To highlight dangers of skin bleaching and colourism, a student created these ace posters
By Barfi Culture Team
4th September 2018

Skin bleaching is big business. Worse, it is a rapidly growing business.

According to one estimate the industry is expected to grow from a $10 billion dollar in sales in 2009 to $23 billion by 2020.

But it's not just a business, it is a state of mind.

"When researching into skin bleaching I was shocked by the many dangers skin bleaching products have, and watched many documentaries where people were unaware of health risks. Or they knew but still subjected themselves to harmful methods because they believed they weren’t attractive."

That is Leeds Art University student Amritha Vadi. For a project she was asked create something driven by a strong belief.

So she created posters on the harmful effects of skin bleaching products and colourism (prejudice based on skin color).

She told Barfi Culture her decision was heavily inspired from travelling around Asia and coming across harmful bleaching products.

"Also it comes from personal experience," she says. "When growing up I could feel this separation or somewhat inferiority to being a 'coloured' girl. Like being named only Princess Jasmin when playing with friends. Or on holiday when only my Caucasian friends would be asked for photos."

She designed the posters not just to raise awareness of the health hazards they can pose but tackle the "psychological effects" she says.

"I've always thought like, what is this perfect skin tone people are reaching for?"

"White people tan and want to darken their skin, and brown people want to lighten their skin - I just hate the whole concept of colourism."

She says her project was heavily fuelled by looking at adverts for bleaching adverts - like 'fair and lovely'.

To create her posters, Amritha told Barfi Culture she took photos of the skin and separately sewed a piece of blank material to look like a tag and then edited both layers together.

"The gender of the people in these pictures is anonymous, to allow both women and men to relate to this poster, as many men bleach as well," she added.

You can follow Amritha Vadi's work on Instagram: ami.vadi and on her website.

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