Sigh. Too much for words.
From ligali.org (equality for African people):
‘Black’ hair magazine promotes immoral and harmful products
Mon 18 September 2006
"The magazine claims to be ‘for the beauty conscious black woman’ but has been criticised by the community for endorsing products that encourage African women to ‘lighten’, ‘brighten’ and ‘bleach’ their skin tone. The process often includes the use of products containing quantities of anti-melanin agents that are bordering the legal recommended guidelines. The August/September issue of the magazine features over twelve full page adverts for these products. One ad in particular, called ‘So White’, features the tagline ‘So young...so pretty...So white!’ and is marketed to attract the impressionable young female consumer."
Ok, so I found some words...Skin bleaching has been a topic in the Naturally You! group before. There are many products out there that claim to even out dark spots and give us a more even complexion. However, I must say this is the most blatant I have seen, outright telling women that if we apply this product, it will make us white. There are women using these bleaching creams on their entire bodies in an attempt to do just that.
"They also feature advertisements for hair relaxer aimed at young children and another advert for 'Dr Miracles Thermalceutical Intensive Relaxer' which describes a woman with her natural hair as “yuck” whilst depicting her after the use of ‘Dr Miracles’ with ‘nice’ straight hair. Hair relaxers are known to cause hair breakage, hair loss, rashes, eye damage including blindness, dermatitis, scalp irritation and scarring and even alopecia."
The fact that Dr. Miracles portrays natural hair as unattractive and depressing is bad enough. That the ad goes on to depict the ability to make natural hair look "nice" as a miracle is just plain offensive. At this point Dr Miracles has created quite a name for itself in the natural community for its many offensive ads.
Click here to read more from ligali.org>>
Click here to see more ads >>
Ads for products that imply or state outright that Black women need to dramatically change their looks in order to be attractive (fade creams, relaxers, extension hair) are what keep many Black hair and beauty magazines afloat. This is a big part of the reason there is not one mainstream natural hair care magazine - it wouldn't make sense to publish these kinds of ads in one, and these are often the companies who are the most willing (and able) to advertise.
Natural hair care is simply a much smaller market, as is the natural beauty segment in general, though it is growing. These companies (the magazines and the beauty products) are simply giving the people what they want, and this is what we (our community as a whole, that is) say we want with our dollars. They are not concerned with how this affects the Black community, and even if they are the need to make money is winning out. They are interested in building and maintaining profitable businesses.
You can make a huge impact on the beauty industry as a whole by investing your money in companies that serve your interests as a Black woman who is comfortable in her own skin (or getting there!). The simple act of buying products from these companies and telling someone about it if you like them is a revolutionary act. The more Carol's Daughters we have - and right now we only have one! - the more big business will start to notice that they need to get on board and quick. A group of celebrities recently invested 10 Million dollars in Carol's Daughter, seeing that it has the potential to compete with major product manufacturers on a larger scale. Many of the biggest hair product manufacturers are responding to our changing buying habits, as I'm sure you have noticed "natural" products popping up all over the place.
Every one of us can make an impact - more Carol's Daughters, less Dr Miracles!