Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o publicly revealed how ashamed she was made to feel about her cocoa-coated skin coming up in native Kenya. It wasn’t until she received national prominence via the Oscar-winning movie 12 Years a Slave that she was celebrated coast to coast for her glistening and flawless mahogany-hued skin.
It looks like her fellow Kenyan natives are still afflicted with the debilitating disease of self-hatred and aversion to dark skin. The wealthy class, in particular, is engaging in the widespread practice of injecting themselves with potentially dangerous chemicals to lighten their skin.
Expensive injections of topical skin-lightening cream have become wildly popular in the Kenyan capital. Elite Daily is reporting of the mercury level in skin-whitening creams hint to the dangerous nature of the chemicals used to alter complexion. Moreover, Harvard graduate and dermatologist Dr. Pranav Pancholi elucidated the dangers in to people’s health because the skin-lightening creams are.
“The injection lightens you from inside. It makes women clean. If you want an even color and fast results, injecting is much better than a cream.”
Kenya does not have a monopoly on self-hatred and ignorant forays into skin-whitening treatments:
- Wealthy citizens and national celebrities far beyond Kenya — to include clients from India and Somalia — fork out as much as $70 for one injection.
- Jamaica was recently besieged with similar circumstances and vestiges of that epidemic still remain to this day.
- Celebrities in the U.S. have been condemned for either trying to lighten their skin or digitally-lightening their face in magazine covers, including Michael Jackson, Sammy Sosa, Beyonce, Nyong’o and India.Arie.
Despite the condemnation of skin-lightening creams and skin-whitening injections due to the dangers — as discussed in the critically-acclaimed documentary Dark Girls — the reality is that Kenyan men seem to prefer women of lighter hue, leading the country’s women clamoring to lightening their skin in ways that are to their detriment.
As one Kenyan vendor told Vice magazine, “Nairobi is very competitive and Kenyan men like women with whiter skin.”