Jamaican dancehall star Spice made headlines earlier this week

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Rae Anthony

Jamaican dancehall star Spice made headlines earlier this week, seconds after she released a photo showing off her “fresh start.” The problem: her complexion had suddenly changed and a once dark Spice was now ghost-like. Many speculated that Spice had bleached her skin, in order to look more “attractive.” (The look, which she addressed in a new song, was used to send a message: to bring awareness to “black people hypocrisy.”)

It’s no secret that many Jamaicans bleach their skin as they hatetheir dark or brown complexion. In Saint Lucia too (and so many other parts of the world), persons use the whitening soap, to get a lighter complexion.

The world is obsessed with fairness and ironically this world is far from fair.

One has to wonder how some individuals think bleaching is okay. Skin diseases aside, (imagine that!) the bleached look is far from natural and why anyone would want to look sickly, ghost-like, or “casket ready” is beyond me. Of course, most times when individuals are in search of “perfection,” they ignore all the warnings that come with said “perfection.”

Forget skin cancer… “I’m going to look white!” (Yeah… what a sick world we live in.)

Bleaching stems from deep rooted issues and the problem is many parents and loved ones fail to make their children see just how beautiful they are: dark, brown, caramel or white: we are all beautiful. Large noses, thin noses, long straight hair and ‘untamable’ hair, too, are all beautiful. We were all created in God’s own image. The problem, however, is when individuals want to get rid of God’s image altogether, for something they prefer, because they believe it’s better. It is not “better”: your dark skin is just as beautiful and her fair skin is beautiful too. Learn to see the beauty in both.

Too many times in our own homes or schools, children are taunted and are told they’re “black like tar.” Normally, these children don’t recognize their inner and outer beauty and cave under pressure from bullies whosometimes don’t know better.

Parents scar their children emotionally when they treat their lighter, long haired child, better than their dark skinned child with ‘nappy’ hair. Like Spice said, when these very individuals go on to bleach their skin, some are quick to say they don’t love themselves, when some of these individuals were the first to say “you really black ee, masiay.” Individuals should not cave under pressure, but sadly, it happens. (Even persons who don’t bleach their skin are unhappy at times too.)

Persons must realize that beauty first comes from within. How can one hurt you with words when you’re confident in your skin? That does not mean that you won’t get angry, or feel sad at times because of what people say—at the end of the day, however, you take back your power—you motivate yourself—you realize that if you don’t see your beauty, the world can destroy you.

Black skin is being embraced on social media now more than ever, but that does not mean that self-loathing has stopped—it’s far from over. Today, however, is the time for you to love what GOD has blessed you with. You will NEVER be like another individual simply because God did not want you to be that way. Be the best YOU that only YOU can be!

Rae.

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