Mirror Mirror On The Wall..

Who is the whitest of them all?

A fair complexion equals beauty in many cultures around the world. In Saudi-Arabia white is definitely the preferred skin tone for both men and women. But like most things in the world, the pressure of being fair is mainly placed upon the woman. Sadly, mothers and other female family members are the ones maintaining and contributing to this phenomenon.baby with makeup

The obsession of white skin tone starts when the baby is still in the mother’s womb. Expecting mothers might be instructed to eat certain foods to help “make” their baby develop whiter skin. They say adding saffron to milk makes white babies. Pregnant women might be told to avoid coffee, iron tablets or dark chocolate. Such ignorance when everyone today should know it’s up to your genes! If some women really think it has some effect, shouldn’t they as Muslims avoid changing God’s creation anyways?

Daughters will be kept inside the house and not allowed to play in the sun in fear of exposing the skin to the tanning effects of the sun. Never mind the health benefits such as obtaining vitamin D from the suns rays. The levels of vit. D of Saudi women are alarmingly low, one of the lowest in the world. Vitamin D deficiency causes multiple health problems to the mothers and the children. Complete veiling of the body would also have an effect on the low levels.

So the couped up girls spend their childhood mostly indoors while boys of course can do what they want and play outside all they like. Girls worry about their knees and elbows not becoming too dark from playing on the floor like their mothers warned them. It’s very common to hear comments on children’s skin tone here. People will even talk about their own kids to other people pointing out how this one is much whiter than that one. How this sister is so white and beautiful while the other is dark and ugly. I can’t even imagine the damage this does to the girls self esteem.

When the Saudi girl starts menstruating their childhood is over and many will be forced by their families to suddenly veil their entire bodies. Check out how miserable blogger Omaima felt when she had to wear the abaya for the first time: http://omaimanajjar.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/how-i-felt-when-i-wore-an-abaya-for-the-first-time/
Reaching puberty will also further increase the pressure of a whiter skin tone and this is when many girls start trying different treatments.

When Saudi men start seeking for brides they inform their mothers who then start looking for potential wives at weddings and other social functions. Young women will come to show off to weddings for this very reason. The man will often have a few desires on his list of requirements of the woman’s appearance. Most often than not, white skin tone is on the top of the list. Second in line would come straight hair, perhaps large boobs, small nose. Seriously, men say these things to their mothers! As if they are in search of cattle.
Under this immense pressure to have a white skin tone and keeping in mind how it might raise their chances of landing a good husband, the Saudi woman will go to great lengths to obtain a pale complex. Some mothers will be obsessed with the daughters skin tone from birth which continues this vicious cycle.

Most women will opt for whitening creams which are extremely popular around Asia and the ME. I personally never saw so many types and brands of whitening creams in my life. Most are marketed to give you a “healthy glow”.

That reminds me of when I first moved to the Kingdom and I was searching for a self-tanning cream at the pharmacy. I was in awe of how many different kinds of whitening products there was available, and as I browsing the aisle of the bleaching products out of curiosity, an Arab male pharmacist approached me. He took a jar from the shelf and asked me “I think this is what you’re looking for”. I took the product from him and started reading the label. WTH!? I was so shocked at what this pervert had just suggested I completely froze. It was a whitening cream specifically for female private parts. The description clearly read “vaginal bleaching cream”. I really didn’t need to know of this products existence. That this guy would come up to me and out of all the hundreds of products hand over the VJ bleaching cream, was utterly disgusting. I mean why did he think I wanted to bleach anything on my already pale as a ghost body, let alone something down there? And why was he even thinking of my vagina for God’s sake!!
I wanted to slap him right then and there but could not utter a word from my disgust and amazement. I just turned around and walked away.

After I recovered from my initial shock I was able to think about the absurdity of the whole thing. Why would a woman put something potentially very harmful on her private parts just to please a man? Why would someone want to bleach their VJ? Is this one of the requirements Saudi men have for their brides?

So there are all sorts of whitening creams out there. Also, all sorts of home-made whitening creams are available. They are the most sought after products because they contain ingredients that are banned from the market. Anything that has been banned for sale because of harmful ingredients should be avoided like the plague right? Nope.

