Nigerian actor Kunle Remi’s recent marriage sparks debate over skin bleaching and beauty standards
Renowned Nigerian actor Kunle Remi tied the knot over the weekend, but his joyous occasion has become a subject of public discourse, highlighting societal views on beauty standards and the prevalent practice of skin bleaching.
Before his marriage, Remi announced his engagement in December, which stirred various opinions. Some critics expressed disappointment, suggesting they had expected a different choice, comparing his new wife to his ex-girlfriend. The debate intensified when it was revealed that the ex-girlfriend was described as a ‘yellow-bone,’ a term often associated with lighter skin.
The issue of skin bleaching is not a recent phenomenon, despite its current prevalence. Historical practices involved the use of products like Ambi and Jaribu, and the World Health Organization reports that skin bleaching is widespread across African countries. Zimbabwe records a significant 31%, while Nigeria leads with a staggering 77% of women engaging in skin lightening practices. Other countries like Congo-Brazzaville, Ghana, Mali, and Zambia also report high rates.
The perception of beauty seems to have evolved, with men now actively participating in the trend. However, the health risks associated with skin bleaching cannot be ignored. Skin cancer, rare on black skin, becomes a potential risk, along with damage to vital organs like the kidneys and liver. Premature aging, skin burns, and difficulties in skin healing after accidents are additional concerns. Pregnant women who bleach their skin may also put their unborn children at risk of deformities.