Skin Lightening : Sad Identity Denial

A tragic incident occurred in Foumbot on 16 August, 2023. It was the death of 29-year-old Prestige Victoire Kandem, who in an attempt to dispose of excess fat on her body, met with her doom. She died in the hands of a charlatan, passing for a trained surgeon. Social media took on the incident which went viral because of its sad consequence and the curiosity raised by a lady who felt uncomfortable with herself and sought every means to deal with the situation. Her avowed desire was to look good and attractive. To her, it was an issue to create a positive impact wherever she went. Could that just have been a figment of the imagination or she was actually an object of scorn because of her size? Many women face the problem of accepting their body-build. Some men too are even joining the train albeit at varied degrees.  
Kandem’s desire is certainly a reflection of what many people do. She was clearly just a victim of circumstances and it is unlucky that the outcome was fatal. Self-rejection or the desire to be like A or B continues to be a trend around the country. Several youths and even grown-ups have continually taken to sordid habits, trying to copy practices that are not only alien, but which clearly depict the growing lack of direction and poor sense of value-systems common in our society today. The practice has taken too many forms and concerns nearly all parts of the human body, as if God, the supreme creator were foolish. A collection of such changes that people adopt in an attempt to either look charming and attractive turn out to be nightmarish most of the times. Even the physical appearance that those who indulge in such practices end up having is far from being presentable. From body tattoos, additional eye lids, eyebrows, multiple ear rings, eye lashes, and so on, the list is long. People even draw animals on their bodies or create tattoos with arrows and names of people they consider their lovers. At first sight, the idea is to show a sense of attachment to such persons, but that is in complete disregard of the eventuality of separation or conflict in such relationships. Besides the health dangers, there is also the question of the message that such behaviours pass on.      
While in the past many normal persons understood that cosmetics were for ladies, the current trend has even seen some men taking the lead, especially in terms of skin bleaching. By so doing they not only deform their natural appearance, but take on deceptive looks that in most cases present a counterfeit form of themselves rather that the natural beauty which they ought to portray. In ladies, the most common is the use of artificial and human hair from all countries, except Africa. It is almost taboo today to see the natural hair of most African women. It is either Brazilian, Indian or other form of hair. Hair from other countries is in high demand in replacement of natural hair and beauty of the Africans we are! If things were to end there, many would only bother about the economic cost, and maybe allow it for those who can afford what is good for them. When the situation goes to the extent of a woman losing her life for such cosmetic concerns, it becomes worrisome.     
Another sad revelation about the Foumbot tragedy is the fact that someone could trifle with human life the way the fake physician did. It is said that they started in a clinic where the impostor of a doctor was practicing part time and when he got employment in another health facility, he called for his patient for follow-up and that was where she met her demise. To imagine that such an agent of death would keep moving from one health structure to another risking human life can be scary. Coming at a time when the medical profession is even sick – unable to renew the executive body for over a year now, such a scenario creates room for just anybody to take advantage and claim to be a medical practitioner. The consequence can only be what Kandem Victoire got in Foumbot, even if she had a genuine health challenge. And come to think of it, those who are in desperate need of artificial beauty products hardly take time to think about the damaging effects of the numerous fake products outside today. People in a attempt to make ends meet have resorted to all forms of counterfeit products in complete negation of ethics and concerns about norms. In that case, it becomes imperative for people to be watchful of any attempt to alter their natural appearance.     
It could be understandable if anybody were to get trapped in such fake products because they had a justified health cond...



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