End Skin Lightening and Fight Colorism
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By signing this pledge you are committing to
- Educate as many people as possible about the detrimental effects of Skin Lightening
- Not use terms such as "Blackie", "Gorilla", "Midnight", "Shadow", "Charcoal", "Dirty", "Burnt" and etc. that put down people of darker skin tones even in a joking manner!
- Not use skin lightening products or if you are currently using them try your best to stop using them
- Help fight colorism by not using "lightskin" as a compliment or darkskin as a insult as skin tone does not define beauty!
- Try your best to uplift women of color all around you and encourage them to love the skin they are in. Especially kids!
- Educate people on how they can help fight colorism (Check out @theskinimincampaign social media accounts for ideas)
Bio: My name is Aissatu Diop and I am a Senegalese-American high school student studying in Washington, DC. During a trip to Senegal in 2015, I noticed for the first time how prevalent skin lightening products are amongst women in West Africa. I saw bumps, patches, hives and more side effects all over the skin of various Senegalese Women. Talking with relatives, they simply explained the practice as a desire for beauty.
Upon my return back to the states I began researching the practice and found that more than 50% of Senegalese and Nigerian women in big cities utilized skin lightening products. The harmful effects of skin lightening products are widely known and there have been various documentaries produced outlining the detrimental effects of the practice. These products containing a wide range of chemicals like the most popular Hydroquinone to one of the most dangerous Mercury help stop the production of melanin which therefore weakens the skin as melanin is a natural skin protectant. The use of skin lightening products not only produces visible side effects such as hives, they also increase the users likelihood of developing skin cancer and a variety of skin diseases.
For my senior capstone project I decided to start a social campaign educating yet uplifting west African women. I created a hashtag #TheSkinImIn / #theskinimincampaign and have a Instagram account and Facebook account that uplift and educate women of color. You can find these accounts by searching @Theskinimincampaign
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