ 13 Sep 2020 - 10:10:52
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A very good read πŸ‘. Keep it up Lydiah! 13 Sep 2020 - 10:23:54
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Good job Lydia πŸ‘ 13 Sep 2020 - 10:35:10
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WowπŸ™Œ This is goodπŸ‘ Thank you for appreciating who we are. 13 Sep 2020 - 10:39:17
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Ernie Chamungwana

Amazing................ All the best 🌸 πŸ’— 13 Sep 2020 - 10:50:39
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Ericsson

Stellar research and obviously well thought through miss Lydia. Relatable and comprehensive. Keep informing and inspiring! 😘 13 Sep 2020 - 10:59:43
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Ericsson

Stellar research and obviously well thought through miss Lydia. Relatable and comprehensive. Keep informing and inspiring! 😘 13 Sep 2020 - 10:59:45
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Amazing keep inspiring others😍😍😍😍 13 Sep 2020 - 13:30:33
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Annie

Wow. You did an excellent job here, Lydia. The research is evidently well doneπŸ‘πŸ½ 13 Sep 2020 - 13:34:22
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Kioko Nyamasyo

Insightful and inspiring 13 Sep 2020 - 13:39:34
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Lydia Opee

Beautiful piece 13 Sep 2020 - 13:43:30
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Douglas Moturi

Nicely done. Keep it up. 13 Sep 2020 - 13:47:16
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Hillary Okerio

Accepting self is the key to victory, great article 13 Sep 2020 - 14:37:52
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Christabel Makokha

Wow the person who has always been my inspiration,and still is.I have been confident,courageous and self empowered ever since I knew you!!I love how you reach out on the dark ladies in the society.I love you more sweetheart 13 Sep 2020 - 14:42:50
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Edgan Sikuche

Wow so deep madam you got hit the nail on the head. More of this in future count our support 13 Sep 2020 - 14:50:43
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Diana Ondicho

Great work very true 13 Sep 2020 - 15:10:29
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Douglas Momanyi

Let us appreciate our colour be dark or brown..... 13 Sep 2020 - 15:39:13
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Great job 13 Sep 2020 - 16:08:05
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Nice piece πŸ’™ 13 Sep 2020 - 16:25:01
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Awesome job done there 13 Sep 2020 - 16:33:47
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Nice one 13 Sep 2020 - 16:51:43
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Thumbs up for you baiby girl πŸ‘πŸ’•πŸ’• 13 Sep 2020 - 21:18:19
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I really love it.... That's the naked truth that's what is happening in our society but the change begins with us 13 Sep 2020 - 22:43:13
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