Dakar, Senegal; where 10% of female patients that visit Aristide Le Dantec Hospital get treatment for infections and diseases caused by skin bleaching. Despite the increased risk of cancer that bleaching brings, many of the women there think it’s well worth the risk.
Similar to the U.S., the dark skinned women and girls in Dakar are repeatedly told by the media and the men of their country, that light skin is more desirable. While some women from Dakar aspire to become top models, others resort to bleaching in hopes that it will make them more beautiful, and help them reach their claim to fame.
While Europe in particular scouts Senegalese women with the darkest complexions, the top advertising agencies within Dakar, push the lightest models to the forefront. The city is congested with billboards, posters and other imagery promoting women with fair skin. However, despite the European modeling standard for their beauty in particular, Europe and the U.S. continue to export skin bleaching products to Senegal and other African countries for mass consumption.