Why is it so hard to see beauty in black bodies? Deconstructing the ideal standard of whiteness

Abdu Dia e Caetana Santos

Note from BW of Brazil: It is an honest and necessary question: Why is it so difficult to see beauty in black bodies? It is one of numerous questions that we in the black community must begin to address, acknowledge and deal with. Perhaps after making that first step of acknowledging that this belief system does exist among us, then we can move to the steps of understanding why our own people may carry views and then continue on to finding a remedy such thoughts.

In reality, this is not an issue that those of the dominant community ever consider, and why should they? When everything one sees suggests that the race of people in which you belong is the most beautiful, most intelligent, most powerful, most important and richest in the history of mankind, why would you even care to know how such assumptions and the imposition of such beliefs on all others might affect those who aren’t part of your tribe?

This is a question that I grapple with everyday as my little ones get a daily fix of nearly exclusive white images even in their childhood world of cartoons. Watching how these innocent children develop an adoration for the stream of blond, brunette, green and blue eyed, white-skinned characters of their favorite cartoons makes me wonder if I will one day have to deal with a rejection of their own appearance in favor of a certain phenotype that they will never have. I personally don’t think most of us really understand the depths of how such sinister indoctrination affects how we see ourselves and others who are our peers.

A few of the cartoon characters my children ask for by name

Fron time to time, I read text by black Brazilian men and women who have come to terms with how this indoctrination has played out in their conscious and subconscious. One woman openly about disliking the appearance of her own sexual organ and professed her adoration of the pink organs of Caucasian males. Another revealed her practice of seeing herself as white, behaving as white and relating to whites to stay away from her blackness. Yet another admits to not liking being black, only identifying with white women, only having white friends and only liking meninos brancos (white boys). Her transition into a black identity would only happen when she began to see other black women, such as singer Negra Li, as being beautiful. 

The feelings and experiences of these women are very much common place in Brazil still today and as long as we are unable to see how we’ve all been manipulated to think in a certain manner and accept a certain (European) standard of beauty, it’s rather pointless to have a real discussion about the phenomenon of ‘palmitagem’. For before one can seek a cure for an illness, they must first understand that they have the illness, what the symptoms of the illness are and how they became infected by it. 

Let the discussions begin continue…

abdu - caetana

Why is it so hard to see beauty in black bodies?

by Ariel  Freitas and Camila Silva*

“Realizing something black as beautiful is a stone that strikes us. And how it strikes…”

How many times have you heard that beauty is personal taste and each individual has his own? I bet you’ve heard this in countless moments. Clarification from early on: the purpose of this publication is not to impose what we should consider beautiful or not, but to present the problems of such a shallow discourse.

This line of reasoning is flawed and quite lazy for the simple reason that we are embedded in a capitalist society that has always relied on racist pillars not to disrupt its system. With this in mind, the aesthetics of what is considered beautiful have always been directed towards corpos brancos (white bodies), since the risk of unbalancing the balance by presenting blacks as a reference in this area was unnecessary.

If the world connects the image of something beautiful as a white synonym, automatically our head will be aligned with this, without even questioning why.

Don’t you think of this as desperate? So let’s do an exercise. Imagine the scene: you are a criança negra (black child) who is constantly being bombarded with visual stimuli where everything is white. Actors, models, artists, cartoon characters… Everything!

Over time, you begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with you, because you can’t see yourself represented in almost anything. The seed of the desire to look like others is planted in you. And now what? What do you do?

Try to whiten your skin by washing it with laundry soap because someone said it would help? Decrease your black features, such as your nose, with clothes pin-like objects? Shave your head because yours is considered ugly or exotic? Hide your ears afraid of them being compared with fruits of a tree that are called monkey ears (tamboril)? Being a quiet person in school until they think you’re dumb because you’re afraid they’ll notice you? Or throwing everything in the air and being the violent guy in the class, because nobody messes with the bully?

This could be the story of any other black person who is reading this text, but it’s just my trajectory in elementary school. However, today’s text is focused on us and plurality and we will maintain this until the end.

