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From The Grio — “Transform your face on Facebook with Vaseline Men!”

That’s the slogan for Vaseline’s newest service, a Facebook application designed for Indian users that allows them to lighten the pigment in their profile photo.

The app was developed to promote Vaseline’s line of skin lightening creams for men by cashing in on India’s notorious preference for lighter skin tones.

The first skin lightening cream for women was introduced in India in the late ’70s and the men’s cream, known as Fair & Handsome, followed in 2005.

Confirming this obsession with lighter tones, Shaadi.com, an online dating site in India, polled nearly 12,000 people in 2009 and asked what they look for when picking a partner. An overwhelming response showed that users considered a fair complexion to be the most important criteria in choosing a mate.

But India is not the only place where fair features seem to be favored. From Africa to Jamaica, London and back here in the United States, skin bleaching is a billion dollar business internationally, and seems to be a common practice among people with darker complexions.

Even celebrities like the late Michael Jackson and Sammy Sosa have been rumored to bleach their skin.

And reports have speculated that skincare lines and fashion magazines engage in digital bleaching where computer technology is used to make a covergirl appear lighter than she actually is.

So what is this unnatural obsession about?

Continue reading @ The Grio!

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  • Beef Bacon

    Why would anybody want to purposely change their skin tone? Wow, its scarey to think why people are sooo obssessed with lighter skin. when light skin people are so obssesssed with being TANNED!

    Why are lot of people so unhappy with thier God-given beauty and uniquness. Teach your youth to cherish who they are FIRST! Its okay to want to improve yourself i.e., working out, getting your hair styled, etc. But LOVE THYSELF first.

    Melanin—Thank you God for blessing me with it!

    “”””Melanin provides many benefits to human beings. One of the most recognized benefits involves ultraviolet rays of the sun. Melanin provides a natural protection against the harmful effects of these rays. However, it does not provide complete protection from the sun, and individuals with darker skin tones are still at risk from the sun’s damaging rays.””””

    “”””Generally, those with darker skin tones and more melanin are able to tolerate exposure to the sun for hours without getting sunburn. By contrast, a person with lighter skin may get sunburn after spending only minutes in the midday sun. Skin cancer is directly related to exposure to the sun and the presence of less than optimal amounts of pigment. Sun exposure has even been linked with cataracts. “””

    “””””Melanin is also a mechanism for absorbing heat from the sun. This purposes is of particular importance to cold-blooded animals. Snakes, lizards, certain types of fish, and a wide range of other animals depend on their surroundings, including the rays of the sun, to establish and maintain their body temperatures.
    “””””” – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-melanin.htm
    Also important for sharpness of vision, melanin serves to minimalize the number of light beams that enter the eye. It also provides for the absorption of scattered light within the eye. In this way, pigmentation allows for more keen sight.

  • Interesting. I thought I posted a response on this thread, but maybe I forgot to submit.

    @Beef Bacon, that was a good summary of melanin, I’m also glad I have it and I agree with everything you have said. I have seen a lot of people trying to bleach their skin.

    One beauty and hair shop in the UK was shut down because the owners kept selling banned bleaching products, I guess they got greedy.

    Skin bleaching is such a health hazard. I have seen a few women who have bleached their skin in order to look as white as possible and in the long run, they end up looking like fried chicken. The bleached face looks all pink and the skin is all damaged and thin looking.

    One woman who bleached for years ended up having some kind of greenish skin on her neck, she died in the end. A lot of these products contain mercury and other deadly toxins that can kill and cause skin cancer. Seriously, bleaching, particularly with hydroquinone products can have some serious health implications.

    Sometimes you see these women who have bleached their skin, their face is all bright looking, but their knuckles, feet and toes are just black….So ridiculous.

    Anyway, regardless of the bleaching, it will not make you any more accepted into white society so better just accept the skin colour given and love thyself.

    I think skin bleaching and the obsession with it has a lot to do with a person’s mental state of mind, it can become an unhealthy obsession. Once I saw a woman in a shop, who was already completely bleached, asking the shopkeeper if he had any cream. I knew the cream she was asking for. That woman’s skin looked extremely dry and wrinkled. Certain bleaching products are banned in the UK, because a lot of women here were getting serious skin problems, including skin cancer from the chemicals in the bleaching creams.

    Oh and it amuses me when I see black people trying to bleach their skin and white people sitting in the sun tanning themselves until they turn brown. Isn’t it funny people always want what they don’t have. Incidentally both those things can lead to skin cancer.

  • desiree

    Wtf!! This outrageous. Love the skin you’re in. There is not one color preset for beauty; Beauty is in every complexion.

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