Kenyan women who recently relocated to back home defends dark skin girls

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Kenyan women who recently relocated to back home defends dark skin girls

African Beauty

Dark Days for Dark Girls.A few weeks ago Nation ran a feature highlighting the lengths that our Kenyan women are going to in order to achieve that light complexion that everyone goes gaga for. It was shocking and most readers just couldn’t understand why they would subject themselves to such and risk a plethora of life threatening conditions so that they could achieve the “Rangi ya thao”(color of a thousand bob note) or the yellow yellow complexion.

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This beautiful country is not only plagued with tribalism, corruption and impunity..it is riddled with colorism. This simply means treating people of the same race differently depending on the shade of the skin color.

I just watched a video where a woman says she went to the extent of using raw bleach on her face because none of the lightening creams were working. Not only did it burn her face…she ended up being a shade darker than she was. But get this..she would still do anything to be light. A story was in the standard recently about a man who was angered that his new bride deceived him. She had bleached her face and the man only discovered her real colour after the wedding.

You know sometimes we sit on our high horses and wonder why women do that, cant they just be comfortable in their own skin, don’t they know black is beautiful…….. For most it does not make sense but before we judge those that go ahead to bleach themselves, we must understand that most have had to grow with the prejudice since they were young kids.

I am dark skinned myself and I know exactly what those of my kind have to go through. Being a young child I remember adults telling my light skinned friends how beautiful they looked..then have no words for me. Okay I wasn’t the flyest kid but still, it would not have hurt to say a kind word. The light kids were the ones always getting the favours….the light kids were always the most popular.

I can assure you it was bad and as I grew older it just got worse but luckily I found a passion and a purpose which in my case was my love for soccer. As long as I was in the field, nothing else mattered. Through that, I got an unshakable self-esteem. I even made fun of my color.. called myself blackie! Over the years, I have continued developing my skills and I have understood and accepted that I do not need to be light skinned to be beautiful….

I have heard all kinds of comments “You are too fly to be dark” ,“you would be stunning if you were a little lighter”, ”You would have had a modeling career if you were lighter”, “Kumbe dark chics can be fly”, ”Why don’t you bleach your skin”. But i love my dark skin and wouldn’t change anything about it.

But my heart bleeds for those who have not been lucky to find their self-esteem, for those growing up with this kind of mindset around them. These are the ones rushing for the skin lightening products just to be accepted in the society. The lighter girls in high school are the ones getting the boys, they are the ones getting favors from the teachers, the lighter ones always got the best and in most cases, the lighter ones do seem to have it easy in life.

I am not here to criticize light skinned people, I am trying to make Kenyans understand…especially the men. It is an obvious fact that women live up to being appreciated and loved by men. But Kenyan men have continually glorified light skinned women while giving no regard to the dark ones. Taking a look in the streets of Nairobi, the men will break their neck ogling at a light skinned woman and others will not stop singing praises about her beauty.

Today I saw a job advert on social media that required the participants to be light skinned as part of the requirements. How then do you expect the marginalized dark skinned women to be happy with their complexion when the men give them little to no attention, when the professional opportunities seem to favor the light skinned ones?

Do we think so low of ourselves that we discriminate our very own people? Why should we face racism outside the country and come back only to find colorism from our own people. Why are we sending our wives, sisters, mothers, aunts to an early grave? Our women are lapsing into depression others going as far as committing suicide….yes it is that serious.

From skin cancer, kidney and liver failure, infertility….. the risks seem endless and the ladies are sparing no expense in getting these lightening treatments. This is becoming an epidemic and we need to speak out for them. We need to change the outlook of the community and encourage these young ladies to be comfortable in their skin.

As long as there are mostly light skinned women in the media, press, billboards…this girls and women will always feel like they are not good enough. We need more dark skinned personalities to look up to. For the young girls to know that their dark skin is not a hindrance to doing great things and living their lives. For them to know that they are beautiful no matter what complexion they are.

We need to stop this discrimination in our country…..we need to make the ladies realize that Black really is beautiful.

Visit Njambie’s blog- http://njambiemungai.com/wordpress/dark-days-for-dark-girls/

 

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