Baseball player and steroid user Sammy Sosa appears to now be hiding from his crimes against the game by changing his Race. The dark-skinned Sosa is now the bright white Sammy. Say it ain’t so, Sammy, say it ain’t so:
Here’s how Sosa looked during his playing days with the Chicago Cubs:
Here is how Sammy looks today:
Is this lightening of Sammy a cynical ruse to keep the mainstream media off-balance and off the topic of his past drug use?
Or is something sadder going on here? Is Sammy so uncomfortable in his own skin that me must chemically change his color?
When baseball great Sammy Sosa showed up at a Latin Recording Academy event last week, he looked jaw-droppingly different from his days as iconic right fielder for his Chicago Cubs. It wasn’t that the 41-year-old Dominican ballplayer seemed older or heavier. It was that he looked, well, white.
As his ghastly white image shot around the Web, Sosa quickly found himself the brunt of uncharitable comparisons to another famous, mysteriously lightened celebrity — Michael Jackson. One jokester even put Sosa’s “blackness” for auction on eBay, accompanied with damning before and after photographs. Sosa soon spoke out — in his native Spanish — on the Univision program “Primer Impacto.”
“It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin some,” he explained. “It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but has bleached me some. I’m not a racist. I live my life happily.”
The color of Sammy’s hands appear to be unchanged.
We were surprised to learn this chemical lightening of the skin is a worldwide phenomenon:
In India, where fair skin is associated with attractiveness and marriageability, sales of over-the-counter whiteners rose a dramatic 17 percent in a nine-month period. And the cosmetic companies that make the products, which have long had a loyal following among women in Asia and Africa, are discovering a growing new market among men. When the Fair and Lovely brand spun off a Fair and Handsome line and recruited Indian superstar Sha Rukh Khan to endorse it in 2007, sales went through the roof.
Lighter skin, with its Western, aristocratic associations, isn’t peddled overseas as merely attractive. It’s a ticket to a better life. In a head-smackingly crazy 2006 spot for Fair and Lovely, a doting father plies his grown daughter with the cream and voilà! She gets a job she’d previously been turned down for — and captures the eye of a handsome new colleague.
We are left troubled and abandoned by Sammy Sosa’s want to be Whiter and we hope one day he will put down the creams and the chemicals and start to love himself by confessing his past bad behavior with drugs and baseball and then admitting that he ruined his legacy and any future Hall of Fame hope because of who he was and not what he looks like now.