No, it’s not a skin condition or his attempt to woo Twi-hard fans.
Sammy Sosa is stepping up to fill the Michael Jackson void as the latest celeb-of-color to become um, less colorful thanks to skin lightening creams. The Root has a great essay on the cultural ramifications of his progression to pale. And Sammy’s not the only one: NPR is reporting that the skin whitening industry is working hard to expand their male customer base. In fact, trade publication GCI Magazine estimates that sales of male skin-whitening products in India could match the sales of female skin whiteners within five to ten years.
Seems like a good time to mention that many skin whitening treatments contain hydroquinone, a chemical that has been restricted for use in cosmetics by Canada and the EU, and is classified as a hazardous air pollutant by the EPA.
Oh, and in October, the FDA busted a shipment of Manning Beauty Cream whiteners because they contained 8 percent mercury.
Meanwhile, at the other end of skin spectrum, Tom Delay and other Dancing With the Stars contestants broke the silence and spoke out about their spray tan addiction in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Does the former GOP leader really need a faux six-pack?
At Beauty U, Blanche and Stephanie (two black women with only the most minimal interest in lightening up) have started bringing their own foundations and concealers because the makeup we’re supplied with ranges only from lily white to beach vacation toasty.
“I never realized that I was so hard to make up because of my skin color,” says Blanche after we’ve all experimented unsuccessfully with mixing shades that leave her chalky and streaked.
“They should have better products!” We all rush to say. “It’s not you, don’t feel bad!”
“Oh don’t worry,” says Blanche. “I know it’s not me that’s the problem.”
What’s your take on the business of skin?