A Nigerian make-up artist
In an Instagram post shared today, Thursday, October 26, 2017, she revealed how society standards made her bleach and how she is now in love with her black skin.
Titled "My Road to Melanin," Kashaam wrote "At the age of 19, I started lightening my skin..... By the time I was 20, I had become a heavy Skin bleacher... at the time it felt almost normal, I felt like I looked more attractive..... it became an addiction, I just couldn't stop. I craved so much to be lighter. I felt being black wasn't beautiful enough. What a stupid way to have thought..."
She went on to further say that societal standards regarding beauty influenced her decision to lighten her skin. "I guess the society we live in played a little role in my decision to bleach my skin... coupled with being very Naive at that age. It's widely perceived that the lighter you are, the more beautiful you look. To be honest I always knew it was a bad thing... I mean, I had seen loads of people with ridiculously damaged skin courtesy the effects of bleaching but I was just so deep into it... like I said it's actually an addiction."
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When she was about to turn 25, Teniola Aisha Kashaam started having second thoughts about bleaching. "As my 25th birthday started approaching I started to do a lot of Soul searching, a lot of self-evaluation... concerning every area of my life and I finally started to see the light... to see how crazy I had been all these years... how crazy it was for me to have believed that my black skin wasn't beautiful, to have allowed myself to feel inadequate or to try and tell God ' how you created me isn't good enough' what a silly, crazy way to have lived.
Today I'm more than grateful that I finally saw the light. Black is beautiful! So beautiful! Never have I ever felt as beautiful and as at peace with my skin tone as I do now... Please Love your skin/Yourself the way God has made you.... you are beautiful, you are enough" she wrote.
Kashaam finished her post by saying "Time will always tell... imagine how I would look 10-15 years from now if I had continued to bleach my skin. Please don't do it... I did it and I Had/ have so much Regret... it's not worth it. You are beautiful just as you are."
The controversial issue of bleaching has been brought up in recent weeks thanks to the ad disasters by Dove and Nivea.
Ghanaian music act Fuse ODG for its controversial billboard. The cosmetic later pulled down the billboard in Ghana due to the backlash.
On October 9, 2017, Dove apologized for its advert which was labelled as racist and skin insensitive by critics.