Monday, April 29, 2013

50 Shades of Black

Who would have thought that in the 21st century we would still be dealing with narrow-mindedness and ignorance? Perhaps people were expecting that with time would come also knowledge. Unfortunately, change remains slower than ripples in a great ocean, and ignorance may be an issue with many; in some cases this is not entirely their fault.

I was reading a blog that I normally check out from time to time (Asian blogger), and one of the posts in particular was a review/rant on skin-whitening products she had purchased for the purpose of remaining as fair as possible - despite the sun - complaining that it was unfair that she would get so easily tanned. She went further to stress that sun is bad for you!  Now, for courtesy of the blogger, I am not going to post a link to her blog in this post.

It was not until I reached the comment box at the bottom of her post that I really started shaking my head. One comment that really caught my interest went something along the lines of, "It is indeed every girl's dream to be whiter".  Has ignorance gone this far? I thought to myself. How could someone possibly write something like that? What do people who complain about tans tell people who are born with a dark tone to their skin?  Is one less beautiful because they are dark? If that is not the case, why do people still walk around treating dark skin as a horrible epidemic? It lies in the way we have been brought up to think, and lingers in the way we have programmed ourselves to respond to people who are different from ourselves (superiority).

I once read that the reason for darker skin being frowned upon in some parts of Asia - if not all - is because it had previously been associated with low status. A darker skin tone had meant that a person spent most of their life in the sun, labouring, while being fair meant that a person had a high status.  This view may even date as far back as to the bible.  "Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother's sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect." - Song of Solomon 1:6

Although I could believe that this may be the case for why people wish to remain fair to a certain extent, I also  believe that some people's resentment for dark skin goes a lot deeper than just that. But that is not an issue of which I am going to address in this particular blog post.

There have been heated debates among Africans, and people of African decent, about dark skin tones versus light skin tones etc, causing division and malice among people who should be caring much more about other things than the tone/colour of their skin. If anything, I strongly believe that a person is beautiful no matter what shade they are. Your colour should not have to determine your beauty, because beauty is beauty no matter how it is turned or twisted. What is, is, no matter how much you add to or take away from it.  Beauty comes in all different shades and colours, therefore, "Dark I am, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem; dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon" - Song of Solomon 1:5.