Sosa’s Problem skin deep

By Jazzy Davenport

By Now I’m sure you’ve seen the dramatic transition that Sammy Sosa’s appearance has taken. My first reaction was “What in the Michael Jackson is going on with Sosa’s face?” Dramatic, I know.

But Sosa has gone from that very handsome, dark-skinned Dominican man we Chicagoans loved to hate when he was a Cub, to someone of a much lighter complexion. The only things that appear to have remained the same are his eyes and that awkward hairline; besides that—he’s pretty much unrecognizable.

When the news first broke,  many people’s first instinct was that the change of Sosa’s appearance was attributed to vitiligo, the same skin disorder that Michael Jackson claimed to be afflicted with, and that steroids were the cause of it. Turns out there have been no reports of a link between anabolic steroid use and vitiligo; however, doctors are still not sure what exactly causes it.

After the initial outcry and controversy, Sosa immediately said that the lighting in the photo exaggerated his skin color. He basically wanted to convince the public that he really wasn’t that pale. Sosa later did an interview telling what happened.

“I spent many years playing [in the outfield] at 1:20 p.m.  in Chicago, [and] you know that the skin gets damaged, and so what I did, now that I’m not playing, not getting so much sun, well I have a cream that I apply before going to sleep and it lightens my face a bit,” Sosa said to ESPN Deportes. He also went on to say, “I am not a racist, I’m not like that. I’m a person that lives a happy life, and I want people to calm down and I want them to know the truth, that I didn’t do this with that intention.”

Sosa thought that confessing what happened would simmer the uproar.  What Sosa has actually done is made himself look worse, no pun intended. I am not convinced that he did not intentionally try to alter his complexion. No one uses bleaching cream without expecting their pigmentation to change.  He’s even talking about marketing the product now.

Sosa, do you have that much self-hate and insecurity that you are not comfortable with your skin and with your heritage? Are you so weak that you would succumb to the pressure to assimilate?

There is nothing more disgusting than a man who is insecure about his heritage. As a Latino man, and someone of obvious African descent, be proud of who you are and more importantly, comfortable in your own skin, because for me and others of African descent, your choice to bleach your skin is nothing short of insulting.