One cold morning, I sat next to a pretty Muslim lady at a terminus as we waited for our ride. She looked at me and smiled and I smiled back. I tried to understand what she feels every time she travels and has to be checked before boarding. It must be tough because people have already made an assumption about her being a security threat and now the assumption lingers all over her as if it is her reality. Similarly, dark skinned women are stereotyped in a very negative light. I hope this blog will break away some of these assumptions thrown at us left, right and center.
1.Dark skinned women are intellectuals; It is quite shallow to measure the intelligence of a person by their skin tone. I have heard some people tell light skinned women that they are too intelligent for a light skinned girl and on the flip side, I have heard people tell dark skinned ladies that ‘you are too dumb for a dark skin girl.’ Intelligence has nothing to do with skin tone.
2.Dark skinned women are ‘wife materials‘; Different societies have different meanings tied to the phrase ‘wife-material’. In Kenya, a wife material has to endure hardships (vumilia), do all house chores, be agreeable to a fault, please everyone and put herself last. I do not understand who made people think that dark skinned women fit this ugly setting perfectly. Some dark skinned women may perfectly fit but it is not okay for people to put all of them in that category.
3.Dark skinned women are ‘angry‘; One day, I was just minding my own business when a classmate came up to me and expressed her sincere pity because she realized that one of our male friends preferred girls of a lighter skin tone.She expected me to get ‘annoyed’ at our friend.’It is his preference’ I replied. She did not believe how calmly I responded. This is just one of the many incidences where people expected the ‘angry dark skinned’ girl scenario. I know I am not the only one and I would like everyone to know that some dark skinned girls are comfortable and grounded in the skin they are in. Some dark skinned women are not jealous.
4. Dark skinned women are ‘yes’ women; Now some men think that they do a favor to dark skinned women when they ask them out. They think they are going to say yes to anyone, and anything at any time. However, that is not the case. Not all dark skinned women are desperate.Some dark skinned women have standards and good taste.
5. Dark skinned women are cheap; I really think slavery and racism convinced us into believing that dark skinned women are domestic workers who require low maintenance thus ”cheap’. When people meet dark skinned women who are not their typical ‘low maintenance’ or whatever, they get really upset. They wonder where she got the courage to defy the norm. Well, I never thought I would ever have to say this but some dark skinned women are not cheap and they like their bags with the ‘2cs’.