Black is Beautiful, Vybz Kartel. Orange is for sundresses.

I really loathe statistics. I am being forced to do stats over these 2 weeks - all day, every day, for 2 weeks. Whose squirrel did I run over in a past life? I will not even fake it. I hate statistics. I will not pretend to be a good sport about it. I just hate it.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I really wanted to say something briefly about Vybz Kartel. For the non-Caribbean readers, Mr Kartel is a popular dancehall artiste from Jamaica who has recently been in the news, not for his music but for his appearance. Why? Well, he used to look like this - nice, unspoilt, sexy chocolate brown skin...

Now he looks like this -

I mean, the dude was not God's gift to women before, but now he is simply heinous. The phenomenon of bleaching in Jamaica, where black people feel some deep desire to apply bleaching products to their skin to lighten their appearance does not seem to be going away. With the transformation of Vybz Kartel from a healthy looking, not too bad looking chocolate coloured man, to this Frankenstein looking creature, I am really saddened that so many black people turn to such silly measures to try to keep up with European standards of beauty.

Vybz, in his interview on a radio station said he was not trying to distance himself from being a black man, but rather - and this really amused me - it's a "style". He said he put in orthodontic braces not because he needed them but because it was a style, and in the same way, he has been turning orange because it is a fashion statement. Vybz - a fashion statement is a pair of hot jeans, a new piece of bling, maybe some new shoes. Bleach is not a fashion statement. It's just being dotish. He went on to comment that he needed to highlight his numerous tattoos which were hard to see on the skin God blessed him with, so he just had to bleach so the world could see his artwork. Amazing.

The horrible thing about this is that he is a public figure in Jamaica and contrary to what he believes, people emulate him and people like him. So when he does this to himself, for whatever reason, he is simply propagating the belief that light skin, or in this case, nasty looking orange skin, is hip, happening and beautiful. I am even more disturbed that this gentleman is going to bring out his own line of "cake soap" - bleaching soap. So what are you telling young people about being black in this world?

It's the same issues I have with women who live by the frickin' weave. I call them the rebound weavers - women who cannot live without a weave; who jump from weave to weave; whose between-weave periods last less than 12 hours; who feel their beauty is somehow not enhanced when they are not wearing fake hair. Nutters. I have no problem with a black woman who wants to wear a weave or braids or what have you, for a new look, or as Vybz says, as a "fashion statement". Hell, I have two awesome wigs that I bust out when I feel the need to vamp it up. I love my wigs. I paid good money for my wigs.

But when noone can remember what you look like without fake hair sewn on to your head, or you get offended when someone else points out your weave to people who may not know, for example, white people, then I have a serious issue with this. What are you afraid of, or are you so consumed (and confused) by this image of beauty - of long, flowing hair around your shoulders, no matter whose head it came from, that you cannot fathom walking the street with your short natural hair. I remember how annoyed a friend - a male friend - was when I did a weave - seriously un-im-pressed.  Some men really find it unattractive, not to mention a form of false advertising. It can also be the butt of jokes, ridicule and disgust when you wear a weave. And though I have never been in one, let's not mention getting into fights with women - the first thing they go for in any scenario is the hair, so imagine wearing a weave in a catfight, and worse being in a catfight with dozens of onlookers. The shame. lol. These are among the many reasons, why I do not "ride or die" with the whole weave thing. Take me as I come, buddy. A dude told me this week, he does not date women who wear glasses. If that is the best he can come up with, then me and my $4000 glasses will be alright.

But I am really concerned that black people are questioning the beauty that they have. I see so many people running to the Caribbean to lie on a beach all day to darken their skin, while people like Vbyz "is a style" Kartel is destroying his beautiful brown skin with cake soap. And then you have the Naomi Campbells and Hollywood's black fashionistas who encourage little girls to want a weave for that straight haired look - the "good hair" look. This is a whole other argument which I know I had discussed on another forum, and this is all getting me rather pissed off, so I will stop.

And while I like to cast my eye on  a nice red man, this ain't it, Vybz. I would really like to know if there is any woman in her right mind who will now watch this orange, crusty looking Vybz Kartel and want to be seen with him. I am also curious - did he bleach everything????? I know the saying is once you go black, you never go back, but what do they say about once you go orange? I am really not willing to find out.


  1. I will never understand why people are willing to go to such extreme measures to look like anyone else.

    I saw an episode of Oprah a year or so ago where they were talking about the growing trend in Asia, especially China, where women (and sometimes men) go through EXTREME surgeries to look more Western.

    I don't get it.

  2. Oh my God that is just sad! He looks mega-disgusting...what a shame. Curious to know why the dude won't date a chick with glasses??

  3. That's so crazy about the bleaching in Jamaica. I knew they did that in Asian countries, but not idea they did it there too. That must be so horrible for the skin and I can't even imagine the long term affects on that. btw love your blue blog ;)

  4. Alicia - He will pretty soon be unable to go out in direct sunlight and God knows what kind of skin diseases will plague him. So sad. Thanks. I love the blue blog too. We are so hot with our blue and pink blogs.

    Anon - I am not sure what drives these British men but the glasses one was new.

    KP - I have seen the shows where the Asian women try to create a Western eye with surgery. But their eyes are what make them so beautiful and so unique. Again, so sad. If we were all meant to look the same, the world would be a boring place.

  5. Wow! I never heard of that guy before but this is so scary. I saw girls who bleached themselves on Tyra. These girls were so unhappy with themselves that they would mutilate themselves. He looks like a corpse. Like, Michael Jackson it is really sad that he sees himself like this.

  6. What an eye opening post - I had no idea that skin bleaching was something so common! It is incredibly disturbing!

  7. When I first saw the images in your post, I thought you were going to tell about someone who was dying from an awful disease. I can't imaging why someone would willingly do this to their skin. I don't normally pass judgment on people about their choices regarding their own bodies, but I completely agree with your point of view in this piece. Very well stated, thanks—I learned something.

  8. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww tht not so good he was a beutiful black man


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