This reminds me of a tragic story of a young bride to be.
A teenage Saudi girl had gotten engaged and in preparations for her wedding, had obtained one of these whitening products available on the black market. A while after she had started using it she got a nasty eye and skin infection. The infection did not improve with oral antibiotics and she was taken into the hospital for treatment.

After a while the infection had spread so bad it reached inside her eyes and they had to remove both her eyeballs. The doctors were not able to control the infection and at this point the girl was already in the ICU. Even though she was in the hospital for weeks, the doctors were not able to cure her. Finally the infection spread into her bloodstream and days after she passed away.

Such a unnecessary, sad and tragic death! An innocent hopeful bride that just wanted to look more beautiful on her wedding day. Just because the society she lives in tells her she is not beautiful enough as she is, this tragedy had to happen. Just because of this sick twisted mentality of admiring white skin, a beautiful soul was lost.

Another strange way of skin whitening I’ve come across is applying camel urine on the skin. Yes, camel pee! It’s true that camel urine has been proven to have bleaching qualities, but who would want to rub it on their faces?

Don’t get me wrong, camel’s milk and urine have many scientifically proven health benefits, such as controlling diabetes, Crohn’s disease and it even has cancer cell killing properties. Just check these articles to read all about it: Camel Milk and Urine Medicine  Camel Milk- The Elixir of the Desert
One of the daughters  of a patient I was treating had taken camel urine bleaching to the extreme. Her complexion did seem remarkably more white, albeit with a grey-ish undertone to it, compared to the other family members. Her hair was blonde and brittle. The woman told me her secret was applying camel urine on her skin and hair everyday, even mentioning how it works for “female areas” as well. WTF? Now that can’t be healthy anymore?! Just another example of the extreme measures women will go through for whiter skin.

Ironically most fair skinned women in the west prefer to get a tan and hate pale complexions. I have to admit I used to be the kind of girl that always went to the beach for tanning and in Saudi for the first year or so, I spent all my days off at the hospital pool enjoying the sunshine. Like in the east women overdo the whitening, also in the west some women take tanning to the extreme. Spray tanning, tanning booths and creams resulting in a year round “healthy glow”, which looks more like a unnatural orange hue than a tan. So is the grass always greener on the other side? Fair skinned women try to become darker and vice versa? Why can’t women just be happy with how they were born?

Instead of tanning booths, they actually have whitening booths in KSA! Salons will have a wide variety of skin whitening treatments available. One of the newest trends is using laser.

It’s really sad to witness this phenomenon in Saudi and elsewhere in the world. My daughter has already been effected by it. It’s always pointed out how “white” she is and that I should protect her from evil eye by saying reading so and so surah from the Quran on her before we go out. I have been requested by some of my husbands family members not to take my daughter out in the sun so she wouldn’t get tanned. When we got back from our summer holiday in Finland, where we spent most of our time out in the sunshine my daughter had tanned quite a lot and unfortunately I heard some pretty negative comments on her new color.

I love that my daughter has a darker complexion than mine, I think it’s beautiful just the way she is. In Finland she is perceived as”dark” by locals but in Saudi she is seen as “white”. I don’t really care! I wish people would stop looking at the surface and look deeper for beauty in the person. The outer color really does not matter.

 

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  • AnonymousFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    in my opinion, i think brown is very nice and glowy skin colourReplyCancel

  • FarooqFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:38 pm

    Its not just regarding women. My month old son is fairer skinned compared to me (he gets that from his mother). I was showing some of his pictures to a friend and he casually remarked that my son was lucky that he did not get my skin color. I was so pissed, felt like going kamikazi on his a*%!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 6:32 pm

      Farooq-that was pretty rude of your friend! What did you reply?ReplyCancel

    • FarooqFebruary 19, 2012 - 10:29 am

      I did not reply but just gave him a long stare. His wife noticed that and cautioned him by tugging on his sleeve. Haha

      I think I was too stunned to respond since the comment came from a “friend”.ReplyCancel

  • SennieFebruary 16, 2012 - 2:22 pm

    Disturbing. Very disturbing :-/ReplyCancel

  • DentographerFebruary 16, 2012 - 2:27 pm

    i can see from your post that you are opposing women going lengthy measures to become white while you make sure you keep a tan all the time,to me both measure are marginalizing everything about a woman except of her skin.

