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Discussion Starter #1
Skin lightening is a hyper-controversial & taboo subject in the West. Many of us who are lightening for cosmetic reasins are subject to a barrage of negative criticisms & judgements about our sense of self-worth. Some even question our sanity! For those of us engaged in this process & those considering it, I thought it expedient to have a thread in which we could discuss all aspects of this subject. Here are some things to consider:

- What are you hoping lighter skin will bring into your life?
- Do you expect your life to change drastically?
- Are you in a cultural environment that encourages skin lightening? For what reasons?
- Does anyone in your family know that you are doing this ?
- Do you think it 'okay' for a person to change their 'racial' appearance (hair colour or texture, skin colour, facial features etc.)
- If & when you do become dramatically fairer, what if anything will you say to those who knew you before & are curious?

These are just some ideas I thought I'd throw out there: of course, I hope you come up with many more that reflect your experiences & thoughts. A frank, mature discussion around this topic is long overdue & I hope you all engage in a lively discourse.
 

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- I'm hoping that lighter skin will boost up my confidence, I used to be much lighter before and I'm not used to my darker skin because I can't use the same makeup products because they just don't seem to look right on me anymore.
- No, I don't expect my life to change drastically because of it.
- My environment does encourages skin lightening, because it seems as if every beauty supply store I walk into; theres a whole aisle directed to skin lightening products. I seem to always get compliments on my hands because they're so light instead of any other part on my body...I always get comments such as "Kay your hands are so light if only your face could be like that!" or "Thats such a nice color!! Why didn't your face take this color?" etc..
- I haven't started my skin lightening regimen yet, but my mother is always encouraging me to use the skin lightening products she bought "to make my skin look more beautiful." Both of my parents use skin lightening products and I'm sure they wouldn't mind me doing it.
- Yes, I think its okay to change your racial appearance because its your body, you're either happy with it or you're not.
- I know that once I do go through the process, family members will give me compliments and friends will try to criticize. I'll rather tell my family than my friends anything they want to know (products, why I did it etc etc).

Thanks for making this topic Ondine!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
China Doll, I'm glad you are in a supportive environment where you don't have to sneak about with lightening productd like some criminal! I am surprised about the remarks people have made about your colour, though. It is interesting how lighter skin increases confidence. I was a confident person beforehand but was surprised to find I was feeling more so as my skin fades.


Where I reside, skin lightening is not an issue within the mainstream population: it is all about tanning & store shelves are bulging with tanning products. There are tanning salons & tanning bed places all over too. 'Ethnic' women do go online & get lightening products, BUT nobody is willing to discuss it.

Light tan to medium brown skinned people (like I was before I began lightening) get along fine in society esp if they are 'acculturated'. Those with very dark skin have a harder time but it is more due to cultural 'differentness' (most very dark people are new immigrants & often refugees) than colour prejudice.

Asian women here avoid the sun & when they do go out, they cover up. Esp the adult generation.
 

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I started lightening because like Chinadoll, my face used to be lighter but due to sun damage and neglect and i guess age, i got darker. I'm not used to be being dark and people are not used to me being dark either so I get comments like "is everything alright? how come you're getting darker? etc, someone even told him me it looks like I don't take care of my skin anymore.
Also, about 2 years ago I suddenly developed Keratois Pilaris, a skin condition that makes your skin look like chicken skin, very traumatic for someone like me who had not one single spot on my face or body. However, after months of treatments, it got resolved somehow but I was left with severe scaring which looks similar to acne scars but tinier and closer.
So I finally decided to do something about my skin color and scars. Unfortunately I stumbled upon Makari products which was good when i started using it originally but all of sudden, I started getting breakouts on my face and neck and when i stopped using it, i got horrible rashes all over my face.
Long story short, got darker skin and terrible scaring all over my face and body from acne, keratosis pilaris and makari rashes.
I was desperate for a cure and everyone I spoke to said my skin problems can only be cured with skin lightening products so i was left with no choice. I stumbled upon this website and I am grateful for it, now i use the HQ 4%, retin a and lika's papaya soap and boy has my skin improved - less scaring, lighter skin already, and I am so grateful. I am in the process of a painful divorce after 7 years of marraige so I definitely needed a self esteem booster and I'm slowly but surely getting my groove back. I am getting compliments again, i feel beautiful again and on my way to full comeback. About what people feel, I don't really care, in a free society, we are entitled to our opinions. I am not that light yet, just almost back to own original color but I would love to hear what people would think or say when i do get really light and I am sure i will have a perfect answer for them. I appreciate people that come from a place of real concern about what products with HQ can do to your skin but anyone look at your life and tell me if you are not taking at least one risk that may be a cause for concern. As for my family, they know me as a light person so they were more concerned when i went from light to dark.
ONDINE, I HAVE TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU FOR HELPING ALONG THE WAY!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What an inspiring and compelling story. Many people here in the different departments & threads have mentioned the trauma of suddenly developping a skin related problem whether it is acne or rosacea, many felt less attractive, less confident & even less desirable. It is clear that a skin problem can rapidly spiral into depression or even suicidal feelings.

