Melanin has been historically associated with poverty, slavery and a lack of beauty, wealth and class. It’s a mentality that resounds both within and outside of the black community, although a cultural tide is turning as younger blacks celebrate their dark skin with movements like #iwillnotapologizeforbeingdarkskin, #flexinmycomplexion and #unfairandlovely.
But here’s the thing — dark skin is not just a thing of beauty, it’s also incredibly beneficial to health. Melanin preserves elasticity in the skin (hence ‘black don’t crack’), protects from the sun (hence the low rates of skin cancer among black folks) and has been found to slow aging. In fact, a recent study by Olay found that black women age 10 years slower than white women. Melanin indeed is magical. And it seems others are getting hip to this.
The fitness site LiveStrong.com features articles geared at maximizing fitness and improving health, and apparently increasing the amount of melanin in the skin is part of that. (Click the image to be taken to the article.)
Based on their bio pics, all the authors of these articles are either white or white-passing.
Each article focuses on the benefits of melanin to the body, one plainly asserts;
“Melanin is important to your skin’s health. This compound is a pigment that protects your skin from the harmful effects of sunlight.”
Melanin is not a curse. It’s a beautiful and healthy blessing, and it’s high time that we begin to perceive it this way.