Black is Beautiful, No to Skin Bleaching : Senegal’s Nuul Kukk Movement
In my previous post on skin whitening in Senegal, I had discussed how the commercialization of and outrageous publicity around yet another skin bleaching had prompted a huge movement against the practice of skin bleaching in my home country of Senegal. This movement, called Nuul Kukk in Wolof (literal translation being “all black”) has been promoting the beauty of natural dark skin, the skin so many of our sisters all across Africa and the world were born with, yet keep on denying and endangering with the lethal practice of skin whitening. A web site www.nuulkukk.com, was put together featuring beautiful darker skin women, as well as a Facebook page opening the discussion around darker skin, from skincare to many of its other facets. Since my post was published, the Nuul Kukk movement has taken off, literally, and I am so in awe of what a few people can do to change century-old perceptions and redefine mentalities in the most unique way.
I was so impressed with what this movement is accomplishing in my home country, and soon all over the world, that I reached out to their press office to share my admiration and ask them a few questions. Mr. Amadou Dieng, in charge of media relations for Nuul Kukk, was so kind to reach back and answer my questions. Thanks, Amadou!
So here we go:
Q: What inspired the Nuul Kukk movement/campaign?
A: We at Nuul Kukk were actually inspired by the billboard campaign for a skin bleaching product called “Khess Petch” (Wolof for light skin). We were so shocked and outraged that we thought that we had to do something. So a few of us, including the Agendakar.com agency, professional photographer Stephane Tourne, agencies Optima, Numerika and Cidop, decided to reply with the Nuul Kukk movement, basically to say that black skin is just as beautiful as lighter skin, or white skin. We do not need, men or women, to bleach our skins to be or feel beautiful.” Even before the Nuul Kukk movement, there were associations of doctors, dermatologists, and others who were already advocating against the practice of skin bleaching. A petition requesting that the skin whitening product “Khess Petch” had already been initiated, our movement came to give all this a boost.
Q: What is the objective of the Nuul Kukk campaign?
A: We want to answer back to all the campaigns and products encouraging darker skinned people to bleach their skins. Our wish is to ignite the debate around it, call up the attention of officials and governements (which seriously are taking too long to react). But most importantly, we want to convey the message to our sisters, mothers and daughters that they should remain natural, whatever the color of their skin. This is not a debate against lighter skin, but against all those who are endangering themselves and others around them in an attempt to change their skin color. It is not only degrading for all of us, but also presents a serious health risk, especially when it comes to skin cancer. It is important to sensitize young girls under the age of 15, because they are the future, and should mature with the right idea that natural is better.
Q: How is this campaign financed?
A: We are auto-financed. Numerika, Optima and Cidop, all local advertising agencies, along with Agendakar, a cultural agency, are providing billboards, transportation, ..etc.
Q: What are you asking the public, both at a national and international level?
A: We are asking that people everywhere be reminded and remind everyone that Black IS Beautiful! That skin bleaching is source of cancer and other diseases. Whatever skin color we have been blessed with, let’s let it shine!
Q: Plans for the future?
A: Encourage the governing officials to actively handle this issue and find solutions to eradicate the practice of skin whitening. As for us, we are determined to continue bringing our contribution to resolve this issue some day.
Please visit the website @ www.nuulkukk.com, pass the word around, this is a worthwhile cause for women and people the world over. Visit their Facebook page and take part in the conversation, or follow them on Twitter #nuulkukk.
Do you support the Nuul Kukk movement? Any insights on how this movement can be made even larger?