This scenario is complicated because even when we are considered praise worthy for our appearance there are numerous issues behind it.

Black men in the concepts of a white beauty

In recent years we have noticed a greater attention from major media, such as television stations, the film universe and even the music scene in corpos negros (black bodies). The exaltation of these means is super important because it brings the representation that was mentioned at the beginning, but to what extent is it really a representation of something that was never represented?

Most bodies that gain attention along these lines follow the standard set by a Eurocentric culture and what they expect of us, black men. Examples? We have plenty.

On television, the actors who appear always carry the stereotype of violent man, vagrant or unfaithful man. We can’t consider this a representation because it directly affects our image and the concept our children are constructing about themselves.

In the cinematic universe, the movie Pantera Negra (Black Panther) brought a cast full of black actors and a lot of people felt represented. But we need to think about the kind of beauty and ideal body it brought: black men with many muscles and many scenes without a type of costume on the body – we may call it objectification and representation of black men who are not real. Do you happen to remember any plus size actors? If so, how many?

In the music scene the story is the same… If it is in the music business of rap, artists at first need to demonstrate an aggressive and controversial profile in the lyrics. Otherwise, they won’t have a space in the scenario. In the pagode (music), a good portion need to reproduce racist stereotypes in their music and so on.

The result of this is there: black men being called handsome by others, but failing to see that beauty in themselves. Sorry to leaving the plural again, but it’s cool to seek a piece of beauty when looking in the mirror only to prove to yourself that the comments of those who praise you is true.

Black women and the cruel bonds of a white aesthetic standard

“I have a hard time thinking of myself as pretty without makeup and with natural hair” – Camila Silva

It was a Wednesday. It was cold in Porto Alegre and I had a show to go to of the wonderful (singer) Larissa Luz. However, I had forgotten my bag of make-up at work, so I thought about not leaving home that night. This was just one of the days when I wondered about my difficulty seeing beauty, especially on my “clean” face.

It’s noteworthy that I am a mulher negra de pele clara (light-skinned black woman), but my nose is wide, my lips are thick and my hair is crespo (kinky/curly) and stands up. Looking at myself in the mirror, it seems that the sum of these factors does alter the result. Since that didn’t happen when my hair was straightened – I went through the hair transition three years ago.

My vision is very personal, these are factors that make it difficult to find myself beautiful, however, the discussion is universal among black women.

Why do we have difficulty seeing beauty in our faces and bodies? I know, you know, Ariel who wrote this text along with me too, we know. The standard is white and European. In recent years, we have been facing a series of processes – mostly linked to the acceptance of natural hair – that have helped pessoas negras (black people) see their beauty.

However, although we have advanced a lot in this matter, we know that this process is slow and gradual. In recent weeks, a search suggestion on Google has gone viral with a simple proposal: type tranças feias e tranças bonitas (ugly braids and pretty braids) in the search tab. The result? Those of black people are ugly and those of pessoas brancas (white people) are beautiful. This proves that we still have a ways to go win terms of natural hair.

The standards of social beauty are reproduced in media productions, which have a great influence on the formation of people’s opinions. How do you find a wide nose beautiful if models, actresses, TV hosts have a thin nose? How do you find cabelo crespo natural (natural kinky/curly hair) beautiful if for years we have been taught that beautiful is straight and flowing hair? Although we are the majority of the population.

From an early age I learned that hair with too much volume is ugly, wrong, outside of the standard. I have to exercise daily to go against what has been imposed on me for at least 20 years of my life. It’s difficult. We need to talk about it.

Aesthetics is one of the main mechanisms of “empowerment” (I use words in quotation marks here, as it is a correct expression that has been trivialized). In addition to seeing beauty in ourselves, we must observe this in black men.

The star of the movie Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan is used in posts, stories, advertising content as a reference for aesthetics. However, he has a “standard” face and body, the profile that white people find acceptable and fetishized. But what about black men who don’t have a standard body, wear natural hair and have pele retinta (very dark skin)?

Even among us black people, we need to deconstruct the ideal standard, which is often linked to fine features and thin bodies and to review our references. If most of us don’t descend from Europeans, we don’t have the same phenotype and genotype as these people, so why are they still our references?