Retin A really is an incredible product. It even decreases the risdks of skin cancer so it is widely prescribed in Australia where many people live a beach related lifestyle but have fragile pale skin. THe HQ horror stories, if you read tyhem carefully, ALL reflect people who have abused the product by mixing it with stuff like mercury, lead or household bleach. Of course skin will be damaged-BUT not by the HQ, but by the other additives they are using.

It is great that you didn't give up & just resign yourself to the damage. Soon, it'll all be a thing of the past. I am happy for you. Someone with your same problem will read your accounting & be able to follow your example & save more than their face. THanks for the thanks, but much of what I've said was gleaned from the words of others who've passed through here too.
 

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Thanks Ondine- I didn't even take note that some environments treat you differently based on your purchases, and ttee I'm glad that your problems are getting better now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
THat's what's great about being able to shop online: most places use discreet packaging & you have complete privacy. This way, you don't have to explain anything to anyone.

It is strange how everyone says that lighter skin increases our confidence. I plan to look at that in more depth. Have we 'bought into' 'society's' twisted credo? I think some of us are merely acnowledging that whether we like it or agree with it or not, it is the way things are. Lighter skin is connected to class & privilege. We all know dark happy people & pale unhappy ones. Light skin eyes & hair did little for Kurt Cobain's personal happiness, but had he been a black man, he wouldn't have become a legend: he'd be just another dead junkie! The same is true for Anna Nicole Smith: imagine had she been some Black woman? She'd be a write-off. It IS a shame that society perceives people so differently based upon complexion-but it does. I think this discrimination applies more to decidedly darker skinned people: brown, yellow & racially mixed people get off more easily & are somehow 'more acceptable'.

If this were the case in only a few societies, there would be more room for debate but the preference for lighter skin tones (esp for women) is almost universal. Wanting to be perceived as a classy (in some places upper caste, or rich, or privileged) person is reasonable.

Problems arise when beliefs become distorted such as thinking that light skin will render you famous or suddenly give you a high power career etc. It wont. Any more that silicone implants'll make your husband stop screwing his young receptionist! Be certain that your expectations re the impact this will have on your life is realistic. You'll still be YOU with the same job, the same spouse & kids you had before (unless you divorce the guy & abandon your kids!
). A radical change in social status will only come from an increased education & a better job. With this AND lighter skin you may get favoured for certain promotions, though. Personally, I'd feel crappy accepting a promotion I KNEW someone was more qualified for but was passed over due to someone's biases. As for men, I wouldn't want anything to do with some guy who wouldn't date me with coloured skin BUT wanted me now that I was fair!

I'd encourage everyone engaged in making a radical change to give deep considerations to their motives & their expectations-to avoid making the wrong choice for the wrong reasons & to avoid disappointment when expectations do not materialize.
 

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Great post ondine, with great points!

You should write a book-
 

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THat's what's great about being able to shop online: most places use discreet packaging & you have complete privacy. This way, you don't have to explain anything to anyone.

It is strange how everyone says that lighter skin increases our confidence. I plan to look at that in more depth. Have we 'bought into' 'society's' twisted credo? I think some of us are merely acnowledging that whether we like it or agree with it or not, it is the way things are. Lighter skin is connected to class & privilege. We all know dark happy people & pale unhappy ones. Light skin eyes & hair did little for Kurt Cobain's personal happiness, but had he been a black man, he wouldn't have become a legend: he'd be just another dead junkie! The same is true for Anna Nicole Smith: imagine had she been some Black woman? She'd be a write-off. It IS a shame that society perceives people so differently based upon complexion-but it does. I think this discrimination applies more to decidedly darker skinned people: brown, yellow & racially mixed people get off more easily & are somehow 'more acceptable'.

If this were the case in only a few societies, there would be more room for debate but the preference for lighter skin tones (esp for women) is almost universal. Wanting to be perceived as a classy (in some places upper caste, or rich, or privileged) person is reasonable.

