So, I was on the bus to work the other day. Two teens sat opposite me, they looked around 15/16. One was a white male and the other was a mixed race female. First impressions told me that she didn’t really want to be with him at that moment (as soon as she sat down she started getting her iPhone ready to listen to). Here is the short conversation that followed:
Boy: “Have you see the girl in the year below who looks like you?”
Girl: *looking unimpressed* “What?”
Boy: “The girl in the year below, she looks just like you”
Girl: “You’re only saying that ‘cos she is mixed race” *screws him*
Boy: “Nah she actually looks like you”
Girl: *rolls her eyes and puts in her headphones*
I wanted to just say, “YASSS GURLL!! YOU TELL HIM!” because I really felt her annoyance right then. I’m sure we have all been through it, being told you look like someone else just because you have a similar skin shade, and possibly a similar hairstyle. The amount of “twins” I had when I was her age was unbelievable. I mean, I could understand if the girls looked somewhat like me, but the vast majority of the time they did not.
The worst one was a couple of years ago when I was compared to Moss from the IT Crowd… by my own aunty (yes if you are reading this, I remember!).
Not only does the problem lie in the idea that we all “look the same” but it also means that we are all judged the same way. How many of you have heard about the “stoosh lightie”? Probably only my London readers know what I’m on about, but I am sure we all know about the long running joke that light skin girls don’t reply to text messages.
I don’t know where these preconceptions emerged from, but they are around. Even my own boyfriend had such beliefs about me when he first saw my picture. He didn’t expect us to end up in a relationship, let alone be together for almost 4 and a half years. Buy why? Why do people think that all light skin males and females are stuck up their own behinds? I can’t even lie, I had my own thoughts about mixed raced boys a few years ago, I truly believed that they were just good to look at but didn’t really have much going on personality wise. When I look back on it, it is evem worse for me to haave thought that because I come from a family full of mixed race boys and I know they all have completely different personalities.
Maybe it is simply because we are conditioned to think so. We all know that there is that idea that the lighter the skin the prettier and more desirable the person is. And in turn this often leads to lighter people being disliked by others because they supposedly think they are “better than everyone else”.
I can’t speak for every female who has a percentage of both white and black in her but I, myself went through a lot of issues when it came to knowing myself as a child. Not just because my father is half white and half black but also because I was raised as a Muslim but didn’t fully practice the religion. Everything was all too confusing for me and the kids at school did not help with that either. This is probably why I have shortened the amount of countries I’m from over the past few years, from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Holland to just Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. If I could just leave out the South African part in the list I would but that is what helps people understand why my skin may be lighter than other East Africans. And when people now ask me why I don’t eat pork I just tell them that I was raised a Muslim, unlike what I used to tell them which was that I AM a Muslim, because well, I don’t identify with those who practice the religion (blog post about religion to follow).
I went slightly off topic. All I really want to say is that unless a person has facial features that look so much like mine that you had to do a double take, don’t tell me that we look the same. Because I know for sure that the only reason you are saying that is because they have light brown skin and curly hair.