The night I was finishing this text, I was reading Todos contra Todos, a book by historian Leandro Karnal. Despite being a white man, I will open a quote in this text for him, because the passage meets the proposal of this publication:

Brazil being the country of straight hair as a beauty standard says a lot about us, as much as choosing a woman like Gisele Bündchen as a symbol of national beauty at the Rio Olympics.

She is our uber model, beautiful and extremely professional and competent in what she does. But when we decide to take an exception – a beautiful woman of German origin – to symbolize national beauty, it’s because our aesthetic identity is still foreign, based on a particular model of northern Europe.

As a further reading, I recommend the text “Somos feias, mas estamos aqui” (“We Are Ugly, but We Are Here”) by the American writer of Haitian origin Edwidge Danticat.

It’s complicated for us because even when we are considered beautiful we need to absorb white features in our features.

* Ariel Freitas and Camila Silva are part of the collective Movimento Negritude nas Mídias (Blackness Movement in the Media) (MONEMI), a space where blacks from the capital of racial inequality debate issues of racism in society.

Source: Alma Preta

About Marques Travae 3306 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

1 Comment

  1. Commentary:
    On Skin Bleaching and Lightening as
    Psychological Misorientation Mental Disorder
    Daudi Ajani ya Azibo, Ph.D.
    Independent Scholar
    Daudi Ajani ya Azibo (azibod@yahoo.com) is an Independent Scholar who has taught at several
    American universities. He is a nationally recognized expert in African-centered (Black)
    Psychology. His “Azibo Nosology” (Journal of Black Psychology, Spring 1989) is the only
    diagnostic system of mental disorders directly linked to African-centered personality theory and is
    the 5th most cited article in the history of the Journal of Black Psychology (JPB). He has the
    singular distinction, based on content analysis of the JBP, to be the #1 contributor since 1988. JBP
    has devoted two issues to Dr. Azibo’s work: May 1998 (v. 24, no. 2) on the Azibo Nosology and
    1994 (v. 20, no. 3) on Azibo’s Black Liberation Theology and Liberation Psychology. Dr. Azibo
    has received national awards including the “Distinguished Psychologists” in 1993 and
    “Scholarship Award” in 1989.
    Skin bleaching and skin lightening behavior (SBSLB) is shown to be psychological
    misorientation mental disorder. The concepts of mental disorder and psychological
    misorientation are explained. SBSLB is integrated into the African-centered culture-
    specific Azibo Nosology of mental disorders (Azibo, 1989). Therapy of an African-
    centered nature is recommended for persons afflicted with SBSLB disorder.
    Keywords: Azibo Nosology, psychological misorientation, skin bleaching, skin
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011T he purposes of this article are to first establish skin bleaching and lightening
    behavior (SBSLB) as a mental disorder of the psychological misorientation type
    and second to integrate it into the Azibo Nosology of mental disorders peculiar to
    African descent persons (ADP).
    On Psychological Misorientation
    Historically introduced by Baldwin (1976), the psychological
    misorientation construct (Kambon, 1996) has received attention and great
    currency in the annals of culture-specific psychopathologies afflicting ADP from
    its promulgation in the Azibo Nosology (Anderson, 2003; Anderson & Stewart,
    2007; Atwell & Azibo, 1991; Azibo, 1989, 2006; Belgrave & Allison, 2006;
    Harrell, 1999; Schultz, 2003). Psychological misorientation refers to the overt
    and cognitive behavioral orientation to reality that derives from ideation itself
    when said ideation is based in Eurasian concepts, beliefs, and definitional
    systems. Literally, the body, pre-bleached of course, may be black, but the mind
    is not. Thus we may speak of ADP afflicted as “genetic Blackness minus
    psychological Blackness [psychological Africanity]” (Azibo, 1989, 183). Since
    people proceed as they perceive, so to speak, a cognitive definitional system
    comprised of or dominated by Eurasian elements can only orient ADP as if they
    were said Eurasians. ADP negotiating reality with a Eurasian-centered psyche is
    how orienteering to defend, develop, and maintain African life, culture, and
    phenotype is precluded and militated against. Simultaneously, ADP possessing a
    Eurasian-centered cognitive definitional system are oriented to reality in a manner