    btw,speaking of bleaching privates and stuff..last year there was a chinese product that was released in the saudi market,which caused an outrage and an outbreak in sales for a short of period of time before it was withdrawn again,it was a small pack of synthetic hymen membrane for the woman to become virgin..everytime if she wanted, i remember i read about a saudi woman who used it on her anniversary as means to surprise her husband…to her surprise,she got divorced cos the first thing her husband thought of was “is that how you fooled me into marrying you in the first place?”.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 16, 2012 - 8:58 pm

      Dentographer-come on, surely you were joking comparing the two right?
      First of all I didn’t say I “make sure keep tan all the time”. I mentioned I used to be a tanner, which means for clarification in Finland in the summer for about 2 months or so you go to the beach weather permitting..In Saudi I spent lots of time at the pool when I was single, and yes some of it had to do with the actually tanning but I did have other reasons for going as well.
      If a woman used tanning booth 365 days a year and on top tanned outside when ever possible, slashed fake tan on her all the time and really went all out to be tan year round, then I would say it might be comparable to the measures taken to become white.ReplyCancel

    • DentographerFebruary 16, 2012 - 11:30 pm

      indeed i was,i was teasing you :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 6:30 pm

      Dentographer-LOL you always manage to get me!!ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousOctober 6, 2012 - 8:17 pm

      I really need and answer to this…you choose your future and your husband and you already have enjoyed your life as a young and beautiful european with a lot of open doors in life and I admired that…I also admired you change a lot for love and you are happy with you husban and your daughter and your religion,but,Wouldn’t you the same for your daughter I mean that she can choose religion country,to live experiences and find the love of her life??? I am in deeply love with a Saudi but…I would choose to follow him..but also would do my daughter?Thank you LOVE your blogReplyCancel

  • HebahFebruary 16, 2012 - 4:36 pm

    I agree with you, the people here should not put so much value on a persons skin color. nice blog by the way.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 6:31 pm

      Hebah-thank you! People should put less value on all outer appearance in general here!ReplyCancel

  • GeoffFebruary 16, 2012 - 7:16 pm

    As a healthcare provider do you know of, or have you heard of any increased numbers of female patients with something akin to seasonal affective disorders, due to being covered all the time? Just curiousReplyCancel

  • LaylahFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    Geoff-that’s a very interesting question! I never heard of such, but that doesn’t mean something like it couldn’t exist. But I would think it has more to do with women not going out during daytime much, sleeping during daylight hours and houses being blocked from sunlight with high walls and sealed windows or no windows at all, resulting in less melatonin production..ReplyCancel

  • New WifeFebruary 16, 2012 - 11:42 pm

    I was always upset because I had what I call “fish white” skin… no creams, beds, or anything could make me look tan. I just had to accept it.

    when i was in school they taught us that only a few seconds of sun per day are enough to get your vitamin D… personally i would blame other habits like ridiculously high caffeine intake and bad sleep habits for vitamin D deficiency/calcium problems, not covering.

    i thought urine was supposed to be quite sterile… although the idea does seem pretty gross. but it makes sense because ammonia/urea is supposed to strip color from stuff, and camel urine is quite concentrated.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 6:29 pm

      New Wife-lol at fish white, where does that come from?Never heard! In Finland we say white as a sheet or pale as a dead person! No wonder everyone likes to get some color in the summer :)

      Urine is sterile but just the thought of putting it on your face,plus it’s so concentrated the consistency is actually like syrup! So imagine how much minerals and acid is in it..ReplyCancel

  • AlejandraFebruary 17, 2012 - 4:32 am

    I live in Miami and here we roast our skin within an inch of skin cancer. After reading about how obsessed some people are with pale skin (i’m pretty pale by hispanic standards) I decided that being tan wasn’t worth the risk of skin cancer, it would be hypocritical of me to tell someone else to embrace their beautiful dark complexion if I don’t do the same!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 6:25 pm

      Alejandra-Glad you stopped it because it’s really a serious risk to take so much sun! Better to just use mild bronzer to enhance your complexion once in a while :)ReplyCancel

  • Nour AbdulFebruary 17, 2012 - 7:14 am

    This is just absurd but it happens everywhere I guess.My daughter looks a little bit tanned than my younger son who has porcelain white skin and she did came to me and ask “Why she’s darker than her brother” I told her colour doesn’t matter my dear, most importantly what lies in your heart.Maybe she’s too young to understand this but if you are pretty from the inside, it will reflect your outside traits too.Cliche, but true.

