Excessive whiteness

It’s a tough life for an albino in Africa:

Albinism is a rare, hereditary condition that leads to a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes. Without melanin in their skin, those with albinism are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun.

In Africa, albinism is associated with many negative misconceptions and superstitions. As a result, many albinos suffer stigma, alienation and even physical abuse.

There’s no known cure, but at least the misconceptions and superstitions are being addressed:

The Albinism Society of Kenya have held a Mr and Miss Albinism beauty pageant in Nairobi to support those with the hereditary condition.

The pageant, called “Accept me, include me, I can,” included participants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and aimed to boost the confidence of young people with albinism.

And the winners are:

Emmanuel Silas Shedrack, 20, from Tanzania and Maryanne Muigai, 19, from Kenya were crowned the winners.

There were thirty contestants in all.


  1. hollyh »

    6 December 2018 · 8:56 am

    This is great. I couldn’t resist looking up the contestants’ photo. I find it odd that the default photo is so unflattering a shot of the male winner. I mean, it IS a beauty contest, right?

    Perhaps they are attempting to debunk two conventional beliefs at once, but I think they should fight one battle at a time.

  2. McGehee »

    6 December 2018 · 2:12 pm

    Holly, why are you applying Eurocentric notions of beauty to a story about Africans?

  3. hollyh »

    7 December 2018 · 8:39 am

    The reason I criticized the photo is, his eyes appear to be crossed. So, I guess that qualifies as some sort of symmetry bias? Yep, guilty.

    Like I said, maybe they are trying to disabuse us of all prejudices at once.

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