    that sustains, defends, and actualizes Eurasian socio-cultural behavior even if it is
    subtlely or blatantly anti-African. An example of such behavior is skin bleaching
    and lightening behavior (SBSLB).
    It is one upshot of psychological
    misorientation out of many. And, psychological misorientation is mental
    On Mental Disorder
    When interpreting or evaluating a given behavior as psychopathological or
    inappropriate or not, culture is the lynchpin. A given behavior may be seen as
    appropriate or inappropriate depending upon the cultural perspective employed.
    SBSLB is a case in point. In Eurasian cultures, SBSLB by ADP may be
    construed as nonpathological individualism. Also, since themes like “West is
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011best”, “White is right”, and “African is inferior and repulsing” pervade Eurasian
    cultures, any movement by ADP that approximates Eurasian orientation and gains
    distance from an African orientation is seen as normal or acceptable behavior
    from prevailing Eurasian-centered perspective.
    However, centered African culture (Azibo, 1992) stands on the two
    principles of universal mental health and organismic survival maintenance
    propensity (see Azibo, 1996). The former states that all life forms must tend to
    preserve themselves as a priority. The latter ascribes normalcy to ADP only when
    their behavior is maintaining of the “self” conceptualized Africentrically as
    “extended” to include the corporate collective of living ADP, yet-to-be-born
    progeny, and ancestors. This is a veritable vertical and horizontal self-extension.
    Perforce, behavior that under Africentric cultural interpretation is found not to
    reflect prioritization of the defense, development, and maintenance of African life
    and culture can only be interpreted as abnormalcy. Azibo’s analyses (Azibo,
    Johnson, & Robinson, 2007; Azibo & Robinson, 2004) revealed the paradox that
    quotidian African-U.S. racial identity development qualifies for this abnormalcy.
    It is not a paradox, however, that when mental health functioning as reflected by
    Africentric conceptualizing pervades African civilizations, they fare better
    (Azibo, 1999).
    The abnormalcy attribution for behavior of this sort is doubled when the
    behavior actually attacks African life and culture. I maintain that SBSLB is
    accurately interpreted as a profound attack on genetic blackness and by extension
    ADP. Removal, erasure, and making less ADP’s biogenetic blackness are
    behaviors that literally and essentially wipe it out phenotypically. Frankly, this
    means that psychologically the bleacher or lightener has deliberately eliminated,
    discarded, shed, and killed her or his genetic blackness. In gangster terms, genetic
    blackness is “rubbed out” (murdered) by SBSLB. Thus, SBSLB is equivalent to
    participation in own-race murder. As such, it qualifies as an attack on ADP.
    Since it is participating in own-race maintenance that is the sine qua non of
    mental health (Azibo, 1989, 1991, 1996), the profound own-race destruction and
    disparaging that underlies SBSLB qualifies it as mental disorder.
    Another justification for applying the abnormalcy attribution to SBSLB is
    the “harmful dysfunction analysis” which posits mental disorder
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011when the individual lacks an ability that human beings are
    designed to possess …. a person ought to be able to do something if
    the person would be able to do that thing if the person’s mental
    mechanisms were functioning as designed. (Wakefield, 1997, 252-
    253, original emphases)
    Theory (Azibo, 1989, 1991; Khoapa, 1980) and the universal mental health and
    organismic survival maintenance propensity principles (Azibo, 1996) say that
    ADP are designed to possess the race-maintenance function. It simply is
    something ADP “ought to be able to do”. However, this is not the case
    overwhelmingly (Azibo, 2010b; Baruti, 2005) due to the disruption of African
    civilizations by Eurasians, not happenchance or innate African inferiority. The
    race-maintenance and harmful dysfunction criteria for abnormalcy attribution
    establish SBSLB as mental disorder. Also, all abnormal psychology textbooks
    list harm to ones self or others as criterion for abnormal behavior.
    On Bleaching and Lightening the African Skin
    But for faulty responding to Eurasian domination by ADP, SBSLB would
    not exist in continental or diasporan African societies. This position is supported
    by the fact that no SBSLB as it occurs today has been documented in pre-colonial,
