Black Skin is no Longer Beautiful for Some Nigerians

FOREWORD- It took me a while to settle on what the right follow up post to my comeback post will be but then I finally decided on this. Enjoy

We are not exactly friends like that but we exchange drawn-out pleasantries whenever we meet. We did meet again last week and as he beckoned to me from afar, the first thing I noticed was his skin, it was grabbing more attention than I can remember it has the power to. It was not until he was an armlength from me that it finally hit me, my friend has tampered with his black skin.

What is it about light skin for Nigerians?

Immediately I walked away from him I remembered another friend I met at the NYSC orientation camp in North-eastern Nigeria. Over dinner just after a week into the camp activities this lady told me with a hint of sadness in her voice like something unfortunate had befallen her that her skin had become noticeably darker than it was when she arrived. I was left wondering how a slightly darker shade of an originally dark skin could be such a big deal.

Maheeda bleaching Nigerian celebrities.jpegBefore and after pictures of controversial singer Maheeda courtesy of

Nigeria’s entertainment industry is the perfect example of how black skin can has been turned into some kind of disadvantage. It appears that spotting a yellow skin is considered a necessity for gaining entrance to and remaining in the spot-light. So, majority of our nollywood actresses have taken to bleaching because according to them dark-skinned ladies don’t get as many role offers as their counterparts.

The music industry is also caught in this trend. Girls with skin the color of chocolate have suddenly lost all appeal and so all the ladies featured in our music videos (and our music videos are all about ladies in different stages ofvundress) either as dancers or backup singers must have skin the color of overripe pawpaw.

Read a very fascinating commentary on the life of bleaching celebrities here by popular musician Etcetera

Even banks have been accused of giving preference to light-skinned ladies when employing into positions that involve contact with the customers like the cashiers and customers care officer.

Bleaching has become a modern trend that cuts across every strata of the Nigerian society. So, it’s not a shock this day to see people proudly posting their before and after pictures on social networking sites like instagram. This is exactly what the guy in the picture below did, a sort of marketing strategy too since he’s a beautician with a specialty in bleaching.

bleaching nigerians before and after

Bleaching today is more tastefully done  at least for those who can afford it. And yes, those who have become proud ambassadors of the bleaching cause and won’t stop gracing our screens with their semi-white covering can afford the perfect treatment. So, gone are the days of stigmatization against people spotting bleached skin because you’re not likely to as easily be able to notice the uneven skin tone and all the black patches that give them away in the past.

It’s getting increasingly harder to make criticisms this day but I find the idea of bleaching shameful, very shameful. And if someone could say that people who don’t Snap selfies often might have self esteem issues (more on that later) I think I will say that bleaching is strongly a self esteem issue.