The Disturbing trend of Baby Skin-Bleaching



There is a disturbing trend going on amongst new mothers in Nigeria, and it emanated from the glorification of light skin. It comes from the fact that many people elevate people will light skin over those with darker skin. It has always been an issue amongst black African adults, but many of us never guessed that it would be such a cancer that would permeate into the choices we make when we raise our children.

As a mother to a fairly light skinned baby, you get to hear comments like "Oh wow, he’s light. That's nice." To be honest, that is not an issue for me. The issue is when people start to compare their babies’ skins, with inference that the lighter the baby, the more beautiful.

This menace has gotten so bad that mothers are toning bleaching their babies’ skin. Oh yes. We now lie to ourselves saying things like “we are maintaining the colour of the baby’s skin. We don’t want the baby to lose the light skin, and be darker.” But who really are we kidding?

Firstly, if the baby is truly light, why does the skin colour need to be maintained? We know that to maintain the shine and true tone of a skin, what you need is to bathe the baby well, oil well, or moiturise well. A dash of Shea butter here, A teaspoon of Coconut oil there, and you will be maintaining the skin colour well. But when we begin to act like science students, using our innocent babies’ skins for experiment, mixing shea butter with Funbact-A, we are no more “maintaining” jack. Some mothers even mix the shea butter with other bleaching ingredients, while others outrightly use “toning” serums and bleaching creams. What is wrong with us?


Secondly, what is wrong with a baby getting dark, are we not black Africans? Are you saying there’s something wrong with the black skin or a dark-skinned baby? Does a baby’s dark skin reduce his chances at becoming somebody in life? Many people guilty of this are dark-skinned themselves. Are you saying you hate your own skin so much that you would not want your child to carry that same “burden”? In my opinion, parents guilty of this have an orientation problem, and they are not so hard to find. Just go to nairaland, and you will see them all over.

Thirdly, are we really not being selfish when we put our children through this? I wrote about Five selfish traits babies reveal in humans some weeks ago. I should have added this point to it. When we want to lighten our babies’ skins, it is not really about the baby’s desire, it is really about us, what we want to see, what we want people to say about our babies, etc. We do not consider the fact that many of these things are harmful to adults’ skins, talk less of babies’ skins that are so tender. For God’s sake, Funbact-A is a steroid cream! Why are we applying steroids on the skins of our children every single day? Something that is meant to be a prescription to be used once in blue moon for skin diseases are now being abused just because we want to “maintain”. When we make decisions, please let’s consider for lives of the people involved.

Parents, we don’t need to envy other people’s babies, just because they are light-skinned. Your own dark-skinned child is also beautiful. Your baby is beautiful no matter the colour of his or her skin. Life is so much more than the colour of your skin.

This post is not about team light skin vs team dark skin, but it is just addressing the trend of parents intentionally making their babies’ skins lighter, or in some of their words, “maintaining the colour”.
If you know any parent guilty of this, tell them to please, stop it... at least, for the sake of the innocent child!

10 comments

  1. I am very shocked at this but it does make a lot of sense. I am chocolate brown, hubby is black. My kids were born very yellow and gain their natural color as they grow. My mom is very light my dad is black and every member of my husbands family is black. So now as my kids are getting darker, I hear this why are you letting them get dark? From people and I never thought much of it because, I mean, if I wanted half caste children I for marry oyinbo na. Wonders shall never cease.

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    1. Exactly! Many of the babies born light will eventually go dark if their parents are dark. People should stop acting like it's abnormal

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  2. People are wicked sha... Bleaching your babys skin? that's horrible abeg... Nah...

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  3. It's just sad that people have come to this. Toning or bleaching a baby's skin. It's sad.

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    1. They are subtly saying light skin is superior to dark skin.

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  4. Bleaching a baby's skin...wow! I never knew about this

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