Skin Bleaching: Beauty Guru Takes On The Topic

Video of YouTube Influencer Jackie Aina sharing her thoughts on Skin Bleaching and the latest product marketed to darker skinned consumers. 
(Courtesy of YouTube and Jackie Aina’s YouTube Channel:

I would like to start this post off by saying that I was more than elated that Ms. Jackie Aina, one of Youtube’s biggest and brightest makeup and beauty influencers decided to create a video dialogue concerning a topic that has reached far beyond America.  As a fellow millennial, I was  fangirling throughout this entire video.” The topic of Skin Bleaching alone is a very touchy and soar topic for many people because of the ramifications and implications that usually follow beyond someone that chooses to bleach their skin.

Now, of course, we are aware that skin bleaching has been marketed to everyday consumers around the world alike. And you even have to note that there are some people that do not abuse the bleaching products and use them for spotted discoloration temporarily. However, without proper education on the products and also have a system that consistently tells young girls and young men that if they are darker than fair they are not deemed beautiful, it is easy to fall prey to abusing bleaching products for the sake of “feeling better” about your appearance. What’s worse is that thousands of companies and entrepunuers around the globe profit off darker complected people without ever having any intention of stating that use of their products can cause serious health side effects and or death.

Personally, I have been following Ms. AIna’s Youtube Channel for almost two years and I am proud to be a fan of her work and her overall platform. She’s made every effort to make women around the world accept their beauty and realize that they are beautiful both inside and out by showcasing unique and inspiring videos each week. This video is just a small sample of her spirit and her wits about her platform for women around the world. At the time of this article, her latest video was under 500,000 views.

I hope that many of the viewers that tune in each week to view her makeup tips and playful banter give this video a chance. Everyone is entitled their own opinion regarding the matter, but like with everything else in life, everyone deserves the right to stand up for those that may not have a voice or may have had their opinions silenced  in the past.  I look forward to more conversation on this matter as it’s a problem that has been pushed under the radar for far too long in the melaninated communities. 

A Reflection on “This is America” Video by Childish Gambino

This is America Video Reflection Graphic(1)

Approximately two weeks ago, the artist known as Childish Gambino released a music video that had the world talking. From memes to in-depth analysis, his video and song entitled This Is America captured the attention of everyone willing to partake in this conceptualize idea and prism that we call America. Now, it’s easy to say that This is America is not a video that can just be consumed entirely in one viewing. If you set aside the graphic nature of the video, the very essence of what Childish Gambino also known as Donald Glover is attempting to do is widely apparent.

This is America attracts you, with its melancholy picture and it’s infectious melodies and beats. The video even forces you to separate the personas that encapsulate one man and the people around him. The individual persona that represents the artist Childish Gambino finds and correlates with the persona that represents Mr. Glover himself. And throughout the video, each side is juxtaposed by varying experiences and emotions. As the video opens and you find yourself intrigued by what you think is going to be a typical music video, you are given a jolting shock. But psychologically, this jolting shock does not deter you from turning your eyes and ears away. Mr. Glover’s This is America has succeeded its first goal in grabbing the viewers attention by showing blatant violence in the careless death of a black man but also by putting no emphasis on his life or by now if you haven’t subconsciously noticed, your desensitized feelings.

The second goal is immediately accomplished by distracting the viewers with both Mr. Glover’s appearance and the drum beat and lackadaisical rap energy, that is found in most popular urban radio hits today.

While the video carries forth, the terror and mayhem in the background gets lost behind the conscious reasoning and is upstaged be Mr. Glover dancing around almost minstrel style in the foreground. Void a shirt and simply donning plants that strongly resemble the attire of enslaved people, Mr. Glover then joins a group of kids by emulating the current dance crazes and drawing more attention to his materialistic and self-serving lyrics.

But it is the moment that we also see the artist Childish Gambino resurface in his artistic genius. During the scenes between him dancing and jigging to the syncopated beat, we as an audience are distracted by the realities of his parading around. Society has become blinded by both the tragedies and the violence of the world because we are busy seeking materialistic devices.

As the video pushes towards a close, Mr. Glover reminds us of a sobering reality that continues to haunt our society. That reality is the blatant disregard for the rights of human life specifically towards people of color. With the painful reminder of the 9 innocent souls that were snatched away from this world to the grips of hate to the praise of gun usage and the sheer terror welled up within him in the end as he runs for his life, This Is America ends as an unfinished conversation would. The discussion about gun control, mental illness, and social justice are just a few of the topics that need to be discussed more openly and inclusively. But it’s going to take more artists and people of higher influence to keep providing us with the raw, ugly reminders that we systematically have become desensitized to.

In closing my reflection and thoughts on this video, I would like to discuss some of the most potent lyrics from This is America.

“We just wanna party, Party just for you, We just want the money, Money just for you.”- I picked this as a powerful line because it showcases and insinuates the fact that most people of color, specifically Blacks and African Americans are always supposed to be jovial and portrayed as people that always looking to please others for the personal satisfaction and mocking of the majority.

“This is America (Skrrt, Skrrt, Woo) Don’t catch you slippin up (ayy), Look at how I’m livin now, Police be trippin now, Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy) Guns in my area (word, my area) I got the strap (ayy, ayy) I gotta carry ’em.”- I picked these bars because it showcases the present state of the society when it comes to talks about Police and Community relations and the world of concealing and carry issues in this country. So far the state of these issues has been left out of many conversations because of reasons that are wildly perceived as unfair or unsupportive of the present laws and actions in place for gun owners. The adlibs also serve as a disguise towards the lyrics as it centers on the representation of party and pop music standards found in songs today.

“You just a black man in this world, You just a barcode, ayy.”- And finally, I picked this line because this line defines the attitude that many involved in consumerism perceive about the African American community. It is statistically known that African Americans spend over a billion dollars in retail goods each year and the amount continues to grow each year exponentially despite the community being among the poorest in resources of retail products in urban and rural communities. This line also represents the fragility of the African American male image as for as ego, intelligence and being in American society and by stereotypical standards.

Mr. Glover’s also known as Childish Gambino This is America has started the discussion for many more avenues of exploration of this subject and many more issues affecting the minority communities in America. I highly recommend that you view the video if you haven’t already and decide, learn and research the historical references of the video and also process your own personal reflections and thoughts about how the footage either represents you or represents your perception of the world around you.