Sammy Sosa denied rumors that his lightened skin was the result of vitiligo during his Spanish interview on Univision’s “Primer Impacto” with Tony Dandrades Tuesday. When asked what was going on with his skin, the slugger responded: “I use a cream to keep my skin smooth and soft. I apply it before I go to bed. When I was playing for Chicago all those years, I was in the sun a lot for 1 o’clock games.” He wouldn’t say what type of face cream he uses or the name of it because he said he’s in negotiations to market the European product, but he did say he can’t stay in the sun too long when he uses it. I suspect he’s using the kind of skin-bleaching creams that are sold on the black market in many minority communities. I’ve seen countless people walking around in my own Caribbean and African neighborhood with the same pinkish-gray cast to their skin. Their faces and hands will be several shades lighter than other parts of their bodies — a tell-tale sign that they’re bleachers. The ingredients in these creams are so damaging that sometimes users develop rough black and blue patches of skin. And the skin can literally flake off or become so thin it splits open. And yes, any amount of sun is extremely dangerous. Yet these people risk all of this because they have such a warped sense of beauty — they feel that dark skin is unattractive. I have never seen anyone, Sosa included, who didn’t look sickly from bleaching their skin.
As for the colored contact lenses Sosa’s been sporting? He says he wanted to “try something different. I’m not trying to be superficial.” Yeah, right. [NY Daily News]