Problems arise when beliefs become distorted such as thinking that light skin will render you famous or suddenly give you a high power career etc. It wont. Any more that silicone implants'll make your husband stop screwing his young receptionist! Be certain that your expectations re the impact this will have on your life is realistic. You'll still be YOU with the same job, the same spouse & kids you had before (unless you divorce the guy & abandon your kids!
). A radical change in social status will only come from an increased education & a better job. With this AND lighter skin you may get favoured for certain promotions, though. Personally, I'd feel crappy accepting a promotion I KNEW someone was more qualified for but was passed over due to someone's biases. As for men, I wouldn't want anything to do with some guy who wouldn't date me with coloured skin BUT wanted me now that I was fair!

I'd encourage everyone engaged in making a radical change to give deep considerations to their motives & their expectations-to avoid making the wrong choice for the wrong reasons & to avoid disappointment when expectations do not materialize.
You go girl!, great post. How about looking beautiful for me, just love that idea, that's my no 1 goal or LOL, maybe i'm selfish
4 your kind words in response to my post, sorry didn't get a chance to respond quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all so much, guys. You're the best! I just felt that soo many forums lack depth. People are wasting their precious time debating stupidities like whether Lil Kim looks good or not
or whether Michael Jackson really has vitiligo or not


Social networking sites & forums are becoming new forms of communities. We need to address real issues & real needs. Suppose we DO resolve the Lil Kim & MJ question: NOBODY benefits in any way! Here at this forum, WE are ALL deriving benefits from eachother's contributions & experiences. We live on several continents in different countries & socio/economic contexts. Some are teens, others are seniors. Some educated & affluent, some less so. THAT is a microcosmic mirror of the world in which we dwell. We have the unique (historically) opportunity to engage in exchanges with real people all over the planet w/o getting out of bed -if we feel like it. It seems a shame to squander this opportunity on garbage talk like "Is MJ's hair 'real'?"

As for doing a blog, I thought about that, but I didn't want to become the focus or the center of the communication: I want to be involved in as democratized an exchange as is possible. A lot of what I know was derived HERE from other people & I don't want to lose that.

What I am really hoping we achieve here is to 'crack the code' to being able to manipulate & choose our skin colouring safely & at a reasonable cost. So called 'celebs' do this all the time. Remember what Tina Turner looked like in 1969? Google some old pictures & look at her now! The same for Diana Ross & countless others. Why all the cloak & dagger secrecy? Whites have claimed the right to openly exchange info re tanning, WE ought to do the same re lightening.
 

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- I am lightening for cosmetic reasons and cosmetic reasons only. People can try to deny the preference for light skin, but it falls on my deaf ears. If you doubt my claims go to https://implicit.harvard.edu/implici...lectatest.html and take the skin-tone IAT.

"Skin-tone ('Light Skin - Dark Skin' IAT). This IAT requires the ability to recognize light and dark-skinned faces. It often reveals an automatic preference for light-skin relative to dark-skin."

I am aware of this preference and choose to confirm to it, that conformation is just that MY choice.

- Do you expect your life to change drastically?
From my original skin tone to the one I desire obviously thats a big gap. Other than friends asking me what happened I don't expect my life to drastically change. Although I will be more confident.

- Are you in a cultural environment that encourages skin lightening? For what reasons?
I have discussed this with my family and they're okay with my decision.

- Does anyone in your family know that you are doing this ?
Yes, everyone knows.

- Do you think it 'okay' for a person to change their 'racial' appearance (hair colour or texture, skin colour, facial features etc.)
Yes, I'm also considering getting a nose job!

- If & when you do become dramatically fairer, what if anything will you say to those who knew you before & are curious?
If someone asks me if i bleach my skin, obviously I will deny, because I'm not bleaching i'm lightening. If they asked how have I achieved this fairer complexion I will tell them. Honestly, I see nothing wrong with lightening the skin tone. Therefore, I have nothing to hide.
 

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Great post!!

In my book basically, it is your right to do whatever makes you happy! People need to accept others for who they are, not for what you look like, or what you used to look like. You will never make everyone happy so just focus on making yourself happy!
 

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Thought I'd answer the Qs fully.

- What are you hoping lighter skin will bring into your life?
I want to be more attractive. I used to be lighter than I am now...somehow I got darker (I was a smoker for a few years...maybe that has something to do with it?). I come from a society that values light skin. I also want to look the best I can on my wedding day.

- Do you expect your life to change drastically?
Not really, no. I mean, I'm sure people will notice me more and I'll be considered "attractive" by a larger portion of those that meet me.

