The Search For The Perfect Skin Complexion Bmcc English Research Paper

1176 words - 5 pages

The Search for the Perfect Skin Complexion
Skin lightening (also known as skin bleaching) is something that has been around for thousands of years and although some people do it for medical reasons, most do it for personal cosmetic reasons. People are aware of the side effects and the long-term effects, but they still choose to do it regardless of the consequences. The cosmetic use of chemicals to lighten the skin in the 21st century is primarily used by people of color however thousands of years ago was used by non-colored people. Why do people want to be lighter? What makes them think that the lighter they are, the better they look? What does society and the social norm have to do with this trend?
Skin Bleaching is when the skin complexion is lightened artificially by using lotions, creams, soaps, and even injections. The lightening products used are all different and are composed of different concoctions, but what they all have in common is that the chemicals used to create these products affect the Melanocytes cell, which produce Melanin (the pigment that gives human skin, hair and eyes their color), by decreasing the amount produced, causing the skin to become lighter.
The products used for beaching can have long term and irreversible effects on the user. They contain many different chemicals that are not recommended to be used on the skin. “The most commonly used ingredients for these skin bleaching products are hydroquinone, mercury, and a broad spectrum of the very potent corticosteroid (a group of steroid hormones produced in the adrenal cortex or made synthetically) preparations containing e.g. Betamethasone valerate and Clobetasol propionate.”(International Journal of Dermatology).
A majority of these skin bleaching and lightening compounds are banned from use in cosmetic products by the FDA. However, a majority of manufacturers continue to use them regardless, producing widely used products that can permanently damage a person’s skin. The only reason why these products are so obviously popular and available in open markets is because of the shameful belief that the lighter skin tone is somehow superior as compared to a darker complexion to some people.
Skin Lightening techniques can be traced all the way back to the Elizabethan age. During that time “Women were in search of what looked like porcelain skin” states Robin Henig in her article The Price of Perfection; Queen Elizabeth herself was no exception. The Queen amongst other women used a dangerous face paint called Ceruse (a concoction made up of vinegar and lead) and although it gave them the skin complexion desired, it also did a lot of damage to the face. The Queen used it so consistently that it made craters in her face and to cover them up she used “thicker layers of ceruse”. The added layers did their job and hid the imperfections but under it, bigger pits were created. It is said that with time the queens face “was so ravaged that she ordered all mirrors banned from the castle.”
What happened to the queen could have been a learning lesson to everyone and yet later on in the mid-1800s, women “upgraded” from painting their face with ceruse to drinking “whitening potions” made of vinegar, chalk or arsenic (which can be deadly even when taken in small portions). Face paint was thought to be “tacky” and this potion gave a “natural” porcelain look. Arsenic was not only used in the potion women drank, it was also used as “one of the base ingredients for Fowler’s Solution (a topical cream prescribed for teenage acne).” Fowler’s Solution dried up the pimples and as a side effect “gave a translucent tone to the skin.” Women noticed and did not hesitate to take advantage of the side effects the cream provided.
Here we are in the 21st century and people are still using the chemicals to lighten their skin. Although we are a lot more medically advanced than we were in the 1800s, the chemicals being used to create these bleaching products are still as deadly and dangerous as they were thousands of years ago. The use of these chemicals has become so popular in certain countries that the sale of the creams, lotions, and soaps have become illegal.
There is an on-going myth that is detrimental to society; growing up believing that “lighter is better” can really make people ashamed of their melanin and lead them to skin bleaching. It has been engraved into people’s minds that having lighter skin makes you superior or overall more beautiful. “In Nigeria, 77 percent of the country’s women use skin lightening agents, compared with 59 percent in Togo and 27 percent in Senegal” (Abraham). It has become so popular in these countries because women are ashamed of their natural skin complexion. We live in a world where ‘white is right’, and those not strong enough to oppose the majority crumble into weak wannabes, unable to ever blend with whites, but still feel rejected because they can’t change their biological parents.
What makes this issue worse is that as much as it is said that bleaching is bad, there are celebrities who have high platforms advertising these products and making people who follow them believe that there is a simple fix to their insecurities. Some celebrities do it for a quick buck or just use it themselves. Regardless of the promotion or not, they do not realize the message they are relaying to all of those who idolize them and their celebrity status. Michael Jackson the King of Pop, bleached his skin. Although it was for medical reasons, it is still argued that it was not. Sammy Sosa a famous baseball player did it, Vybz Kartel who is a famous rapper in Jamaica also bleached his skin and the list goes on. Many people blindly follow their idols and trends, and do not think about the harm that bleaching is causing them. They also forget to take into consideration the fact that if thing goes wrong (unlike a celebrity) they might not be able to afford the needed treatments.
Skin bleaching is something that has been going on for thousands of years and is a beauty technique that will most likely continue to haunt the future. Whether its bleaching your skin to look whiter, or stepping into the tanning bed to look darker, it seems like it is easier for someone to try to change their skin color than to actually deal with their insecurities and issues of self-hate. The search for the perfect skin complexation is a search that will never end and has no boundaries as to how far it will go, even if it means dying for it.
Works Cited
Henig, Robin. “The Price of Perfection.” Science Writers (Www.NASW.org), www.nasw.org/users/robinhenig/price_of_perfection.htm.
Mary Rose Abraham. (2015). Skin lightening: the dangerous obsession that’s worth billions.
https://mosaicscience.com/story/skin-lightening-whitening-India/
Olumide, Yetunde & O Akinkugbe, Ayesha & Altraide, Dan & Tahir, Tidjani & Ahamefule, Ngozi & Ayanlowo, Shola & Onyekonwu, Chinwe & Essen, Nyomudim. (2008). Complications of chronic use of skin lightening cosmetics. International journal of dermatology. 47. 344-53.