    MashaAllah, is that your daughter? She is so adorable!
    I didn’t forget to say MashaAllah this time, although sometimes I get mixed up between MashaAllah and SubhanAllah.

    Have a nice day!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 3:39 pm

      Nour-that’s absolutely right and a person who is very beautiful outside can be a very ugly person from inside..
      That’s not my daughter, my baby is less than a yr old :)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 17, 2012 - 10:34 am

    LOL omg whats with saudis and painting their kids eye brows in LOL…i think its a bedu thing lol…
    Laylah…i am lovinggggg your topics recently..so interesting and in depth into the saudi culture..and not to mention your writing style..LOVE IT!..
    i think this is such a serious issue subhanallah..its scary..no were else have i heard so many comments on skin colour and ooooo’s and aaaaaa’s then when i sit with arab women not just saudis..its such an ignorant mentality they have..i think all that oil money has gone to their heads.
    I have seen some saudi women that are light skinned but i think the general stereotype is tanned rite? i haven’t met many in my life..im sure you would know more about that then me..Keep up with these great posts..mashallah
    _CocoChannelleReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 3:43 pm

      CocoChanelle-That baby had make-up on! If you look closely she has also foundation and lipstick!
      Saudi women are such a multitude of shades from pale to very dark..But if compared to complexion of “white” people (I hate that expression btw) then yes they would be considered more tanned.ReplyCancel

  • AliceFebruary 17, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    A very interesting post! The story of the bride that died is very sad :(

    When I just came to the UAE I went to several beauty salons in search of a solarium because I believed I needed to be tan. In Europe many people consider tan to be “hot” and some beauty salons have tanning machines. As a newlywed I felt awkward of my pale body, as if it was ugly and not attractive, not well groomed.

    After seeing how some people value light skin and even try bleaching it in order to become whiter, I came to appreciate my natural skin color.

    When I was pregnant with my first baby, some women in my husband family were saying they hoped the baby would be white like me, with blue eyes and light hair because they considered it to be beautiful. Now my older son is a bit dark and a couple of women said he was “asmar” as if it was a drawback and something to be annoyed about. But I’m glad he’s tan, because he’s an Arab after all, he looks like his father’s son. While my younger son has my complexion and I’m afraid he will look funny in Emirati traditional dress :)
    Because our two sons look different I feel curious of how our other hypothetical children could look like, this curiosity sometimes makes me want to have many children. Because it’s like experimenting. I wonder if anyone in a mixed marriage feels the same.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 18, 2012 - 6:23 pm

      Alice-I know exactly what you mean. Somehow you are made to think that a white and pale body is ugly, and a huge turnoff! Funny how it can be such opposites.
      I agree what you say about the “experimenting” but I guess it’s like that for all parents, is a guessing game to which of the parents she will take after :)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 18, 2012 - 8:11 pm

    Hi! I´ve been reading your blog for a while, I really enjoy it, but I´ve never written before.
    About this post, I don’t want to condone/excuse ME women, but I’ve seen pretty alarming Western women trying to be darker. Actually, the country where I’ve seen worst was in Finland, where I lived for a while. I went into a fitness store and saw a girl staring at me with so much curiosity in her eyes (for Finnish standards I am dark) for my home country standards I am considered light skined. And I started in horror back at her, she was literally ORANGE, with dyed black hair…a later find out she tried to look Spanish…
    So, cutting the chase, we always want what we don’t have, it’s human nature. i think both Western women and ME women are wrong to want to change their skin tone.
    What is the difference between using a self tanning cream or a whitening cream? (I won’t comment on other harsh treatments, don’t get me started) ;)

    Keep the post coming…love them.
    Mira BassamReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 19, 2012 - 6:33 am

    @Geoff said “As a healthcare provider do you know of, or have you heard of any increased numbers of female patients with something akin to seasonal affective disorders, due to being covered all the time? Just curious”

    I am not saudi, when I lived in Europe I experienced many episodes of seasonal affective disorders. since I live in saudi arabia and even if my body is covered when I go out( not my face) I never had seasonal affective disorders. I guess it’s because of the high luminosity all over the year. but my house have big windows without havy curtains and I often let windows open when the weather isn’t very hot.ReplyCancel

