Nadiya Begum and Skin Lightening

CW: Skin lightening and colourism

I don't want to write an article about colourism and skin lightening, when there is so much out there, discussing the problematic and forceful nature of the media. But here we are again.

Nadiya Begum is a beautiful dark-skinned first-generation British-Bangladeshi woman, who has been in the public eye since her appearance and win of The Great British Bake Off in 2015. She's since written for magazines, got a book deal and her own TV show. She is now a well-loved personality.

In particular, Nadiya is celebrated for being a dark-skinned Muslim woman, who has overcome prejudice and worn her hijab on screen, while being exceedingly 'British'. I never watched British Bake Off, but I've seen photos of her food and it looks amazing. (Nadiya, if you're reading this, please invite me over for some samosa's and cake).

She's just been featured and interviewed by Times Magazine, where she is styled beautifully, but instantly I noticed something wrong.

Why has Nadiya's skin been lightened? Well, we all know why, I don't need to ask such a ridiculous question, but why was this allowed?

The ideals forced upon non-whites to be 'white and skinny' in order to 'fit in' has been officially declared (by me) as 'never a thing'. It's like 'fetch'. They kept trying to make it happen and I will never accepted it. Skin tones cannot be changed in real life, Nadiya will always be a dark skinned woman, stop trying to make fetch happen.

We've heard all the excuses, 'camera flash, lighting, bad make up', as if people are unable to cater to skin tones that aren't white. This is not a reality, it is an excuse and one we should no longer accept.

Nadiya is a dark skinned woman, who has a successful career now and most definitely ahead of her, why anyone would lighten her skin, 'to cater to the masses', is beyond me. Everyone knows what she looks like, guys. Stop it.