Nigerian actor Kunle Remi’s recent marriage sparks debate over skin bleaching and beauty standards

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.

Tweet-1024x1021 Nigerian actor Kunle Remi's recent marriage sparks debate over skin bleaching and beauty standards

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.

Recent cases of skin cancer linked to whitening products have been reported in various African countries, including Togo’s first case of squamous cell carcinoma. The alarming rise in the availability of untested skin-lightening products in shops across cities further accentuates the gravity of the issue.

Chiedza Mukucha

Chiedza Mukucha is a digital media and marketing Intern at My Afrika Magazine with 2 years experience and a mandate to help with changing the narratives of Zimbabweans and Africans at large, in its history and current affairs. Presently, it seems the African story is told and altered by third parties, and it is our injuction as African storytellers to document real-time and factual stories to increase our digital print as a collective. Chiedza is also an avid African literature reader and researcher. X (twitter): @Chiedza_RM

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