If you thought the skin-lightening thing that was all the rage a few years ago among blacks in the Caribbean was a fad, wait till you see what’s happening in Africa. In particular, South Africa.
When we think of South Africa, we can’t help but the think of Nelson Mandela and black people who are proud to be … black! But would you believe that for some black South Africans there is such a thing as being too black.
A recent study by the University of Cape Town hints that one woman in three in South Africa bleaches her skin. The reasons for this are as varied as the cultures in the country but most people say they use skin-lighteners because they want “white skin,” reports the BBC.
One such woman is musician Nomasonto “Mshoza” Mnisi. Now several shades lighter, she says her new skin makes her feel more beautiful and confident.
She has been widely criticized in the local media and social networking sites for her appearance but the 30-year-old says skin-bleaching is a personal choice, no different from breast implants or a having nose job.
“I’ve been black and dark-skinned for many years, I wanted to see the other side. I wanted to see what it would be like to be white and I’m happy,” she says candidly.
Over the past couple of years Ms Mnisi has had several treatments. Each session can cost around 5,000 rand (£360; $590), she tells the BBC.
Unlike many in the country, she uses high-end products which are believed to be safer than the creams sold on the black market but they are by no means risk-free, doctors say. Costly beauty
Ms Mnisi says she does not understand the criticism about her new appearance.