    pre-enslavement, or maroon ADP. Something has gone awry, completely
    haywire in how modern-day ADP see themselves. It would seem a mental health
    imperative for ADP to “recognize the absolute priority ancient Afrikans gave to
    Black and blackness …. [such] that black or dark-blue skin was a divine attribute”
    (Baruti, 2005, 168). This is doubly so for bleachers and lighteners. Skin
    bleaching and skin lightening behavior committed by ADP shall be conflated in
    this article. Defined here as the serious contemplation about (specifically,
    entertaining the idea three or more times) or the deliberate alteration of one’s
    phenotypic skin pigmentation to a hue that is less dark by any nonmedical or
    potentially dangerous means (chemical, biological, nutritional, etc.), SBSLB by
    ADP today is likely rooted in the Destruction of Black Civilizations (Williams,
    1976) which begot the Maafa defined as the horrific experience of colonization,
    enslavement, and their aftermaths (Ani, 2004). The behavior, then, is not at all
    reflective of personal agency or idiosyncrasy of an African descent individual.
    Stated differently, SBSLB is far less an individual doing his or her own thing and
    far more a tragically pathetic, yet psychologically explainable, Maafa-borne
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011The reaction is probably compensatory for feelings of inadequacy and
    inferiority which beset new world (Jennings, 2003) and old world (Chinweizu,
    1987; Khoapa, 1980) ADP. Welsing (1991), Wilson (2000), and Azibo (Azibo,
    2007; Azibo & Jackson, 2004) point out the dysfunction inherent in African-U.S.
    people’s usage of psychological defense mechanisms under Eurasian supremacy
    domination. Whatever share of SBSLB that does not involve psychological
    defensiveness probably involves individual self-hatred and/or race-hatred of ADP.
    In both cases, the base motivation is inappropriate and psychopathological.
    It is the job of psychologists and mental health workers to examine the
    motivational basis for a behavior to evaluate its appropriateness/
    inappropriateness. In general, the evaluation of appropriateness or not of a given
    behavior that comes from the mental health profession is preeminent to that of lay
    society and popular culture. Suppose quantitative and qualitative research
    provides data on persons who in their own self-conception and self-reports or as
    indicated by psychological tests appear quite “normal” but, for example, also are
    without any appetite for food, or with insatiable appetite for food and constant
    vomiting after eating, or self-mutilators (cutters and so on). The attributions of
    abnormalcy, pathology, and inappropriateness hold sway, not the attribution from
    data compiled in research that “these-people-are-normal.” Why would SBSLB be
    any different with regard to which attribution should hold sway, the one of
    inappropriateness/disorder from the African-centered mental health analysis
    versus the “these-people-are-normal” from the lay society or popular culture
    Within every culture one might find as an exception an individual who is
    radically out of step with his/her culture regarding a given behavior(s). The
    notion that there may be individual bleachers or lighteners who engage in the
    behavior out of just such an idiosyncrasy and therefore their behavior can be
    regarded not as inappropriate or pathological, but as “normal”, appropriate, or
    acceptable can be dismissed readily. The behavior of so-called “odd duck”
    persons or persons marching to their own drum, so to speak, is evaluated as not
    mentally ill so long as it is not anti-self/anti-African in motivation or actuality and
    is neither harmful to maintaining African civilization nor the African individual
    himself or herself. Harm to one’s self or others is listed as a criterion for
    abnormalcy in every abnormal psychology textbook. These principles would
    appear reasonable (Azibo, 1989, 1996). Fathoming ADP who bleach or lighten
    without violating these principles does not seem possible, especially in light of the
    reactive status of SBSLB as occurs under Eurasian domination of Africans.
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011Like suicide is a category of behavior that ADP are forced or programmed
    into even though it appears to be her or his individual choice (Wright, 1985, 16-
    22), so too is SBSLB. Since the Eurasian has specified the environment in which
    ADP live, they or their civilization, not ADP, are responsible for behavior that
