In this post http://thenaturalgirlsguidetobeauty.blogspot.com/2011/02/your-africa-is-showing.html, there was a subsequent debate on differing shades of Africans and African Americans and how some lighter skinned women get more attention than dark skinned women.This is an issue that I told one of our lovely commenters JC I would cover soon. I will just put a disclaimer out there that I believe beauty comes in all shades from Ebony to Caramel.
There is an ingrained belief in Kenya, the African Continent and beyond that light skinned equates to beautiful and the darker you are the less attractive. How many dark skinned women have you seen using bleaching creams? How often have you heard people saying they would marry a white person to get beautiful children? How many adverts do you see with normal looking dark skinned Africans?These are all indicators that Africans have slowly been made to believe that the colour of their skin is not good enough..looking up to western ideals of beauty i.e. light coloured skin and straight hair. In Kenya, just the other day I was looking at an advert on Waiyaki way that was advertising Valon a petroleum jelly that is quintessentially Kenyan. The girl in the picture had perfectly smooth light skinned..possibly biracial. This was very funny to me because for a country where the majority of the country is dark skinned we should be putting model who are representative of the population on billboards. Kenyans are proud of their heritage that I am sure of, however we have always seen light skinned girls to be prettier..in school, in clubs, at uni. If a dark skinned girl was pretty she was called a black beauty. This is hilarious because it shows that black is not necessarily equated to beauty. We are proud of other African features such as big bottoms (for lack of a better word) and big breasts but not the colour of our skin. How funny?
I understand that African Americans were made to hate their skin and hair by their slave masters. Again I am not an expert on the Slave Trade and slaves in the USA, but I do know the slaves were made to feel inferior to their Caucasian Slave Owners and to the Biracial children that some of the slave owners had with their slaves. These "mulatto" children were given better jobs than working in the fields and in some cases got special privileges. However I do not understand Africans and their looking down of their black skin. A perfect example, if you went to Secondary school in Nairobi you can relate to this, the biracial or "pointi" guys and girls were always put on a pedestal and people always said how hot they were even if they were not. Girls used to fawn over themselves for pointi boys...(No I was not one of them).
My personal belief is that Africans come in all colours and we should again appreciate the shades that fill this continent. We have all shaded of brown and even white, Africa is the only continent with such diverse people.
What are your thoughts on this issue in Africa and Beyond?
Its the WEEKEND (Bart Simpson voice)