If you are an active Snapchat app user, or have access to social media, you must have heard of the name, Bobrisky, or at least, seen a couple of his pictures on the Internet.
Born Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju, Bobrisky is obviously one of those boys who grew up wanting to be a girl and tried to achieve that transformation mainly through skin bleaching and female fashion.
Bobrisky, popularly called the Nigerian male Barbie doll, was initially dark as night, then suddenly became as white as snow. This he achieved through bleaching and he is not apologetic about it.
He once said boastfully:
“People fail to understand that I am only using what I have to get what I need. I am only doing something to make myself different from many others who are into this same business of mine, just to get people’s attention.
And thank God, now I have more customers than you can imagine. I am a millionaire. At least, I have been counting millions, so, I can say I am a millionaire but I want to get to be a trillionaire.
One case of my bleaching cream is N100, 000 and in a week, I could sell between eight to ten or more. Doesn’t that make me a millionaire?”
As at press time, Bobrisky has over 155,000 followers on Instagram and gets about 145,000 views on Snapchat daily.
The obsession to be light-skinned by ladies in Nigeria has reached an alarming rate. The latest trend is the use of dangerous injections like Glutathione for express whitening.
Sunday Telegraph’s correspondents VANESSA OKWARA, BIWOM IKLAKI, VICTORIA NONIKE, FAVOUR NWANZE AND MARY NNEJI, went to town to discover the reasons why women risk their lives to bleach their skin and found out that many women that bleach believe men will find them more attractive if they are fairer.
They also believe they have better chances of succeeding in life and career.
Oluchi Nwanguma, a fair complexioned lady in 300 level at the University of Awka, Anambra State, admitted that she bleached her skin to look more attractive to the opposite sex:
“When I was in secondary school, I was very dark. All my friends were getting boyfriends because they were fair skinned except me.
One of my friends introduced me to a bleaching cream in a small tube that helped to lighten my complexion. Since then, I started getting compliments from men and I’m in a serious relationship right now. So I have no regrets bleaching my skin” she boasted.
Bimbo Salatu said she had chocolate colour with lots of pimples on her face and had to bleach to clear the spots from the acne.
“I initially started bleaching to clear my spots but when I discovered that the acne cream was making me fairer, I decided to go all out to change my skin colour. Today, I’m looking almost like a white lady and I love my skin colour because I get a lot of attention from men when I walk on the streets”. She said.
A lot more ladies claim it’s the men and their love for light skinned ladies that pushed them to go the extra mile to change the colour of their skin.
A housewife, Jumoke Oke, concurs with this assertion by saying it’s her husband that pushed her into bleaching.
“When I got married, I was chocolate in colour but after having two children, I noticed my skin got darker and this made my husband to start cheating on me with fairer ladies.
So to join the competition, I had no choice than to bleach my skin. Men are the ones pushing us into it. I don’t really like it but I’ve no choice because I have to do all I can to keep my marriage,” she said.
Media personality and self-proclaimed skin bleacher, Toke Makinwa, is one woman who has stuck her head up to publicly reveal that men are the real reasons why women bleach their skin. In her recently released book, ‘On Becoming’, she admitted to bleaching her naturally dark skin to impress her ex-husband, Maje Ayida.
The 32-year-old beauty revealed she started bleaching to compete with her husband’s baby mama, Anita, who is half Lebanese and Ibibio.
In her book she said,
“I had been with Maje from when I was an immature teenager, through my twenties, and for most of those years, Anita had been the standard I had to live up to.
I had lightened my skin at some point – Anita is half Lebanese and half Ibibio, and Maje made me feel like he preferred her lighter skin.
Sunday Telegraph went to the streets to find out if truly men are the ones encouraging women to bleach. Mr. Murphy Olagundoye, a business man said:
“Ladies are prettier when they bleach and it’s not as bad as people make it sound”.
According to Azeez, he is attracted to fair girls because they are beautiful unlike the dark girls.
“Fair girls turn me on, I love fair girls because most dark girls are usually ugly and dirty but fair girls are perfect for me”.