Beauty pageant [in Jamaica] bans skin bleachers

The Voice reports that The Miss Black History Month Talent and Pageant Show is not accepting contestants who bleach their skin. The final contest will be streamed online from the Jamaica Conference Centre on February 26, 2022.

A top beauty pageant in Jamaica has banned women who have bleached their skin from competing. 

The Miss Black History Month Talent and Pageant Show has been taking place for the past 20 years. The organiser of the event, Alexander Brown, said that no ‘bleachers’ will be considered for entry to this year’s competition.

Speaking to The Jamaica Star, Mr Brown said: “I think they [women between 17 and 31] should enter to gain some self-esteem and stop bleach, so they can send a message. “I feel very bad when I see a black girl bleach and get so brown, that spoils her skin tone. “I feel very bad about it, I don’t see the sense [in bleaching].”

Mr Brown acknowledged that skin bleaching is still a problem in Jamaica and the creams continue to be sold across the island.  “It is a big, big problem [because] I never grow up and use nothing on my face yet, it’s just couple years now I see most of these places selling bleaching cream and people using it to spoil up them skin tone,” he told The Jamaica Star

Mr Brown revealed two women were recently turned away from this year’s showcase, as their knuckles were bleached. He said he welcomed contestants of all skin complexions, including those with a natural lighter skin tone, but said those who use skin bleaching products will not be welcome. 

The pageant is looking for a total of 20 contestants to battle it out for the Miss Black History Month crown. The unique pageant differs from most traditional beauty contests, as contestants will be expected to wear African print dresses and not bikinis. 

The women competing will also have to answer questions about Jamaican history and culture. 

“It’s not about who is brown or has nice dark skin or if you have straight nose or tall legs. We’ll be asking some general knowledge questions that you to do research to get the answer. Questions like ‘Who is a Jamaica’s first lady of comedy?’ or ‘Where is Liberty Hall located?’. It’s just questions like those. It’s not beauty, it’s culture. Embrace your culture,” Mr Brown added. 

Past winners of the competition include author and public speaker Krystal Tomlinson. 

This year’s final contest will be streamed online from the Jamaica Conference Centre on February 26. 

For original article, see https://www.voice-online.co.uk/news/world-news/2022/02/14/beauty-pageant-bans-skin-bleachers/

[Photo above by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images: Most pageant contestants don’t bleach their skin, like Miss Universe Jamaica Miqueal-Symone Williams.]

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