Media personality Khanyi Mbau recently got candid about why she lightens her skin, stating that it doesn’t mean she’s unhappy being black, but rather that it’s a lifestyle choice she’s made.
In a video she shared on Instagram, Khanyi said people are quick to judge what they don’t understand and that one of the reasons she wants her skin to be lighter is that it looks better on camera.
“I am in the business of selling dreams. Basically, what the entertainment industry is about is to entertain, and 90% of the time what we do matters to you at home. We try and look as dreamlike as possible,” she said.
“Being black does not mean you need to look black, being black is a state of being. Being black is a sense of spirit, being black is a state of how you think and how you see yourself. But it doesn’t mean you should look indigenous. Why are we living in a world that won’t allow us to explore and be who we really want to be?
“I’ve been lightening my skin for the past 12 years. I’ve used bad products and I’ve used good products. I’ve broken my skin and I’ve received the results I want. The reason why I lighten my skin is because it is easier for lighting on a movie set. Believe it or not, it is better. It looks better on The Gram – I endorse brands and so my content needs to pop. I don’t like wearing makeup, so the lighter I look, the fresher I look. But I am not saying that dark people don’t look fresh, it is my choice.
“My journey started in 2011, before shooting Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, and I found that 90% of the makeup artists were white. To get our colour (black skin) was such a problem. You always had to fight for light and your body is not the same – your neck is lighter and your face is darker – and I decided that I want something that allows me to put on powder, step out and enjoy my day and that’s why I started it,” Khanyi said.
She has also warned those who decide to lighten their skin to be prepared for the financial implications as it is expensive.
Watch the full video here: