Rolling Out

Kenyan women inject themselves with harmful skin-bleaching creams to look white


Wealthy women in Nairobi, Kenya, are injecting themselves with skin-bleaching creams to appear white. According to a report by Vice, a multitude of women have a desire to be lighter and will pay $70 or more for the chance to transform their appearance.

The women believe that injecting the skin-bleaching cream will cause their skin to become lighter faster than applying it on their skin.

However, the skin-bleaching creams are unregulated and often contain harmful ingredients. They often contain mercury, steroids, and alpha hydroxy acids. Exposure to mercury can cause vision loss, numbness, infertility, and heart disease. When alpha hydroxy acids are injected, they can kill body tissue and cause flesh to waste away. And steroids can damage the skin.

The desire to have lighter skin often stems from mainstream media’s one-sided view of beauty. When the mainstream media promotes one race as the standard for attractiveness and beauty, it can cause a since of inferiority for other races. According to a study by Style Minutes, nearly 90 percent of the models at New York, London, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks were white.

As a result, minority women with low self-esteem may feel that becoming lighter is the best way for them to attract a mate or further their career. One Kenyan woman suggested that Kenyan men are only attracted to women with lighter skin.

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