Jamaica has the most bleaching per capita in the world. A recent survey found that just under 17 percent of Jamaicans bleach their skin. That means for every ten Jamaican, more than one out of the ten use some form of skin lightening product.
The country that says “wi likkle but wi tallawah” is proud of their accomplishments despite the island’s size but they are not too proud of their African skin tone.
You can hardly blame them, the system teaches them to see themselves as less beautiful. Look at who Jamaican sends to represent the island in various beauty pageants year after year. More than 90% of Jamaicans are of dark complexion, yet more than 90% of the contestants they send to represent the country in beauty pageants look almost white.
Maybe the island wants to live up to its motto, “out of many one people”, so the majority are bleaching their skin so they could look more like the minority.
If you want to know how much Jamaicans hate their Black skin, just look back to the NBC singing competition “The Voice” when they had two Jamaican contestants back to back. Noticed how Jamaicans rallied and cheered for the light Chinese Tessanne Chin? Then what happened when the dark African Jamaican Anita Antoinette went on the show? You could have heard a pin drop; she did not get a quarter of the support that Tessanne got. Her skin was just too dark for the average Jamaican; she looks way too much like the majority of Jamaicans.
Many Jamaicans would trade in their dark, smooth beautiful complexion for a lighter or even to be white, if they could.
For many Jamaicans, the words of Marcus Garvey died with the national hero. Marcus Garvey was a great teacher, but many Jamaicans missed the lesson when he said, “I shall teach the black man to see beauty in his own kind and stop bleaching his skin and otherwise looking like what he’s not.”
Jamaicans bleach their skins because they have spent their lives seeing themselves through other people’s eyes. They have been taught that the lighter you are the more beautiful you are. Jamaicans bleach because the words of Marcus are not taught in schools the way they should be. Jamaicans bleach because although their physical bodies are not in chains, their minds are still bound by the aftermath of European colonization.