Skin Lightening in the Gulf Region


Color complexes are, for sure, universal. In one of the Fair and Lovely advertisements a woman walks up to a pharmacist with a look of despair (I’ve only seen the commercial in Arabic). The pharmacist offers her this cream and the woman smiles. Then after several uses, her skin becomes both lighter and clearer. She’s happy. The cream, produced by a Dutch-Brittish company, that solves all problems.

One of the first news articles here that caught my eye was one about an Arabic beauty pageant contestant that refused to be the spokesperson for a skin lighting advertisement. She believed that it would hinder young girls in the future and assist them in developing or advancing complexes concerning their complexion. What a decision to have to make in 2010. I read another article in which a European woman described the women in the Middle East as “suffering” from olive skin.

This product, along with several other skin lightening creams, flood the shelves in the beauty sections of supermarkets and pharmacies here. If the cream is too expensive or “permanent,” some women will adorn their faces with white powder; if these women are uncomfortable with the darkness of their hands, they will wear gloves to hide their true complexion.

I teach second grade, and I want to tell my girls now that they are beautiful and that they don’t need to lighting their skin in order to be successful. I’m not sure, but I don’t believe that they hold me at a higher esteem than their mothers and overall culture at this stage in their lives. I’ll, nonetheless, try.

Please see article below for more information.

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