The global case of skin bleaching and the Western ideal of beauty

(Left) Image of a vintage advert for Nadinola Bleaching Cream, (Right) Artra skin tone cream advert in Ebony magazine 1963.
(Left) Image of a vintage advert for Nadinola Bleaching Cream, (Right) Artra skin tone cream advert in Ebony magazine 1963.
(L) Vintage advert for Nadinola Bleaching Cream by Envisioning the American Dream, (R) Artra skin tone cream advert published in Ebony magazine 1963, (pg.107)

While this long read is primarily based on skin bleaching, it’s impossible not to write about the influence of Western standards of beauty in its entirety as it stems from promoting society’s belief in whiteness as the most beautiful and worthy of respect and admiration. A quick google search (eg. type beautiful women), proves the common sentiments of who is deemed attractive. It’s evident, spreading and pervasive influence sets a precedent in these conversations. They both go hand in hand, intertwined in a union that can’t be ignored as it has affected many aspects within society.

The term has a racist and colonial foundation that still impacts our thinking to this day

Cartoon drawing by Joseph Keppler titled ‘From The Cape To Cairo’. It depicts the late 19th-century conflict of the British reconquest of Sudan and the Sudanese struggle for freedom.

This is going to be a short article explaining why we need to stop using it.

So wonderful. Thank you so much Allison!

Many refuse to acknowledge its existence in the country

Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey. Photo by Harpo Productions/ Photographer: Joe Pugliese. Via Variety.

A reader responded to one of my articles about the toxicity of the British press and said how he resents my insinuation that the country is blinded by white privilege. He goes on to say that “idiots like you make the rest of the world view Britain as a racist country when nothing could be further from the truth.” This statement made me laugh at loud at the preposterous nature of it all and for refusing to acknowledge that racism exists in the UK.

Were you already aware about it?

Garden of Earthly Delights (1490–1500), painting by Hieronymus Bosch. Image by Wikiimages from Pixabay

This is quite a sobering read, apologies in advance.

It’s getting out of hand

Image by Hannes Edinger from Pixabay.

Like every other buyer, I read through product reviews before potentially making a purchase. It’s paramount to do so to avoid returning things that don’t meet expectations. However, I’ve been coming across a lot of one-star reviews from buyers not because the products had minor issues like a scratch etc but because they are fake. I don’t know when this shift started as I’ve only recently become fully aware of the dodgy things happening on the site.

Once the biggest star of the Jazz age but when she stood up against racism and segregation, the establishment blacklisted her and her name vanished into obscurity.

Hazel Scott in 1956. Photograph by James Kriegsmann, New York / Public domain at Wikimedia Commons.

Part two from the series I started on my instagram page Art History Talks, to commemorate Black History Month.

This post is about the iconic Trinidadian-born jazz pianist, actor and singer Hazel Scott. Throughout her outstanding career as a performance artist, she was always a champion for civil rights, speaking out against racial discrimination, state violence and oppression, even at the cost of her own career.

A Brazilian warrior and Quilombo leader

A bust of Zumbi dos Palmares in Brasilia, Brazil. Photo by Elza Fiúza for Agência Brasil / Public domain at Wikimedia Commons.

A series I started on my instagram page Art History Talks, to commemorate Britain’s Black History Month 2020.

Is time running out on celebrity culture?

Published by Corpus Christi Caller-Times-photo from Associated Press / Public domain on Wikimedia Commons.

I recently came across the song ‘The Cult of Personality’ by Living Colour and was not only blown away by the musical artistry (who said black people can’t do rock), but the lyrics rang astonishingly true leaving me to pause for thought. Even though the song came out in 1988, now more than ever, its relevance speaks volumes today:

How the Raft of the Medusa shines a light into the elite establishment of 19th century France

Théodore Géricault: The Raft of the Medusa (Le Radeau de la Méduse), 1819, from Encyclopaedia Britannica by Age Fotostock

Today’s art world considers The Raft of the Medusa painting one of Théodore Géricault’s greatest works. It’s also regarded as one of France’s most celebrated work of art.

Emi Eleode

Writer. Visual artist // I write about culture and societal issues with a focus on the effects of colonialism, postcolonialism, globalisation and capitalism.

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