Kittitians have Mixed Feelings about “Bleaching”


Most recently popular Jamaican dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel went through a drastic skin tone change from a dark colored individual to lighter skin tone.  This new change has brought about many debates not only in the Jamaican community, but also on the local scene.

His explanation for his recent change of his complexion is that it is as a result of the usage of Cake Soap. However, makers of the washing soap have rubbished claims that the popular ‘blue soap’ or ‘cake soap’ made by the company, has any skin lightening effect.

Sometime ago, the artiste penned a song which lashed out against those persons who appeared to have been using bleaching agents on their skin. His tune seems have changed, however, since his new look have given rise to questions about whether or not he has been bleaching.

One of his recent compositions entitled, “Cake Soap”, which encourages persons to use the product, has attracted the attention of the local and regional communities. took to the streets to get the reaction from the local public and find out their opinions on the much debated topic of “bleaching” and if the artiste’s new way of life has impacted the St. Kitts and Nevis society.

Based on the response from several individuals, there are mixed reactions but the conclusion by many is that “people should not be influenced by an entertainers’ way of life or what the sing about.”

“People have to learn to see entertainers for who they are. They are just like you and I, regular people so I don’t see why if one decides to bleach, we should follow … it’s a personal decision,” one female said.

“A lot of these artistes sing songs about certain issues and they don’t abide by them.  For instance, this Kartel individual when he first came on the scene sang out against ‘bleaching’ and now he seems to be doing the same thing, just not practicing what they preach,” the individual added.

One fan explained that he is totally disappointed in the new direction that the artiste is taking.  “I can’t continue to support an individual who seems to be corrupting the youths mind.  He has a few good songs and very good entertainer but there is a limit to it all. Bad could never be right.”

“In St. Kitts and Nevis there are people who do this bleaching thing, and we know it’s not healthy but we continue to do it and now this guy is adding ammunition to make it seem right.  Our younger generation is lost because they are heavily influenced by these singers and I hope that this does not become an ‘in thing’ in our beautiful island,” so said DJ Kells, a popular DJ on one of the federation’s radio stations.

While some may be against the bleaching of the skin issue some still strongly support Kartel’s actions.

“Everyone has a right to do what they want and that is his new way of life so let it be and he is the greatest entertainer there is,” one young man said.

This individual – a student of the CFBC – was then asked, “Would you follow the trend and bleach your skin?”

His simple reply was, “No time!”

Meanwhile according to Wikipedia, skin lightening or whitening is a controversial topic as it is closely intertwined with the detrimental effects on health, identity, self image, racial supremacy and colonial mentality.

It has been reported that there is evidence to suggest that some types of skin-whitening products use active ingredients (such as mercurous chloride) and hydroquinone which can be harmful.  Hydroquinone has now been banned in Europe and, in many other countries, it can only be prescribed by a doctor for certain skin conditions.




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