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This Latina Fell Into A Coma After Using A Tainted Skin Whitening Cream Imported From Mexico

#1: The scourge of colorism has had a stranglehold on Latinx communities for centuries, and it manifests in insidious ways. Although nicknames like “la morena” are often used in Latinx families as a term of endearment, these seemingly-harmless labels can create deep roots of self-hatred within the subject. This self-hatred can be especially prominent in young women and girls who are taught to tie their self-worth to their outward appearance. And although the Latinx community is doing more now to tackle colorism than it ever has before, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

In fact, recently a Latina was hospitalized in Sacramento for using a tainted skin-lightening face cream. 

According to public health officials, the as-yet-unnamed woman arrived at an emergency room “slurring her speech” and “unable to walk or feel her hands and face” public health officials said. She is now in a semi-comatose state. According to friends and family, the woman frequently bought her face-cream from a friend in Mexico. But this time, her Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream had been laced with the toxic heavy metal, mercury. According to officials, the woman is the “first known victim of methylmercury poisoning from a cosmetic in the U.S.”, making her case especially alarming. According to The Daily Beast, the sale of skin-lightening products is “a bustling market” that is “driven by immigrants who buy them from their home countries”. 

Although the FDA is tasked with monitoring imported cosmetic products to make sure they reach our health-standards domestically, it is impossible to keep track of unreported and/or illegal trade. That’s why you should be wary when accepting beauty products from a friend or relative who lives out of the country. According to Businessweek: “no one knows how many of the world’s skin-lightening creams are tainted with mercury.” Even if you are sure your friend is trustworthy and the product is safe, in the end, there’s no way to know for certain. 

In many Latinx countries, the skin-lightening market is a widespread and lucrative trade that holds no stigma for its customers.

Reports suggest that across the world, the skin-lightening market is valued at $20 billion, which proves how ubiquitous the desire for lighter skin is, cross-culturally. Because of its known melanin-suppressing effects, mercury is often found in skin-lightening products–including “legitimate” products that insist their ingredients are safe. Methylmercury is an extremely toxic compound and is used in things like “thermometers, batteries, and mirrors”. According to experts, long-term exposure “can cause kidney damage, loss of peripheral vision and lack of coordination”. That means that many of these skin-lightening creams that are marketed as being safe are actually laced with poison and are extremely toxic.

Colorism comes from the history of European colonization and oppression in Latin America. Europeans used the socially-constructed idea of race in order to divide and subjugate the people they were trying to conquer. Identifying with white Europeans was a way to prove superiority and therefore align yourself with power. But subsequently, the idea of lighter skin being more desirable has persisted until today. And, as is evidenced above, some Latinos will go to great lengths to appear whiter–even if the outcomes are dangerous. 

Fortunately, there are a vast number of Latinx people on Twitter who are vocal about the negative effects of colorism within the community.

Many people in the Latinx community (especially the younger generation) are finally waking up to the realities of life for people who are darker-skinned. Luckily, there is a large cohort of people who are no longer staying silent on the issue. 

This Latina has seen colorism manifests itself within her own family:

The beautiful part about being Latinx is the spectrum of colors of the community has–a spectrum that sometimes shows up inside a family. 

This Latina recognizes that, while she thought colorism was “normal” when she was younger, she now knows it’s a harmful social construct.

Sometimes it’s hard to see when something is wrong when it’s so ingrained in society.

This person sees colorism as a major divisive factor in the Latino community:

Even when we see representations of ourselves in the media–often the accepted version of a Latino is European-looking one. Look at any telenovela.

This Latina understands that colorism isn’t just a black/white issue:

In reality, colorism is nuanced–it comes from outdated colonial mindsets of white and European-supremacy.

Although it’s terrible that this woman was victim of this black market cream, this incident is bringing to light the undeniable harmful impact of colorism within the Latinx community as well as the dangers of skin-lightening products.

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Yalitza Aparicio Stars In Dior’s Women-Centric Film Series

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Yalitza Aparicio Stars In Dior’s Women-Centric Film Series

Dior/ Youtube.com

In the two years that have passed since her debut as an actress in the 2018 Academy Award-winning film Roma, Yaltiza Aparicio has established herself as a Hollywood “get.” The Indigenous actress has appeared countless times on the cover of magazines, ones like Vogue México and Vanity Fair, and has been featured in ad campaigns for designers like Rodarte. So it’s no surprise that she has now been tapped to be part of Dior’s new campaign “Dior Stands with Women.”

As part of an effort to celebrate women across the film, beauty, and health industries Dior has launched its “Dior Stands with Women” campaign.

On Monday, the fashion brand announced it had launched a series of short films honoring women and their contributions to the industries and communities which they occupy. The campaign features actresses like Yaltiza Aparicio, model Paloma Elsesser, dancer Leyna Bloom, Cara Delevingne, Charlize Theron, Parris Goebel, and others.

In a statement about the campaign, Dior announced their intent in a post on Instagram. “Inspired by the exceptional women who have marked its history, Christian Dior Parfums unveils a series of short filmed portraits that give a chance to speak to extraordinary women,” it reads.

Speaking in the portrait series, Aparicio explains “For me, being a woman means being strong, always holding your head up because they tell you what they say, you must be sure of what you are capable of,” she went onto say that as “as an ambassador for UNESCO, my role is to represent indigenous communities with dignity. Give them a voice and visibility, which is something that we have lacked for a long time… Women have fought for many years for gender equality. It is not about being superior to men, it is about having the same opportunities, that in your work they give you a fair salary and not simply because you are a woman they pay you less or that they consider that you have fewer capacities simply because you are a woman.”

Speaking about their journeys, actresses Cara Delevinge and Charlize Theron touched on being unapologetic and part of male-dominated industries.

Check out Yalitza and the others in the Dior campaigns below.

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These $1,200 Gucci Jeans Are Designed With Grass Stains Around The Knees And Are Not Worth The Joke

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These $1,200 Gucci Jeans Are Designed With Grass Stains Around The Knees And Are Not Worth The Joke

Gucci / Twitter

In these tough times, Gucci’s latest line proves that you might be able to get a fortune out of the jeans you use as workwear in the yard. The upscale label recently launched a new line of jeans and overalls featuring a grass stain effect on their knees. But these are not your father’s cutting the lawn jeans.

The oversized pants retail for a cool $1,400 and feature large pockets and side buttons…

Users on Twitter were quick to question whether or not the new jeans were a joke by Gucci or a reflection of just how tone-deaf the high-end label is.

“How did it take so long for this to become a thing? My entire wardrobe just became more valuable!” one user tweeted in response. A second user commented, “Yeah not a Good Look!!! Wouldn’t buy those Jeans at the Thrift Store for a Dollar!!!”

It wasn’t long ago that the designer brand received criticism for selling warn-in sneakers that were “treated for an all-over distressed effect.”

The kicks were valued at $870. The brand’s description of the shoe design boasted that it was inspired by “vintage” 70s styles.

“The Screener sneakers — named for the defensive sports move — feature the Web stripe on the side and vintage Gucci logo, treated for an allover distressed effect,” the website explained.

Takeaway? Money sure can’t buy good taste.

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