A recent trend in African-American’s perception of beauty is to have lighter skin. Some have gone to extreme lengths, such as the skin peel, or even more severe, skin bleaching, to attain a caramel complexion. In this city, beauty comes in all shades, and with the growing need to keep-up with beauty perceptions, people may choose to change their physical appearance. Although the media could affect how people view themselves, people of color seem reticent about altering their looks. While residents have chosen to stay away from surgical procedures, the issue of skin rejuvenation is one of concern.
Some observers who have studied this phase, believe that people of color are influenced, by the people and images around them. The viewers who watch television are bombarded by characters that are of no resemblance to them, in this ruse of a conflicted sense of their natural beauty. Although some of us are not obligated to follow these trends, these influences are a constant reminder that lighter is better. Despite this belief, Newark residents seem to be comfortable in their own skin. For those who visit this city and are a bit more observant, one notices the bleaching products at the beauty salons. Given the cost of a skin-peel procedure, bleaching creams could be a quick fix for people, who want to change their body’s appearance.
The availability of these products in the ethnic community is on the rise and this procedure has its risks. The side affects of using bleaching creams are acne, tight skin and low self-esteem. In the latter case, the product was unable to improve the user’s overall quality of life, since the individual’s perception of his or herself, is a problem the cream cannot change. If the media affects our beliefs about our looks, it is up to the consumers to decide whether the consequences outweigh the tentative benefits of using skin cream treatment. The city of Newark has a large non-white population, and by observation, it seems our residents have chosen to keep their appearance natural.