RELATED

Search the Internet for IT governance planning. - Information security system - Paper

515 words - 3 pages IT governance basically provides an organizational structure for aligning IT strategy with business strategy. In Simple words, it provides framework of best practices and controls for an organization. It enables an organization to make decisions to ensure its IT sustains and expands its strategies and objectives. IT governance ensures that an organization focuses on: 1) Achieving the business goals by utilizing IT strategies 2) Monitoring Risk

The Great Gatsby- Close To Perfect - Honors English - Essay

588 words - 3 pages Close To Perfect In Tennessee Williams's play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the character that appealed to me the most is Brick. Brick seemed to be the center of attention throughout the play. I feel that the there were three main things that Brick was known for. He is the one that everybody loves, and everyone favors. He is often portrayed as a Greek god because of his god looks and his athletic figure, although his problem with alcohol also played a

The American Dream is based on a one’s point of view and their own goals in life - BMCC, ENG 201 - research paper

1319 words - 6 pages equality could be in the air for every citizen no matter the color of the skin. This equality should be natural given. The people want to have a nation where there is social mobility, equality of opportunity (The American Dream). Hughes’s “Harlem" is one of my personal favorites because of its realism. Written nearly a decade later after “Let America Be America Again”. In a completely different tone with this poem, Hughes discusses the different results

Essay On Batman- The Perfect Role Model

832 words - 4 pages known as Superman is not human, remains. It is unrealistic to hold Superman up as a role model for "the rest of us", because; despite his arguably fundamental humanity he is absolutely not of this world. His qualities of kindness and generosity play second fiddle to his x-ray vision and ability to fly. It is dangerous to create a role model out of a character who's most tremendous qualities a human cannot ever hope to possess. Furthermore I

Analysis "The Lottery" and "Those Who Walk Away from Omelas" - BMCC - ENGLISH 201 - Essay

781 words - 4 pages Analysis of "The Lottery" and "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" The town gathers at the square for the lotter. This seems straightforward enough until Tessie Hutchinson protests the fairness of the lottery once her family’s name is drawn. Tessie is then chosen as the winner from her family. The town closes in and stones her, presumably until she dies. In Shirley Jackson’s narrative, Tessie’s death along with the other winners, pay the price

The Search For Proper Childcare - Strayer University ENG 115 - Informative Essay

1009 words - 5 pages 1 Running head: The Search For Proper Childcare 2 The Search For Proper Childcare Assignment #2: “Informative Essay” Anika Clark ENG 115- English Composition Dr. Wayne Marshall May 17, 2018 The Search for Proper Childcare Finding childcare is a big decision. Time and effort must be put into the research it takes to find something that fits the needs of working parents. Those needs can be very individualized. Not all parents are looking for the

case for the restrictions for handguns - speech - research paper

843 words - 4 pages I affirm Resolved: united states should require universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers of ownership Definitions: Value: I value governmental legitimacy, defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as the following “The aim of a legitimate civil government is to preserve, so far as possible, the rights to life, liberty, health and property of its citizens, and to prosecute and punish those of its citizens who violate

