Women bleaching body parts doesn’t exactly sound like something of this century, but it is. I can assure you. It sounds scarier than the embalming method and equally as gruesome as some horror film plot, but what’s even scarier is that women do this voluntarily, to themselves, while awake and alive. The saying is no pain, no gain. The other saying is that beauty is painful or hurt or pain. But like, why? Why does that have to be? And do we have to just stand by and take that? I don’t know, ladies, I think we’re better than that.
We suffer to be beautiful or get close to a socially acceptable idea of beauty. We do things like bleaching our body parts –yowza. It sounds probably much worse than it actually is, but I can’t help but think about the side effects, the damage, and the pain caused by applying a chemical substance to our skin –and sometimes to very sensitive areas. We’re a glutton for punishment, so it seems. So if you’ve ever wondered why women bleach, it’s not simply about beauty, it goes a little deeper than that. Have a look at the reasons why women bleach and see if some of them don’t resonate with you.
13 To look like the beautiful women we admire
Women have upper lip hair, there’s no disguising this fact. Yes, it’s a fact. Let’s not go picking fights here. Women have body hair and it even shows up on our faces in the form of a mustache-esque shadow or full-fledged stubble. We also have peach fuzz. The differentiating factor is the quantity and the quality. Some women have light hair color and others dark; some have more hair than others. Big deal, it’s just hair. But according to the beauty bible, written ages ago and by men, mind you, and not women –upper lip hair is unforgivable despite the fact that nature put it there. So we’re forced to bleach it to give the appearance of being more feminine because our boobs aren’t enough. And what does a woman look like these days anyways? After all, with all of this crossing lines, gender mash-ups, and non-binary talk, what a woman is today isn’t what she was yesterday. Someone should edit that beauty bible or just toss it in the beauty school bin.
12 To hide facial hair, quick
Just as men have facial hair in several areas across their face, so do women. Don’t gasp and act all surprised; don’t act like it couldn’t be you, girl. Body hair is obvious, but facial hair less blatant because we’re taught, from a very early age, that men have beards and mustaches and sideburns and goatees and women don’t. It’s that simple. So when some unwanted hair appears, women are quick to hide it away, afraid of, perhaps, being confused for the opposite sex. Facial hair is a point of shame for many women. Women who embrace their facial hair have been called freaks and used in the circus; today, we call them hippies or liberals or feminists. Whatever they/we are, we are told that we’re not normal. However, why does no one address the issue that most women have some sort of facial hair. Leave us alone; the universe does not make mistakes. But if bleaching is something you want to do to feel better or fit in, by all means. After all, you are your body’s leader, right? Or are you?
11 We are constantly told how we should look
There is a distinction between good and bad nipples. If this is your first time hearing this, welcome to the club. Who would even know that the nipple color you’re born with is wrong if the beauty industry didn’t tell you or sell you a product to make you feel somewhat strange about your own body. If the consumer world knows how to do one thing well, it’s sell you something you don’t need. They could sell water to the ocean if they put their marketing schemes together just right. That’s what the beauty market does, it panders to your weakness and pushes you to buy out of guilt and feelings of inadequacy. How else could the market sell us a bleaching cream for our very own nipples, ladies. Whatever color your nipples are, they are lovely and no one needs to meet some standard of nipple beauty because it doesn’t exist. They made it up. Be happy with what the universe gave you. Be unhappy with what capitalism does to your self-esteem.
10 Because of what other people say our nip color should be
Whatever color nipple you have is the right color for you. You were born with those nipples because those are the perfect nipples for your body. The color, the shape, the size –all of that is just right for you. So if someone tries to tell you a pinkish tint is better, go ahead and laugh away. Women are getting their nipples bleached because someone said that dark nipple looks dirty. As if. Ladies, if you have dark nipples, there’s nothing to worry about. Guys and girls alike love all types of nipple colors and forms, no two alike, and each pair a surprise. There is no handbook that says the clean, fresh nipple is the pink nipple. That’s crazy talk, that’s talk that makes women go out and put chemicals on their nipples despite warnings. After all, your nipples are sacred –babies use them to feed and grow. Think on that for a moment.
9 To even out discoloration under the arms (didn't even know this was a thing)
With the invention of shaving body hair came discoloration. After years, and at some point decades, of shaving, the skin in those areas changes; as does the texture of the skin. Where armpits are concerned, bleaching came about as a solution to even out the skin tone. While some soaps and scrubs claim to remove stubborn under arm discoloration, the truth is that no matter what you do, armpits will be and continue to be discolored if you shave. However, for those willing to go the extra mile and sign up for bleaching, they achieve some relief even if it’s only temporary. Some women feel like during bikini season or in preparation for a warm weather vacation, bleaching their underarms will give them the confidence in which to fully enjoy their time away and snap as many photos as possible without having to worry about any awkward armpit shadowing.
8 To prevent a dark Bikini line (because light is right? SMH)
Ladies like to pride themselves on their appearance. That goes for all parts of the body, even those very small spaces that to the untrained eye might not be noticeable. Women have been waxing and shaving downstairs for at least a decade now and as a result have seen some unpleasant results. Of course, this is not the case with every woman, but in some cases ingrown hairs, razor bumps, thin skin, and discoloration have been reported. No woman wants to appear dirty down there, so to avoid any whispers or pointing fingers, she goes to get her bikini line bleached. This could have serious consequences as the skin is already in super sensitive territory; and this is prior to any hair removal, mind you. The bikini line is sensitive, but for some women it’s well worth the risk to have a smooth, even appearance in which to rock a bikini or a one-piece swimsuit.
