Celebrity Skin Bleaching

Everyone knows Michael Jackson bleached his skin white, but not many people know why. It was a treatment for a skin condition called vitiligo, which causes patches of depigmented skin all over the body. 

He was using a prescription cream containing hydroquinone, which is a really dangerous chemical which can have terrible side effects when used for long periods of time. 

Other well known celebrities that have bleached their skin are Beyonce, Rihanna, Lil' Kim, Latoya Jackson, retired baseball player Sammy Sosa, Tempest Bledsoe, Keke Palmer, Tamar Braxton, (I don't really know who most of these people are, but they're on TV), Iman (model), and Diana Ross and Halle Berry have been suspected of bleaching their skin as well. 

All of these African American celebrities are assumed to be bleaching their skin, due to dramatic changes between their skin color in photos from one period of time to the next, but most of them have not admitted using skin whitening products publicly. 

It's still something that is allegedly happening all though Hollwood, and which is not really discussed openly. 

Why Celebrities Don't Like Talking About Their Skin Bleaching Procedures

Obviously there is a certain stigma associated with being a black person who dyes their skin white, especially among other black people, for obvious reasons, I don't really need to explain why that would offend some people's sensibitilites. 

On the other hand, agents of these big pop stars and actors know that there is a stigma associated with being a really black African American. 

It may not even be a conscious thing, but studies have shown that white people are less likely to buy a record, or even watch a TV show when it has a person on the cover with really dark skin. 

People tend to like a news presenter who is somewhat Asian, or somewhat brown, but not completely another race. 

They tend to like people who have a "white voice", as compared to the accent of the "black voice", and it actually plays so much of a difference in the ratings of TV shows and in record sales and movie sales that artists and actors who are naturally dark are advised to get a skin bleaching treatment done. 

Regardless of whether this is a fair or reasonable thing, it makes sense in the current system for a black person to look more white, in the same way that some people find a white person more appealing with a tan. 

Celebrity skin bleaching doesn't seem to be going away in Hollywood, and in actual fact creams and remedies for making the skin color lighter have been in use since the Ancient Egyptians. 

Rihanna, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson...
Credit: Renae Smith