    emanates from it. In this light, SBSLB is one of a category of behaviors set aside
    or predetermined for ADP as they adjust faultily to the anti-African hostility that
    imbues the ecosystem under Eurasian domination. Like hair misorientation
    mental disorder (Imarogbe, 2003), which is the “conscious and/or unconscious
    fear, anxiety, shame and/or insecurity about embracing one’s African ancestry
    expressed by reactions to hair” (213) inferable from “(1) altering or hiding the
    natural texture of the hair, (2) engaging in risky or dangerous behavior in the
    process …. and (3) discriminating against others [of African descent] based on the
    texture or length of their hair” (201), embodies a pro-Eurasian and an anti-African
    aesthetic about hair, so too does SBSLB regarding the African skin by definition!
    The point cannot be overstated that when SBSLB occurs it is not idiosyncrasy, but
    a nefarious accomplishment of the anti-African ethos of Eurasian civilizations.
    Admittedly, there is a possibility that some ADP who bleach or lighten
    may do so without pathological motivation. They simply do not know any better
    because a mental commitment to prioritizing the defense, development, and
    maintenance of African life and culture (i.e., psychological Africanity) was never
    developed to minimal adequacy in them. It is not their fault either because
    psychological Africanity was not taught in the schools or religious institutions,
    transmitted by parents and adult socializing agents, nor programmed in the
    popular culture. Psychological Europeanism, psychological Arabism, and other
    non-African psychological orientations, however, are propagated and learned
    throughout vast populations of ADP. Since all things African are so thoroughly
    disregarded worldwide in non-African civilizations, many ADP have a racial
    group identity void that is readily filled by other human social orientations
    (psychological Europeanism, Arabism, and so forth). Thus, ADP with low levels
    of psychological Africanity could commit SBSLB as defined above, but not
    driven by self-hatred or defensiveness and without conscious awareness of any
    problematic socio-cultural issues inherent in SBSLB. Whenever this is the case,
    the behavior is still inappropriate as it is driven by a psyche diminished or empty
    of psychological Africanity and composed of other human social orientations,
    many of which are anti-African. By analogy, imagine an “independent” woman
    “doing her own thing”, perhaps the oft mentioned “strong Black woman” (Curry,
    2005), whose psyche pertaining to “womanhood” or “female” has been informed
    only by or is predominated by societal sexist concepts. She de facto commits
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011anti-woman behaviors, which in her self-conception are normal and appropriate,
    such as in acquiescing to roles promoted by said sexist thinking. Can her anti-
    woman behavior, including the transmission of the mindset to her offspring, be
    classified as appropriate?
    Concluding Remarks:
    Integrating SBSLB into the Azibo Nosology
    It seems that in every fathomable scenario of SBSLB it is accurately
    adjudged as inappropriate, abnormal, and pathological. Further, I contend that
    pathological motivation will underlie most SBSLB by ADP, specifically
    psychological misorientation. Living under Eurasian domination has severely
    undercut the ability of ADP to orienteer in their own interests and SBSLB is a
    side effect and symptom that reflects psychological misorientation mental
    disorder. Thus, very little emphasis should be placed on the hoopla surrounding
    celebrity bleachers and lighteners like Sammy Sosa, Michael Jackson, and others.
    Instead, the hoopla should be spun as examples of attacks on African-centered
    consciousness (Azibo, 2010a).
    SBSLB itself should be treated and conceptualized as one more of the 18
    psychological misorientation mental disorders originally presented in the Azibo
    Nosology (Azibo, 1989) which is a system for diagnosing mental disorders of an
    African-centered culture-specific nature in ADP. Specifically, the nonesuch
    Azibo Nosology details the systematic personality disorganization that occurs in
    the necrosis of psychological Africanity, a subject ignored in the Western-based
    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and the International Classification of
    Diseases (ICD) nosologies. It is free-standing and based in African-centered
    personality theory as well as the African-centered mental health definition