7 To make their lady parts look more attractive
Yes, yes, yes, that's right. Women get their vaginas bleached. Let’s pause. Women actually want to put a chemical on an already super sensitive area for the sake of aesthetics. Talk about vanity. However, our bodies, our choice, right. As the market trends have been set, the pinker the parts, the prettier. Although women’s vaginas come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors, variety is no longer the spice of life and we should all aim for a very petite pink vah-jay-jay apparently. This is not only dangerous, in terms of thought, but also in terms of health. Women should not be made to feel inferior based upon the color of their labia. But this is what’s happening. It’s unfortunate that women will go to such lengths to please men because at the end of the day, the truth is, these decisions are based on some social standard of beauty that have been set by those in power, those who run the big companies. Don’t let them send you to the labia bleaching consultant. Don’t you want to say ouch and scream just thinking about it?
6 Because of the Gimmick
As a ploy to earn more money, beauty products pander to women with low self-esteem. This means that if the corporations can make you feel bad about yourself, or any part of your body, then they’ve got a sale. You get a high from the anticipation, from the hope that this product will change your appearance and, therefore, change your life. And when that doesn’t happen, you're left a little depressed, with less money in your pocket, and confused. Bleaching your sacred lady bits should be a no-no, in all honesty. Despite cultures messing with women’s genitalia for centuries, women should have the right to decide for themselves what they want or don’t want. Bleaching does not sound like something a woman, on her own, would voluntarily do. Labia bleaching is not an invention of a woman for women, or that respects women. It’s a gimmick to get you to buy into an idea of beauty that might not be your own idea. Think about that.
5 Because of the European standard of beauty
For centuries, the standard idea of beauty was set by the elite. And without having to consult a history book, we know that the elite have been, in most cultures, European, aka, the colonizer. Because the colonizer had power, he could tell others how to live and which way was the best way to live. They set standards and trends. Those who were not of the elite class wanted to be; it’s related to money, wealth, and power. Therefore, European women were the face of beauty. People wanted to be like the elite and thus did what they did, ate what they ate, tried hard to look like them. This is where the European standard of beauty arose. Looking up, women of lower class, working class, were confronted with their own plight and with their own bodies. For centuries, the fair skinned woman was adored; she stayed out of the sun and if she did have any color used powders and creams, even paint, to maintain a porcelain finish. Women bleach their skin because this idea has been so ingrained in our society that we can’t shake the myth and we continue to strive for an elite sense of style.
4 To get fair skin
In many cultures across the world, fairness is seen as a coveted characteristic. We just learned that the European standard of beauty was set due to status, but now we learn that even non-European women desire a European look. In countries where women of color thrive, this concept has crept in through the door which colonialism tore down. In India, mothers charm boys into liking their daughters for their fair skin. In the Caribbean, girls are favored if they have any racial mixing that results in a lightening of skin. And if a girl isn’t “fortunate” to be of a lighter complexion, she can buy any number of lightening products on the market. They don’t call themselves bleach, these creams and potions, but they are. They are bleach nicely packaged; it is propaganda in a bottle, in a bar of soap, in a lotion. Unfortunately, the European standard of beauty makes naturally beautiful women feel inadequate.
3 Because of consumerism
Here we are, back to square one, consumerism. The way it works is like this, companies create any number of gimmicks, or as they would say products, to sell. Most of these products are geared towards women. Just stop and think about the beauty industry. Creams to smooth out dimples in the thighs, creams to reduce size, makeup to cover up, makeup to invent and reinvent, hair when you don’t have enough, hair when you want a new look, hair color when you feel bored or when your grays come in –all of the products created to make us feel a certain way about our natural selves. And if that’s not enough, they start to mess with our most intimate of parts. They tell us that our vagina coloring is wrong and that to have a better life, to be more satisfied, we’d better change the color because if not we run the risk of not living to our potential. Well, maybe it’s not so exaggerated, but it feels like that. Consumerism makes for the craziest of products. Don’t believe me? Just think of any number of infomercials and realize that most of what we buy is a joke.
2 To clean up the appearance down there
Some say that anal bleaching stared with strippers and sex workers. Whether or not this is true, we don’t really know, nor does it matter. The point is that someone mentioned how the natural skin looks around our nether region and someone else overheard and boom a product was created. This product is a bleaching system that removes any discoloration from around your lower region so that you can look fresh and reborn, so you can bleach away any patchy, strange hues that aren’t deemed as appealing to the general public. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really putting that part of my body out there so much and even if I were, I’m not sure that I’d go through the pain and process of putting a chemical on my anus. Perhaps this serves a purpose for some women, but in reality, it’s a risk they are willing to take and they do it to feel better about themselves or for the sake of aesthetics.
1 Because it's trendy
If one Hollywood personality talks about her bleached anus with pride and joy, it’s sure to hit the mainstream market and take off. Women tend to follow trends closely. And we have a tendency to idolize some of our favorite stars in Hollywood. If they’re doing it, we want to do it. If they swear by it, we trust them. It sort of works like that. So for now, the idea of bleaching the anus is pretty popular and women are willing to invest in it –invest time, and money, and to put pain aside. To each their own. But this trend might not last. Like most things, this seems like a trend that will come and go and with good reason. I can’t imagine a society that permits such behavior to take place for too long; it makes us seem so shallow and self-absorbed. It also is so insignificant in the scheme of life. May this trend die with a quickness; may we be saying soon enough that another one bites the dust.