Creating The Perfect Image: What Does It Take To Be Attractive?

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What does it take to be comfortable in your own skin?

We’ve been looking into the lengths some people are going to in order to get their ‘perfect’ look.

Yesterday, we stumbled across a video on Facebook of a 22-year-old student from Belfast who has admitted to relying on illegal tanning injections to create a darker complexion, a look she became obsessed with when on holiday in Turkey in 2014. Some would say this is “tanorexia” – an addiction to constantly being tanned.

This is not the first time a storyline like this has gone viral. In 2017, we saw Martina Big appear on This Morning claiming to identify her new self as a black woman. She stated,

“I was born white – but I prefer being black”.

It wasn’t enough for the tanning injections to increase the melanin in her appearance, she also wanted to change her race in totality.

It doesn’t end there either. Channel 4’s popular evening show “First Dates” had a contestant who openly said she appears to be born with “wrong race syndrome” and “relates more to black culture” than her own, further claiming that undergoing multiple cosmetic surgeries such as lip fillers and a butt lift left her feeling a lot more confident within. Little did she know, it would spark huge controversy on the internet and the public weren’t holding back their opinions.

It seems that tanning has become more common in society, but at what cost?

Some would say that individuals creating the dark skin look are ruining themselves. Using illegal products and even illegal procedures with side effects such as eye disorders, sickness, and even heart problems. There are some products, however, that are legal and deemed safe such as tanning tablets which can now be found at certain stores.

What does this mean for people who stereotype other races?

Funnily enough, people are choosing to darken their complexion, on the other hand, citizens of countries like Jamaica and India are choosing to lighten their skin tone with the justification of feeling beautiful.

Jamaican dancehall artist Vybz Kartel has mentioned cake soap many times in several of his records. The most popular lyric celebrating the issue being, “cool like mi wash mi face wit di cake soap” from Jeans & Fitted. Cake soap is a detergent soap that contains bleach. Used to bleach the skin creating a lighter/fairer look, it doesn’t come without side effects that can cause some serious damage. The constant harsh chemicals on the skin can cause irritation, inflammation, blisters, and burns.

India seems to have a similar motto that only fair skin is beautiful. “Let’s scrub out that tan” is a common phrase heard by young girls and women. The mentality seems to have come from both medieval and modern history where fair-skinned people were seen to be superior. Even natural facemasks these days include turmeric, an ingredient known to not only create clearer skin but a lighter complexion as well.

So, is this “current trend” a parody now?
Has the human race created a sensitive society? Are people really changing their look for themselves or to have some sense of fitting in with society?

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