  • AnneFebruary 19, 2012 - 7:43 am

    Oh this fairness-madness is sooo common in India too. It is pathetic. In fact, I saw a recent advertisement on TV which showed a young man rejecting a girl because she was dark. And then the dejected girl uses a whitening cream and the boy picks her as her life partner! *Gag* If I was tht girl, I wld have given him a tight slap!
    My husband is quite dark, and the first thing that my extended family had to say on meeting him was, “Oh! The groom is dark!” and I’m like SO?!?
    When I was younger, I never understood why Western romance novels stated, ‘Dark & Handsome’. In India there is even a fairness cream for men – guess what it is called? Fair & Handsome! Lol!ReplyCancel

  • NoorFebruary 19, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    My son is very white but my husbands family is pretty white especially his father. As for me I am about as white as they come. Many, many years ago I would tan but I stopped that ages ago bc people who tan just look old and have that leather face. People think I am 10 years younger then I actually am and its all bc I take care of my skin (no tanning, drink water, lotion).

    As far as these creams go its really sad that society makes people think they have to be white. I have been here in KSA for 4 years now I have not really heard anything about it all but it seems like all the Saudis I know are really light so maybe that is why.

    Beauty comes in all sizes and colors..ReplyCancel

  • NoorFebruary 19, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    BTW I forgot that I do have to take vitamins D & calcium due to not getting enough sun as many women here in Saudi do my Doctor (who is also a friend) told me.ReplyCancel

  • JeanFebruary 19, 2012 - 11:55 pm

    Sigh. This is dumber than dumb….worldwide. Also in Asia among some Asian women, the desire for whiter or paler skin. It is a social class affectation meaning one doesn’t work out in the fields like peasants.

    I was working for a large construction engineering project out in the Vancouver suburbs (in Canada). We had a number of temporary ex-patriate employees from other countries –Germany, U.S. and Philippines. I was a little surprised a university educated female engineer from the Philippiines told me sh didn’t like her skin colour..which was naturally abit more golden and tanned easily (like mine).

    It just sounded so antiquated from a woman like her, in a traditionally male-dominant profession and university educated. She should know better than that!

    But then in North America and Europe the interest in tanning, though now with awareness of skin cancer, some of that is subsiding …only a little.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 25, 2012 - 10:38 pm

      Jean-that reminds me of how all the Filipino co workers here would comment on my skin color, even the head nurse would say things like "oh you're so white" "look at her how white she is". SO unprofessional right?ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 21, 2012 - 10:15 pm

    Hello,

    I have followed your blog for a while. I am African American and I find it very sad that people go through such extremes to lighten their skin.

    When I married, I married outside of my race. I married a caucasion man and I have a daughter from that marriage and her complexion is really light. I often come across people who comment on how beautiful she is because of her color. I love my daughter and I am raising her to be proud of the way she looks. It saddens me that mothers can actually say things to make their child feel bad because of their skin color.

    I hope things do get better there in this aspect. Saudi women are some of the most beautiful women to me and I hope light or dark they come to realize how beautiful. Your beauty is not determind by the color of your skin.

    Teresa in americaReplyCancel

  • Abdullah from S ArabiaFebruary 21, 2012 - 10:47 pm

    Interesting!!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy :)February 22, 2012 - 9:27 am

    What I find ironic in all this is women like Leylah and myself- get all these colour comments on our children and we are truly people who don’t care! After all we married men significantly darker and don’t mind that our children may be dark as well. So when I get these comments it is really distasteful to me. I mean don’t people know I don’t value colour? Haven’t my life choices shown that? And as my children approach marriage age you can bet I’ll do my best to watch for this nonsense in anyone interested in marrying my children. They deserve someone who wants them for who they are, not what colour they are.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 25, 2012 - 10:42 pm

      Sandy-Exactly! If we cared we would've chosen blonde fair skinned men. How will you try to protect them from this nonsense, especially the girls? I want to make sure my daughter doesn't get a big head from hearing all this or youre so beautiful BECAUSE you're white BS. I want my kids to say something smart back at ignorant ppl like that.ReplyCancel

