- The Washington Times
Monday, February 18, 2013

Senegal women seem to be facing an identity crisis of sorts. Recent advertisements and posters aimed at teaching black women how to bleach their skin — and go lighter, or whiter — have now been met by a backlash of activists.

Black is beautiful, these outraged activists are claiming, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.

The cultural beauty trend toward white started a year ago, with ads in the capital Dakar for a cream called “Khess Petch” — meaning “all white” in the local tribal language, AFP reports. The ads showed before-after pictures of cream users who were black, but 15 days later, appeared with much fairer skin, AFP reports. Activists have started a counter-campaign, rooted at the website Agendakar.com.

“We were scandalized [by ads] suggesting that black is not beautiful because it recommends that young women should transform themselves in a fortnight,” said Aisha Deme, who runs the website, in the AFP report. “In spontaneous response, we wanted to elevate the black woman and we launched ‘Nuul Kukk,’ which means ‘all black.’ “

The “all black” campaign has countered with its own advertisements — these ones, of proud black women, Ms. Deme said, in the AFP report.

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