Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 11 February 2006

Woman, do not distort your African black beauty


By Manyang Mayom*

Feb 9, 2006 — I am disappointed to see how racial influence has distorted and continues to wrongly portray African beauty. Nearly two decades ago while living in exile in Eastern and other parts of Africa , I observed a large number of south Sudanese girls bleaching themselves, turning their elegant African black beauty into what is neither light-skinned nor pink.

I visited Khartoum for the first time in my life shortly before the occurrence of circumstances that befell the Sudan when it lost its charismatic leader in a helicopter crash. I noticed women had done the same thing I witnessed in East Africa .

Frankly speaking, I couldn’t or just don’t understand why beautiful God’s creation would fail to admire their uniqueness. Perhaps it is because of the colonial fallacies and stereotypes that the white man made aircrafts, ships, satellites, motor-vehicles, locomotives, radios and even launched a dangerous venture into science and technology by claiming to turn embryos into clones - all wonders of white man’s “superiority” to the black man.

I would also guess that racial chauvinism played a crucial role that made black people consider themselves inferior and less knowledgeable to whites. As witnessed, for example, in South Africa under apartheid regime where xenophobia and race was used to segregate communities, it is evident that the darker one became the lower they fall in the political, economic and social ladder.

For instance in South Africa , the ladder (from top to bottom) began with Boers (white men), Indians, Coloured (What Northerners of the Sudan would today call bastards or mixture of white and black or Indian blood) and at the bottom was the black man. What was the result? Social hatred was obvious in such a set up.

We need to find answers to questions related to why our beautiful women are exposing themselves to dangerous chemicals that have adverse effects to their skins. I think our ladies are good and they will listen if educated on dangers and serious repercussions of applying chemicals anyhow.

I should kindly advise my beloved sisters that the things they buy to “beautify” themselves endanger or subject their beautiful skins to chronic infections.

Are they aware that frequent use of those chemicals can cause them skin cancer? Had they also realized that the same chemicals can make it hard for them to come out successfully in an operation room as the stitching may be difficult due to cells erosion? Did they ever “beautify” themselves and saw their ugly faces in a mirror and reflected how uglier they looked?

Sisters, it is high time we revisited our past and resolved to help maintain our roots. Your grandparents were very dark-skinned but none failed to get married. If they rose from their places of eternal rest, they would remember the past with nostalgia and grieve to wonder what has befallen a generation they hoped to fulfill and inherit great values and develop them. Who cheated you that you become beautiful by acquiring a fake colour that was not given before birth?

For those who have not applied chemicals on their bodies, bravo! We for sure love you. For those who are using the dangerous chemicals, please kindly stop using those things and you will be more elegant and even get more admirers than you ever dreamt of.

* Manyang Mayom, is a Sudanese journalist based in Rumbek he can be reached at meenlai@yahoo.com

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