In the beauty industry so many people are pressured to have flawless skin, look a certain way, get up the employment chain through looks, and the horrible thought process of “looks are everything”. Looks are not everything. The heart and personality of people is what matters the most.  I recently read this article about skin bleaching. It saddened me that people – especially women – in the beauty industry with darker skin tones feel they need to “lighten” or “bleach” their skin to feel more accepted by society. It is very disturbing and it makes me angry that these beautiful women from all over the world feel that is their only option. No matter what country you are from and no matter your skin tone you have to know that you are beautiful and though you feel insecure you have to shine above it all and look society in the face and say “Forget you! I am me and I embrace that and do not need to conform to your ideas of an image!” I’ve come across so many people in my life  with different ethnic backgrounds and they all were/are so beautiful in their own way. I myself have a natural olive complexion due to my ancestry and people have been cruel to me in my life even assuming I am Mexican all the time (granted there is nothing wrong with that if I was). I am a proud European and I do not care what others think of me at this point in life. I always hoped that women around the world would learn to embrace themselves no matter their ethnicity. I can only hope that it will change for the better within time. We are a mixed culture and need to quit trying to “fit in”. Just be YOU and the rest will fall in place. Embrace your image and stand strong. I am very humbled by Amey-Obeng, a wonderful woman I read about in the article that has helped to put an end to “skin lightening” for people/women of ethnic backgrounds. She saw how much people felt they had to do it and yet she pointed out what she could to make them feel beautiful and that they don’t need to lighten their skin.

“Amey-Obeng says her mission has always been to restore and enhance the natural beauty of black women — a passion of hers ever since she was a child visiting her mother’s salon.” [source]

 She also stated:

“[Women] associated being light-skinned with being affluent or something and I thought that I can do something about that by going on an anti-bleaching campaign,” says Amey-Obeng.”  “Bleaching is a very dangerous enterprise to embark on and we try as much as we can to educate the public on it. Beauty is a total concept, it’s a concept of well-being — if you eat well, exercise well and rest well, your skin will naturally glow.” [source]

 This woman is an inspiration to many as to what she is doing to put an end to people wanting to lighten their skin. She feels:

 “It’s this desire to nurture young talent and help women embrace their natural beauty that seems to drive the successful entrepreneur’s efforts. While she admits that she can’t help every young woman who passes through the college doors, she always reminds students of her startup experience to inspire them.”  “I see clients come in with horrible conditions and through therapy and guidance, they are happy. And once they’re happy, I’m happy. Once you are able to restore joy to people, it’s very, very fulfilling. It’s good to reach out to the deprived and to me that is fulfillment.” [source]

 I believe that we all need to in unity help people of the World embrace themselves. It starts within and must work outward. Once society sees that we all stand united to put an end to how cruel the beauty industry and people can be, only then will people (especially women) feel completely comfortable in their own skin. I NEVER see people as a color. I see people as human beings. The heart is the most important and if the heart is not beautiful then the outer shell will not matter. Please help stop “Skin lightening/Bleaching”! Talk to your family about natural beauty and tell them that it is their mind and heart that will make a positive impact in this world. One last thing: To all the people/women of the world YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!