There’s a few more photos on Huffington Post that show the sharp difference in his pigmentation.
The story Mr. Sosa is sticking to is that a skin rejuvenation procedure has made his skin appear lighter, and besides that the lighting made him appear significantly fairer skinned than normal.
If that’s true, then it’s a shame that Mr. Sosa had a facial treatment that resulted in such marked discoloration. Any technician worth their salt will tell you, laser treatments can be very problematic for black skin, and deep chemical peels can damage black skin. So I’m curious as to what kind of treatment Mr. Sosa may have had, so I can make sure not to ever get it myself.
Additional conjecture that Sosa may have vitiligo triggered by steroid use has been gathering steam around the blogosphere.
Among many, the concern is that Sammy Sosa is undergoing a Michael Jackson-esque makeover. He’s reportedly wearing colored contact lenses. Sadly, if Sammy Sosa has indeed been bleaching his skin for superficial reasons — he wouldn’t be alone.
Throughout the Caribbean and Africa, skin bleaching is a popular phenomenon. Products like Fair and White, So White, and Nadinola fly off the shelves throughout most Caribbean islands. Just recently in Jamaica, dancehall artist Lisa Hype defended the practice of skin bleaching and even celebrates the practice in her song Proud of Mi Bleaching. The song title alone speaks volumes, and is a mentality that I have a hard time understanding. But it’s real and it’s happening — black people around the world still seek to alter their natural beauty, often by dangerous means. Just this year reports surfaced of a black woman who underwent a questionable operation to change the color of her eyes from brown to blue. And despite the known dangers of skin bleaching — from permanent disfiguration to skin thinning to cancer — there are those who pledge undying loyalty to the practice. For more insight, check out this clip by Current TV about a Jamaican family of skin bleachers.
Sammy Sosa may not be deliberately lightening the color of his skin by chemical means — one photo can’t tell the whole story. Either way, he needs to stop whatever he’s doing that appears to be causing so much change and apparent damage to his skin color. I still want to give him the benefit of the doubt, so I hope he really isn’t using skin whiteners. But I also hope that this current outcry reaches the people out there who are risking long term health effects hoping to achieve a more light skinned appearance, and sends a direct message that the practice is sad, scary, stupid, and unnecessary.
Queen Ifrica said it all better than I ever could.
“”It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin some,” said the former slugger during the “Primer Impacto” program at the Univision Spanish network.
“It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but has bleached me some. I’m not a racist, I live my life happily,” said a smiling Sosa during the interview.”
And he’s joking about marketing the product too. I would write more about this topic, but all of a sudden I have a mysterious headache. SMH.
Photo courtesy the Chicago Tribune.