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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This part of it is ridiculously mental: "Efficient and safe, definitely. But is it ethical? And right?"

I read about this stuff a while back and I have yet to notice it go mainstream. I wonder if I can find them and get me a supply!



Gloriel and the issue of skin lightening



Gloriel and the issue of skin lightening
- Saturday 3 November 2007.
By Daniel Tseghay.


What should we make of skin whitening: the deliberate attempt to make oneâ€2122s skin fairer? How much of this practice is fueled by racism, and problems of self-image? How much of it is completely innocent - an innocuous preference for lighter skin? For many, these questions have not crossed their minds enough to bring an answer. Same goes for me, to tell the truth. However, new award-winning technology may startle us into considered thought of this problem.

Pratik Lodha and Eman Ahmed-Muhsin, two graduate students at Carleton University,Canada, developed a skin-lightening cream called Gloriel. The product was a finalist in the 2007 Student Technology Venture Challenge, and won a $5,000 prize. Previous lightening products essentially wiped away pigment using harmful chemicals that often had very nasty side-effects. Not Gloriel. As written in the CBC, “Gloriel uses a reversible gene-silencing method called RNA interference to reduce the production of skin pigments called melanin.†This is a much safer way. Itâ€2122s a bit like keeping a persistent house painter a few meters from your home - rather than scraping the paint off afterwards, damaging your walls.

Efficient and safe, definitely. But is it ethical? And right? The creators of Gloriel have insisted it is. They point out that Gloriel is not only capable of lightening skin, but of also darkening it. They also avoid responsibility, in the event that Gloriel is objectionable, by saying that “The market exists and weâ€2122re not going to increase or decrease that market. Weâ€2122re just offering a safer and more effective method.â€

These points are interesting and good. Thereâ€2122s no way to know which option a creator prefers when the product has multiple, and sometimes opposite, purposes. And because thereâ€2122s no way to know this, we should usually be rest assured neither option is being forced on its customers. So, I guess, Gloriel doesnâ€2122t make itâ€2122s buyers lighten their skin. And even if the creators preferred their products to be used a skin-lightener, we may have to take the responsibility and blame off their shoulders. They are merely providing a product people seem to want. Nothing more and nothing less.

But sadly itâ€2122s not that simple. The reasons behind darkening oneâ€2122s skin and lightening it are very different. People darken themselves because tanned skin, if even just a little, represents health and vitality. But lightened skin represents something else. The belief that light-skinned people are in many ways superior to their darker counterparts still fills many of us.

It may be a remnant of the imperial age, when Europeans colonized Africans, South Americans, and Asians, convincing them of the idea that colonialism was good because only whites can effectively govern darker people. Even with post-colonialism, the belief that the most obvious characteristic of our previous governors, light skin, is preferable, still lingers like a bad smell. So even though Gloriel can be used to both lighten and darken skin, human history suggests one will be preferred. Wrongly, in my opinion.

Of course, I donâ€2122t mean to suggest Gloriel and other similar products should be banned. We should rather take it as a source of discussion. Perhaps with enough debate we can acknowledge the subtle prejudice that remains, and purge ourselves of it.
 

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"...tanned skin, if even just a little, represents health and vitality. But lightened skin represents something else. The belief that light-skinned people are in many ways superior to their darker counterparts still fills many of us."

People who write this type of thing always fail to complete the thought. Half baked 'logic' annoys me. People thinking that a tan rep's healthy vitality are in DENIAL & are ignoring decades' worth of scientifically documented cancer stats & info re photoaging. Yet, they do not believe that naturally tanned people (mixed race people, Hispanics etc.) are healthier than whites. Where's the sense? People espousing a set of false beliefs are the ones 'at risk'.

Many people DO believe that having a lot of melanin is a sign of ill health. This too is a false belief. There are sick whites & healthy blacks. Alek Wek is NOT sick but Patrick Swayze IS- & melanin has nothing to do with it. In parts of Africa, albinos are considered evil & are sought out & killed. No one thinks their depigmented state is a positive thing. As for 'believing whites are superior', this is an overstatement in places like North America.

There is a fact-based belief that whites hold superior & better positions in the society due to their colonial history & majority status DESPITE the fact that they are NOT intrinsically superior. This is a fundamentally different statement. Anyone who has lived in close proximity to large amts of white people knows that they are affected by the same types of character flaws & human failings as the rest of humanity. Also, they are gifted with all the strengths & virtues all people have been granted. THeir skin tone is not the cause of it. Human nature is.

There are a few self-hating people who truly (& falsely) believe that whites are 'a better class of human'. There are many whites starving to death to be thin believing that a scant oz of fat is a bad thing. Both these groups are sick people with distorted thinking processes. THeir problems are not related to weight or skin tone.

In the developing world, traditionally, skin tone spoke to social status & the division of labour. People became dark by working out in the hot sun. THese people were very poor & thus tended to be victims of diseases borne of poverty & a lack of access to proper food, shelter & hygiene. One can see where false beliefs related to colour could arise. THe thing is, that their melanin served to PROTECT them from the sun NOT make them sick; bacteria did that.

All 'beliefs' whether false or factual notwithstanding, an adult has the right to make choices for him/herself & if that choice is to lighten, nobody (esp gov't or medical bodies) should be able to block access to safe effective products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well written! Some of these, 'so-called', journalists on skin lightening should read this message board!
 

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They really ought to. I am looking forward to the clinical trial results on this new exciting process. They must be underway as we speak! I hope they do NOT sell it to some big Eurpoean or American conglomerate & find a way tp rpoduce it themselves. They deserve the glory (& the prices will be exhorbitant if someone like Sisley buys the patent!).
 

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Well 4 years and still nothing. I almost wish I'd never heard about Gloriel so I would of never of gotten my hopes up.
Quote:Originally Posted by ondine

All 'beliefs' whether false or factual notwithstanding, an adult has the right to make choices for him/herself & if that choice is to lighten, nobody (esp gov't or medical bodies) should be able to block access to safe effective products.


THANK YOU! The opposition to this product was crazy and just unwarranted. What really makes me upset is people being so against the product that would be safe, yet being so silent about people using things that would be dangerous to them. They don't care about how many lives this product would save or how many conditions it could help with. They simply don't care. They don't realize that people are going to skin whiten no matter what and they might as well let them use things that won't kill them. Still though this technology has to eventually get on the market. I am sick of waiting though.
 
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