It's interesting that people are making a big to-do about Michael Jackson's alleged use of skin bleaching and lightening creams as if he is the only person doing this.
but yet they are conveniently ignoring the fact that there are MILLIONS of every day people, particularly dark skinned people around the world who also attempt to lighten their skin...and not just in the USA, either.
Skin lighteners/bleaching creams are sold both over the counter and prescription through the UK and Continental Europe, the Caribbean, South America. In Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand, nearly 2 out of 5 women use skin lightening creams!
On the African continent alone, there are so many people using skin lightning creams that there have actually been deaths due to prolonged use of skin bleaching creams with high level of specific chemicals and toxins.
Some skin lighteners/bleaching creams contain mercury and steroids. One of the active ingredients in many skin lighteners, Hydroquinone, is the same substance used to develop pictures in a photo lab. It's pretty scary.
The Kenyan government is finally taking steps to stop the importation and use of dangerous skin lightening creams. However, what's needed is to convince people of color worldwide that there is NOTHING wrong with darker skin, and that we should embrace ourselves just as we are.