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SKIN SHADES RIVALRY WITHIN AFRICAN RAINBOW

Africans everywhere must count their blessings for a unique gift in their variety of colors that occur naturally by genetics and celebrate it. While African Americans championed “black and proud” era in the sixties to reclaim their beauty, we seems to have forgotten what it took and have neglected beauty of different hair styles. Africans have become so complacent, they even bleach to heighten their skin and hair that grow naturally.

It is one thing to amplify your beauty with makeups but quite another to look ungodly. Young people of all races like to change their appearances all the time but if Africans move away from their natural pride, no other young people would like to grow an afro, paint their lips bigger, show their curvy butts or would want to act like Michael Jackson. In other words, if you run away from yourselves, nobody would run towards you.

The medical community's role must not be neglected to emphasize the cancerous effect of bleaching, followed by social scientists to explain the psychological effect. If need be, the governments must come out strongly against it. There are many ways of attacking a problem, if marginal morality cannot be legislated it must be strongly campaigned against, even dying hair too often into different colors has its own consequences.

Bleaching of the skin is the worst form of self-hatred. There is everything right and nothing wrong with dignified ebony in black just as there is nothing wrong with tanning white skin to get some color. But if you reject either completely, there is something wrong with your mental state. One would have thought that we have made progress since the days of our children preference for white dolls instead of black dolls.

Children that want to identify with one group where one parent is white and the other is black, are torn apart. Two children in the same family that look the same may develop differently depending on what group each feel comfortable in psychologically. Rejection by either group can be devastating. Blacks are more accommodating of kids into family.

It could be easier because in Africa where shades of rainbow occur naturally within the same dark skin people and demonstration of tolerance when otherwise. In America and Europe where one drop rule dominates, the children of mixed couples are susceptible to sociological damage unless the parents arrest such mental situation very early.

Indeed, many mixed young people are now calling for a class of their own that should be recognized and stated in population census counts. In that case, the Asians and the Hispanic also deserve their own classification since the same diversity is replicated in their mixed colored populations. The children of American soldiers in Asia and African peace keeping forces are coming back home.

We can fool ourselves and say let everyone be whatever they feel like. However, it destroys our children while growing up. Trying to find where they belong to especially as more men venture out into interracial marriage may be daunting in a global village. Who knows, the green or red people may be at the top of the economic ladder after genetic mutation some day; would everyone prefer to be closer to green?

The point here is that, it is looking more like the lighter your skin color, the better your economic status even as blacks. If you are in Africa, women may be tempted to bleach because they think they can attract more men with money that prefer light skin girls. Those in Diaspora think white businesses prefer light skin blacks. It may be better for a woman because businesses can hire double minority as a woman and a black in USA.

Therefore in order to be accepted and move up the economic ladder, the temptation is to look as close to white as possible to improve your prospects. This has translated into the psychology of seeking without accepting, movement toward a “nice” skin or “good” hair amongst some Africans in general. Some have accomplished this by marriage and others by bleaching their skin and perming their hair to be more attractive.

Africans in Africa must play a leadership role for the rest of Africans in Diaspora since they are the only ones born naturally with different hues. Preference for one color over the other especially where most people are on the blacker side may send a message to the next generation that beauty that changes with the weather is more than skin deep.

We cannot deny that some of the lingering effects of the vestiges of slavery remain in our psych. In the West Indies, there was a time when black skin people were put at the far back of the counter in shops and offices right in their own countries where they were the majority. Those social stigmas have changed considerably after independence. Some of the light skins have gone as far as marrying dark skins. It is not completely over.

The reappearance “nice” skin and “good” hair even in United States that led “I'm Black and Proud” in Diaspora is disturbing. The black President has not been totally free of the accusation that he had more light skin blacks working for him than dark skin blacks. It is true that a man should be judge by his character rather than the color of his skin. But the message is strong if economic realities favor some more in that rainbow.

Black men have also been accused of going after the next “best” thing to white women, that is, light skin girls. But many black men denied it saying they just look for women in their class. I wonder what they say now that black women and women in general have overtaken men in terms of “class” as a result of better education.

Indeed, black women have fought that “class” thing right from day one saying: being a football or basketball star did not make black men better educated or put them in a better class. They are just marrying up to white women out of inferiority complex, period. Those types of discussions can be very embarrassing in this age. Now we have black women in higher economic strata and they are looking for men in their “class”.


Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Farouk Martins Aresa and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa

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