Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?:The craze for bleached beauty

Photo credit: Jiji blog

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Who is the fairest of them all?


This is the most popular phrase from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

It’s the question the wicked queen regularly asked her magic mirror to ensure that she was the ‘fairest’ of everyone and was displeased and jealous when the mirror eventually confirmed that snow white was indeed the fairest.

Snow white, you’ll recall, was described in the story as being, not only the prettiest, but also the whitest, hence the name, Snow White.

Of course ‘fair’ in the context of the above phrase means ‘beautiful’, the wicked queen wanted to be the most beautiful in the kingdom.

Unfortunately, the definition of fairness has been repurposed to mean light-skinned, among other things, especially when it comes to defining feminine beauty.

In other words, to be fair, you must be fair.

Photo credit: Freepik

So, in a quest to catch up with this gene-determinate standard of beauty, many black-skinned women resort to bleaching creams and soaps after scrubbing hard in the shower brings no desired result.

African men or black men do not help matters- they choose light skins above black ones most times.

Hence, black women’s obsession with skin-lightening products; no one wants to be the ugly duckling.

As a matter of fact, a male acquaintance once said having light skin as a woman is meeting “half the criteria” of desirability.

I don’t blame the men though- they like what they like, and there shouldn’t be a witch-hunt against the light-skinned sisters.

If you think being light is the same as being beautiful, whatever floats your boat- Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

However, real beauty is not a light-skin or a firm bosom or a large derriere or blonde hair or sea blue eyes or any of those pageant queen-standards.


Lightening the skin is not equal to being beautiful.

Women are getting on this bandwagon mainly because of the men’s preferences but you shouldn’t let another person’s definition of beauty be your sole standard.

Besides, being light-skinned and having light skin are not one and the same- it’s all in the genes.

Beyond the hazardous side effects that bleaching has on one’s health, it tends to deceive one into thinking that there’s no higher goal to attain, at least when it comes to beauty goals.

Beauty is far beyond superficial enhancements.

It also includes behavioural enhancements.

Instead of copying what fair women are by their genes, copy what they are by their actions, which is what really makes them beautiful in the first place.

Photo credit: Newsweek

Improving the tangible aspect of beauty without doing same to the intangible is a true definition of vanity.

Because bleaching the skin without bleaching the soul can be likened to the state of a white-washed tomb.

All mirrors can tell the beauty of the skin, none can tell the beauty of the soul.

“Avoid being unfair to yourself. Sometimes comparison causes us to compare apples with pears.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close