- Are you in a cultural environment that encourages skin lightening? For what reasons?
Yes. South Asians are obsessed with light skin. Lighter skin is valued (implies better breeding, etc). Also, women who are lighter are seen as being more feminine.

- Does anyone in your family know that you are doing this ?
No. My parents would be angry. They'd think it was unsafe. My mom is a lot lighter and would never get my reasons for it. I casually mentioned it to my FH, though I doubt he took me seriously.

- Do you think it 'okay' for a person to change their 'racial' appearance (hair colour or texture, skin colour, facial features etc.)
Yes. If I could, I would get a nose job too (but only if I had that extra money and I knew for certain a better nose was a sure thing). You work with what you get. What I don't agree with is changing yourself beyond a point of recognition. Also, if one does things to "enhance" what one already has, that's cool...but if you're completely deconstructing and recreating yourself, that's sort of questionable (particularly with regards to one's mental health). But how far is too far? It's a slippery slope.

- If & when you do become dramatically fairer, what if anything will you say to those who knew you before & are curious?
I certainly wouldn't tell them I actively sought skin lightening methods and used them! I'd say I started to eat differently...that I stopped certain unhealthy habits and got my old colour back (with added brightness). I might mention a new soap or whatever, but I honestly wouldn't tell someone (unless it was a family member) what I used... It's really none of their business. Inherent in this refusal to speak about the lightening is wanting someone to think it's more or less natural, thereby giving my lighter skin legitimacy (if that makes any sense at all). I wouldn't get so light that it would look unnatural or be drastic, anyway. I'm already "medium" as far shades go.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all that input, Laila. I am glad that you are doing this primarily for YOURSELF! When someone is pressured to change something they otherwise might not change, that is a problem! It is funny how fairness is an attribute of beauty virtually the worls over. Then again, what 'farness' is for an Ethiopian woman in hr community is different that what fairness is for a Japanese one! A person considered 'fair' in one culture can be considered 'dark' or 'dusky' or 'tan' in another. Aishwarya Rai, the famous Indian actress is considered very fair in her society. By a European standard, she's tan. Next to Nicole Kidman, she's dark.

I don't think I'd tell anyone either. Where I am & considering what I do, it could cause accusations of racial bias. Stupid! I also prefer longer hair; does it mean I actively discriminate against short haired people? You all know that I support your right to appear the way you want to. I too wonder about those who bash themselves in & get landscaped to where they're unrecognizable. Often the results are unflattering & unnatural (trout pout, eyes pulled almost vertical, marionette grin & soccer ball boobs
). These are people chasing some 'ideal' which does not exist. They seem to lack clarity as to what they want so no matter what they get, they return to the surgeon for further changes.

You can't see the rest of my features in the avatar photo, but with white skin, I'd just look like an ordinary white person as those are the facial features I have. My natural dark skin looked unnatural (as does my naturally auburn hair that I dye dark brown!). With a tan complexion, I'll look like a typical French woman with a tan.

Face of Vanity, you are lucky to have family members who will support your decision so you don't have to sneak about like some pedophile! The nose job might go very nicely with your lighter skin. There's a photo of a woman online who used to be black but who turned white from using mono. Her body looks great but her face:
She has a big wide flat nose, a wide spread mouth & big lips & a narrow receding jawline. She has west African features & they look awful on a white background. In order to look even plain, she'll need to do her nose, lips AND chin!
. She's a classic case of someone who should've stopped at a light brown/dark tan colour. Facial features must be taken into consideration when lightening. If I can locate her photos I'll upload them as a cautionary tale.

Laila, with the products suggested in this forum, you'll be a radiant bride. Remember, though, to always use sunscreen.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've located the photo of that girl who bleached out her colour using mono.

http://excoboard.com/forums/11263/user/104869/143889.jpg

You can see the nice evenness she achieved, but how unnattractive it is with her features. THis should inspire us to realistically consider what we'll actually look like with very light skin & develop a realistic image. In my opinion, this woman should've remained in the brown range.
 

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The link isn't working Ondine- but I think I'm familiar with what you're talking about
 

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Discussion Starter #19

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I've located the photo of that girl who bleached out her colour using mono.

http://excoboard.com/forums/11263/user/104869/143889.jpg

You can see the nice evenness she achieved, but how unnattractive it is with her features. THis should inspire us to realistically consider what we'll actually look like with very light skin & develop a realistic image. In my opinion, this woman should've remained in the brown range.
Good point Ondine. The desired outcome is not necessarily the most desirable one!
 
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