  • DanielletriniFebruary 25, 2012 - 5:35 pm

    Yes this phenomena sadly exists wherever there are dark skinned people. I am from the Caribbean and the older generation would make fun of really dark black people. One of my great aunts seriously had a complex about her dark skin colour because her brothers called her "black golliwog". Any person from the English speaking Americas will know that is a highly offensive racist thing toReplyCancel

    • LaylahFebruary 25, 2012 - 10:45 pm

      Danielletrini-That is just awful what they used to say. People still sometimes use bad derogatory terms for their kids and family members here. I dont get it!!
      I bet you're daughter is soo exotic in Finland :) Mine also has lots of brown hair so ppl would come and ask if she had a wig!
      Maybe that woman meant, because your daughter has mixed race parents,thats why she has beautifulReplyCancel

  • AnonymousMarch 1, 2012 - 12:09 am

    It’s very sad that your daughter cannot get tanned. Nowadays it is known how important sun is to get enough D-vitamin. Once I remember there was one wellknown finnish professor who wanted to do research on arab, covered women about their vitamin levels ( i don’t know excatly what tests). Anyway you can take D-vitamin as pills but still. And of course not to forget ever sun and skincancer. My daughter has also darker skincolour and we never stopped her from swimming and being in the sun. It’s very intresting to read your blog. I found it just now for the first time. We visited my husband in Riyadh last year. I have lived in arab country for years and during that short visit did dot feel that different except that ladies do not drive (traffic was terrible), THE WINDOWS of the houses covered and sometimes even very small windows in bigger buildings (safwety hazard, if fire), men selling cosmetics, shopping clothes (no fitting rooms in the shops). BR, nurse from Finalnd.ReplyCancel

  • AnisahJune 2, 2012 - 2:32 am

    How ignorant! I would love to be brown. I hate being so white! I only burn, so I don’t try to tan. I use self-tanners sometimes, so I don’t look like a ghost lol. My 2 kids from my Egyptian ex vary a bit. My daughter is brown and gets dark in the summer, her brother is originally lighter but tans really well too.

    Yes, many Americans like to tan, but our culture does not look down on them if they don’t.

    That is the big difference between Saudi’s wanting to be as white as possible, and Americans liking to tan.

    Want to tan because you like it and think you look good != (does not equal) having to be light skinner or be bullied. That IS what it is. Bullying, plain and simple. I would not want someone liking me because I am light.

    I didn’t see this in Jordan but then I really couldn’t communicate in Arabic and only lived there 1 1/2 years. But I did see the mentality of being like everyone else. I call it the “blind sheep” mentality.

    Layla: When your daughter is thinking about getting married, you should encourage her to get very tan, so to avoid all those ignorant people who like a girl just for her fairness. She will find a man who likes her for her, not her skin color.

    AnisahReplyCancel

  • AnonymousJuly 18, 2012 - 4:28 pm

    Same thing happens to European and American white women. They wasted thousands dollars just to have tanned skin through machines and under the sunlight, and to impressed or attracted men. The same cases happen everywhere not only in Saudi. In the west, the men chase for the HOT, Big Boobs, Tanned, blonde girls. They look at the women just as cattle for sex, flesh without a soul or dignity. JUST the SAME!!ReplyCancel

    • 5zanAugust 21, 2012 - 6:12 am

      spot on !!ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousNovember 27, 2012 - 10:30 am

      Not every man in the West does this, just like I am sure not every Saudi man is on his best behavior. I am sure MANY Saudi men are looking for the same thing ANY man in this world would be looking. However, not every man is so shallow like you describe.ReplyCancel

  • QAugust 8, 2012 - 11:09 am

    Well, back in the day urine was used to bleach linen, hence the Roman emperor Vespasian putting a tax on public pots kept by laundries and the famous saying “money does not stink”.

    As for the medicinal qualities, if you can get to http://www.utu.fi/agricola you will find some very interesting old medical books from the 1800’s in Finnish. Urine was a very potent medicine – probably due to some of the sterile qualities – you have the saying if you get a wound its better to go on it than use any ditch water. Which makes sense, along with cobwebs.