Why Jamaica is the perfect place to be on vacation. - English - Persuasive Essay

895 words - 4 pages influences, but Jamaica is more than that. Throughout the Caribbean sea Jamaica is the largest English speaking land and the third largest island home to nearly 2.6 million people and almost 700 miles of white and gold sand coastlines. We are known worldwide for our passionate, friendly locals with laid back spirits. Whether you want a tour of a coffee or rum farm, snorkel on a secluded white sand beach or visit Bob Marley's hometown Jamaica has

research paper on the darfur genocide - jackson, english - research paper

1290 words - 6 pages Ziegler 1 Zoey Ziegler Mrs. Barnes English 102 16 March 2016 The Darfur Genocide It is said that nothing like the Holocaust could ever happen again in the modern world, but it has happened in countless countries, and is still happening in Darfur, Sudan. Seeing that Darfur has been part of a genocide since 2003, there have been mass casualties and inhumane acts amongst the people of Darfur. What is occurring in Sudan, was described by the United

Symbolism/ Allegory in the Scarlet Letter - the high school for health professions/ English 3 H - Research paper

707 words - 3 pages Name Yasmine Howell____________ Date February 13, 2019 Hour 1st English 11 – American Literature Author Biography Worksheet Answer the following questions on this paper or by downloading this document from the network and typing your answers. Be sure to answer all parts of every question. Use the two column format to help you study for tests by covering up the right side and quizzing yourself with the questions on the left. 1. Author name Walter

Improving parol in the united states - Bmcc - essay parol

751 words - 4 pages Johnny Marin April 20, 2018 SOC 201 – 074 How to Improve Parole. Parole began in the late nineteenth century. The idea of parole first came about at the National Congress of Penitentiary and Reformatory Discipline in 1870. The idea caught on quickly because it relieved political pressure on governors for granting clemency and pardons. It also gave prisoners, who were thought to be reformed, a chance to prove that they were ready to be released

The legend of the bermuda triangle - english - research paper

733 words - 3 pages Diana Rivera 6th period English II Due: May 22, 2019 The Legend of the Bermuda Triangle Imagine going to a place out of curiosity and never coming back, as a matter of fact going and never be heard of again .This is what happened to many sailors, pilots, passengers, and tourist who dared to visit the Bermuda Triangle. All that goes there, never comes out of there. The Bermuda Triangle is an unsolved mystery, which brought the attention of people

Feminism In The Handmaid's Tale - English 102 - Research Paper

1662 words - 7 pages Zach Bender-Kokx 3/18/18 English 102 Research Paper Through gross violations of human rights in today’s society, many parallels have been drawn to the novel “The Handmaid’s Tale. Through this religion-based oppression and hardship, people have banded together, fighting back against the oppressors as well as creating strong bonds with each other. This oppression in both THT and our society have brought forward many feminist ideals, like

HENRY HUCKLEBERG AND THE GIANT APE GORILLA - ENGLISH - RESEARCH PAPER

1924 words - 8 pages I. Introduction A. Thesis II. First Supporting Idea (because of the length of this paper, you may have many more paragraphs on the same supporting information for your argument) A. Claim B. Evidence i. Summary: you may end up giving more than one supporting evidence per claim ii. Quote iii. Paraphrase C. Warrant III. Second Supporting Idea A. Claim B. Evidence C. Warrant IV. Third Supporting Idea A. Claim B. Evidence C. Warrant V. Fourth

A research paper on the dust bowl - College prep English - Research paper

986 words - 4 pages The Dust Bowl Dean Richter Mrs. Frye College Preparatory English B May 10th 2019 The dust bowl is an all-encompassing term describing the degradation and erosion of the soil in the great planes. During the 1920s people flocked to the great planes for free land and farming opportunities never had before. This lead to over farming and severe drought across the land. The causes of the dust bowl, some of the greatest storms and their aftermath, and