    provided by Azibo (1996). To detail the Azibo Nosology here cannot be
    accomplished any more than detailing the DSM or ICD could. The unfamiliar
    reader might consult the primary references (Azibo, 1989, 1996) and case studies
    that support the Azibo Nosology’s validity and indispensability in psychologically
    assessing and treating ADP (Abdullah, 1998; Atwell & Azibo, 1991; Denard,
    1998) and Africana-focused textbooks (Anderson, 2003; Anderson & Stewart,
    2007; Belgrave & Allison, 2006; Harrell, 1999) that discuss it. The remaining
    discussion can be followed without technical familiarity, but presupposes it.
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011SBSLB will be formally added as a disorder in the Azibo Nosology II (a
    forthcoming update of the original). SBSLB was defined earlier as the serious
    contemplation (specifically, entertaining the idea three or more times) about or the
    deliberate alteration of one’s phenotypic skin pigmentation to a hue that is less
    black or less dark by any means (chemical, biological, nutritional, and so on) that
    may be dangerous or not for any reason other than a verified medical one. This
    definition contains all the criteria necessary for a diagnosis. Future research and
    case studies may lead to refining the criteria (elaboration of symptoms) and
    perhaps distinguishing levels and types of SBSLB. What is certain in the present
    analysis is the disabusing of the idea that SBSLB can be conceptualized as
    anything other than mental disorder deriving from predisposing psychological
    misorientation mental disorder.
    The formal name of this disorder shall be skin bleaching and skin
    lightening behavior disorder. Mentacide (Azibo, 1989; Olomenji, 1996) makes
    up the etiology of SBSLB disorder because SBSLB disorder is a pure product of
    systematic and deliberate stratagem (of Eurasian civilizations) to destroy the
    minds of ADP with the intent of an eventual extirpation of them (definition of
    mentacide taken from Wright, 1979). In the Azibo Nosology alienating versus
    peripheral mentacide is distinguished. Whenever SBSLB disorder is manifested,
    perforce is alienating mentacide (a cognitive divorce or separation between
    individual me-myself-I consciousness and collective we-us/all-us-we race
    consciousness or at least a devaluing of the latter). There appears as well a real
    possibility that SBSLB disorder might also be correlated with peripheral
    mentacide (discombobulation of the general aspects of personality that do not
    involve racial identity).
    The nature of SBSLB disorder also suggests the alien-self, anti-self, and
    self destructive disorders (Azibo, 1989, 2006) may be involved etiologically. All
    three may be present in some individuals with SBSLB disorder, but not
    necessarily as either alien- or anti-self disorder alone could underlie it. While
    alien-self is likely always present with SBSLB disorder, the hurtfulness to ADP
    embodied in the behavior suggests involvement of classic, deeply rooted anti-self
    (Akbar, 1981) mentality also. 1
    It is recommended that whenever SBSLB is detected, the individual be
    referred for treatment to a mental health worker who employs the Azibo Nosology
    for diagnosis and an African-centered gestalt for the treatment of ADP (Azibo,
    1990). There are two recommendations that the gestalt of the mental health
    The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, June 2011worker tackling SBSLB disorder include. First, the perspective that Ausar
    (indigenous Kemetic name of Osiris), the model upon which the present-day
    concept of the Christ was built (Barashango, 1982; ben-Jochannon, 1973, 1974,
    1978; James, 1976; Massey, 1886; Onyewuenyi, 2005), was presented by the
    Ancients as “the Lord of the Perfect Black” implicates the criticality of
    melanin/biogenetic blackness to human nature, especially the higher parts thereof
    (Bynum, 1999; King, 1979, 1990; Moore, 1995, 2002). Second, physical
    blackness is a critical component of the racial identity/psychological Africanity of
    ADP (Thompson, 1995, 2001, 2006). To disparage physical blackness so or to be
    so nonchalant about it as to bleach or lighten is a 180° turn from the Ancient
    conceptualization. It is an aberrancy that must be purged with high priority
    Empirical findings that implicate distinguishing classic versus veneered anti-self
    mentality as well as alien-self mentality being a more problematic condition than anti-self have
    been reported (Azibo, 2006).
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