    Urine was even used to revive people having consumed too much alcohol – you needed an old woman, and have her go into her slipper, and then pour down the throat of the alcohol poisoning victim… I think as the cure for alcoholism that might be a very effective remedy even today, might hint it to the muttawa.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 8, 2012 - 10:55 pm

      Q-thank you for the interesting comment and links! This is the first time I heard of urine used to treat alcohol poisonings..OMG yuck! Like you say, could be a very potent cure for alcoholics :)ReplyCancel

  • 5zanAugust 21, 2012 - 6:24 am

    dear laylah ,

    your blog is amazingly addictive and interesting .
    but wait a minute i can sense that your posts targetting the religion more often by a mockery.
    thats not good we cant finish if we talk about the dirty western culture.

    things happen here n there but you seem to go great lengths mocking the culture.

    where on earth you got informed that the men talk about boobs to their moms when it comes to describing their desired wifes ?

    now thats too much of a generalisation.
    compare the statistics of Rape in KSA with the west , then a women who minds getting raped will realise the protection of her honour here in ksa under the shade of shariah law, even though not implemented perfectly..

    no offense just a suggestion to be lil moderate!

    ReplyCancel

    • LaylahAugust 21, 2012 - 12:14 pm

      Hi 5zan thanks for the comment. First off I must correct you about your impression of making mockery of religion which is not true, that’s just how you have interpreted something I’ve said. Secondly you ought to know I’m a sarcastic person so that comes out in how I write. Thirdly, I know personally stories of men who have mentioned breast size as one of the preferences they have when choosing a wife. That’s the same in every culture, some men might like large “boobs” and others don’t. What’s so strange about that? The only thing that I find strange about it is that SOME men actually would mention this to their mothers. It’s not a generalization, just something peculiar that happens.

      And lastly I don’t understand how rape have anything to do with this topic? It happens everywhere. In Saudi it’s often behind closed doors within family members and hardly EVER reported, that’s why the statistics are so low.
      Unfortunately we can’t compare the rape statistics because they are not reliable!ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousNovember 27, 2012 - 10:32 am

      I agree with you Laylah. Rapes happen in Saudi like anywhere in the world, but rapes are not reported and that is why it looks good on the paper. I really don’t understand this mentality that if you are a westerner, then you are dirty. I have seen many non-westerners who have done many dirty and disgusting deeds. They are NOT innocent, but they seem to think that they are the purest ones.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousNovember 19, 2012 - 1:56 am

    How sad! They should learn to embrace their dark skin tone, as dark skin ages much much slower than white/pale skin!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousNovember 27, 2012 - 10:35 am

    I have seen this happening in other GCC countries. It is quite sad. I am very, very white and I have had many comments where “how lucky I am” to have nice porcelain skin. I always say that skin color has nothing to do with it. Your beauty should come in a whole package (including inner beauty). Skin color is a LAST thing to worry about. If a person is looking only at physical appearance, then I would not consider marriage with this person.ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousDecember 13, 2012 - 4:07 am

      I agree, the sad thing is that dark skin wins out in the long run because it doesn’t age as fast! Sad these people don’t realize that like they do in the USA where tan skin is valued.ReplyCancel

  • PearlgirlJanuary 15, 2013 - 12:08 pm

    I’ve spent my whole life wishing for just a hint of color to my pale, white skin that resists tanning and goes straight to freckles. Self tanners look completely fake and orange. I finally gave up a couple years ago and decided that this is the natural color of my skin, it is beautiful, and it matches my bright blue eyes and reddish-blonde hair.

    Teach your both your children that God made them beautiful the way they are, people always want what they don’t have, and tell your daughter the story of that poor girl who died if she ever tries to bleach her skin, awful!

    At least the abaya protects your skin from burning though, right?ReplyCancel

  • ••❤MingMing❤••June 18, 2013 - 11:26 am

    I think they al should watch this video twice a day for the rest of their lives. I believe they would start to be thankful for a healthy skin. I literally cried watching this video. I can’t imagine the arrogance and stupidity of Saudi people. And they call themselves Muslims? Didn’t they hear the story of the first muezzin???

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXJARXpvctw&feature=endscreen&NR=1ReplyCancel

  • […] parts of the world and sadly many young women go to extremes to whiten their skin for weddings. Read the tragic fate of this teenage Saudi bride, who just wanted to be ‘fair and lovely’ on her weeding day. Read here how camel urine […]ReplyCancel

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