Ghanaian actress and television personality Ama Konadu Abebrese is not playing games with the skin-bleaching phenomenon and promotions that are big around the world and particularly in West Africa.
Medical research has shown that bleaching products, particularly those products with hydroquinone and corticosteroids stop the production of melanin. In West Africa it is this melanin that helps to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
On her Instagram Ama recently posted the image of a billboard advertisement (see below) aimed at the local Black women in Ghana.
Her own message regarding the billboard stated “One of the many #skinbleaching billboards in Ghana. This one uses a non black woman with fair skin, and tells black women that, ‘Your dreams come true’. The message here to black women is that, if you bleach or ‘tone’ your skin to be whiter, then, it will be a dream come true.
She has also created positive images to encourage women to embrace their natural skin tones. And she took to the airwaves going on Ghana’s Peace FM radio to discuss her “‘Love Your Natural Skintone” campaign (you can hear the interview below – note it switches to English at the 2:40 mark).
You may recall that Cameroonian pop star Dencia launched a skin cream called Whitenicious that sold out within 24-hours. It was blasted by critics for promoting skin-bleaching and even Lupita N’yongo threw jabs at the product while accepting her Oscar. But Dencia defended the product stating that it is intended to remove dark spots, and that it is out of her control if customers use it to whiten their entire skin. In an interview with Ebony magazine she also said it is 80% African-Americans that are buying the product, and only 10% Africans.
What’s up with that people? Are you moved by the medical research, the psychological impact or do you feel this is a non-issue? Leave your comments below.