Hello my lovely readers, this post is going to explain why the Kenyan social media platforms are on flames after a young teenage Kenyan comedian by the name Elsa Majimbo stated that her dowry should be four million dollars. This was during an interview on a Kenyan TV show.
DARK SKINNED WOMEN AND STANDARDS
If you have been reading my posts (if not I suggest you do), it is quite clear that the dark skinned woman has been defeminized for the longest time. This has perpetuated the idea that dark skinned women should accept whichever form of treatment they get from men and the society in general. The society has pushed the idea that dark skinned girls are unattractive, so the only way they can get the society’s affection and attention is by having very low standards so that they can make it easy for men and people in general to please them. Therefore, Elsa coming out of that box that dark skinned women have always been forced into and setting her standards high has left so many with questions (how can an unattractive woman have standards as high as those?, ) I saw a tweet that stated that ‘it is always the ugly ones’. Now colorism in Kenya is not an exception to the misconstrued idea of making dark skinned women and ugly synonymous. I am fully aware that beauty is subjective, but calling a woman ugly because she has set high standards for her future husband is quite laughable.
There are so many famous Kenyan light skinned women (I will not mention names for the sake of discretion) who have set their standards so high by even stating that for a man to approach them, he must have won a lottery or own multiple properties . Nobody has a problem with that statement and nobody bashes them (I am not advocating for their bashing, it is just a comparison). Kenyan men have been conditioned to believe that ‘light skinned women are expensive.’ This belief coupled with light skin privilege makes it easy for these women to make these standards unabashed but let a dark skinned woman do the same, the narrative changes quickly from ‘ women can do what they want/ she is too pretty to be with a broke man’ to ‘ it is always the ugly ones.’
I also wonder how the society expects women to look in order to have standards. Somebody said she was unattractive. My question is ‘ should high standards only be set by attractive women? Or what ?
DARK SKINNED WOMEN AND FEMININITY
Welcome to Kenya, where people think that satin material is only used to make hair scarfs and night dresses.
Kenyans went ahead to insult Majimbo based on the outfit she had worn during the interview, her hair do and makeup.
We all have a different sense of style. Therefore, a satin gown that is meant for dinner might look like a sleeping night dress to somebody else. But insulting Majimbo for wearing a satin dress to the show (umevaa night dress) and calling her eyeshadow ‘dura cot’ just because she stated what she expects from her future spouse was such a low blow. Some people say her make up was poorly done but did you have to insult her? A simple referral to a better make up artist would have done the job too. The tweet was made by a woman who insulted her in order to drive the point home(that Elsa was blowing her worth out of proportion). Other women went ahead and chimed in, laughing at the little girl who is just step into her femininity as a dark skinned woman (check out my post on femininity for dark skinned women).
DARK SKINNED WOMEN AND 4C HAIR
Just to exacerbate the problem, the lady went ahead to insult Majimbo’s hair style (which was an afro) by stating that her hair needed shampoo.’ ‘With your hair crying for shampoo’ it added. Many Kenyans joined in and stated that Majimbo looked unattractive and unpresentable with that hairstyle.
But what exactly do they mean by the term unpresentable? Maybe it is because we have been conditioned to think that the 1a hair type, bone straight hair is the the standard of ‘neat and presentable’ hair. Or maybe ,it is the deep seated belief that dark skinned girls do not shower and that is why they have dirty skin( yeah someone told me this when I was in kindergarten and someone echoed the same sentiments to me recently and I am in my 20s). This ‘lack of showering mentality’ directly translates into dirty hair that needs shampooing, I suppose.
Several light skinned, famous Kenyan women wear their afros all the time and nobody reminds them that they need shampooing. But wait until a dark skinned woman wears her natural hair in its full glory, sitting like a crown and not sleeked down. That is just chaotic. ‘ Oh you look like Lwanda Magere, kwani hajui maana ya blowdry?’ they ask. For an older, educated woman to insult a teenage girl in terms of her hair shows how far the problem of colorism and hair goes. It is absolutely weird for someone (Elsa) to face an incident full of microaggressions in a country where women who look like her are the majority. I am so glad California state is on the verge of enacting the Crown Act which bans discrimination against natural hair. Maybe Kenyans should fall in line and follow suit. Maybe it is time we stop deeming what is presentable or not presentable based on an individual’s hair type.
These are the reason (s) why you are hating on Elsa;
- She knows satin can make other clothes apart from night dresses.
- The society does not expect women (especially dark skinned women who it has always put on the bottom shelf of its hierarchical arrangement of women) to set high standards.
- She is comfortable with wearing her 4c hair that is always considered unpresentable. You are annoyed because you always have to straighten your hair before you attend an important event, Elsa does not have to do so.
- She knows the difference between paint and eyeshadow. She has stepped into her femininity as a dark skinned woman and that does not sit well with your ‘ideal dark skinned defeminized’ woman.
- She is not your typical pickmeisha.
- South Africans love her more than you do. Your Kenyan rejection did not stop her from flourishing in other countries.
Have a happy week everyone and stay safe.