Why does this always happen? Why can’t we talk about our racial issues without at least one white person coming in to talk over us? I can’t even get angry any more. I don’t even feel hurt, just completely dumbfounded.
Wait,what? Why should someone get angry because someone else says that he/she shares the same problem? Beauty Ideals drive people crazy no matter what colour is your skin. Besides, we are ALL ONE FOLK, we are ALL PEOPLE. There’s not white people, no people of colour…there’s just PEOPLE with different looks. That’s what equality is about. And I mean it, I’m not using stereotypes just to look cool.
You know? I’m starting getting a bit irritated by all this ranting about a consideration. I shouldn’t have written it ok…I apologized ok…Now stop making me feel as if I was an Afrikaneer who just stands for Apartheid .-.
So, I just wanted to take a moment to explain why people are getting upset that you entered this conversation. This is not me yelling or being angry; this is me actually trying to explain why people of color get angry when white people enter conversations that are explicitly and exclusively about them and try to tell them that their problems are not that bad.
Being a white girl and suffering self esteem issues is not the same as being a girl of color of suffering self esteem issues. Being a girl of color means you are automatically not beautiful. This is what we’re told. Being ‘dark’ is being evil. It’s being the evil witch, or the dark monster, or Caliban. It’s being sinister. This is the way our language is scripted. Evil is described as black and dark. Fairy tales describe their heroes as fair and pale and therefore beautiful and deserving of a happy ending. Villains are often described as being ‘of dark countenance’ and therefore naturally inclined toward villainy.
When we are told we’re beautiful it is in spite of the color of our skin.
When we’re told we’re pretty it is in spite of the texture of our hair.
Our beauty and worth to society is not told within the context of what we look like but what white people look like. Their beauty is the beauty to which we should aspire. It’s why skin lightening creams do so well in other countries, why mothers tell their daughters not to tan, why aunties lament the amount of time we spend in the sun. It’s why some of my friends make comments like, I’m so dark now! I’m so hideous what do I do?!
These are things you are not going to be able to understand. Because underlying all of that is racism. Our color is not only tied to our inability to be beautiful, but to our laziness, our ineducation, our anger, our stupidity, the crime rates in urban areas, the way we choose to dress, whether we’re raped, how crimes against us are prosecuted, how we’re cast on television, if our stories our told, through which lens they’re told, how we’re sexualized, which schools we get into to, how us raising our voices (or writing caps) is perceived.
I’m a university graduate. I have a bachelors degree from the George Washington University, and people are surprised, first when I articulate intelligent thought, and second when I tell them that no, I am not working here because no one else will have me, and yes, I am a graduate student, and yes, it is an excellent school.
And it’s because of the color of my skin.
No one is surprised that my coworkers are college graduates.
So our desire for equal, quality representation and our discussion of that is so that our daughters’ and our sons’ self worth is not tied up in all of that. It’s so that people stop conceptualizing us as the victim, the beggar, the criminal, the terrorist, the Villain.
And this confession is not about self esteem. It’s an expression of a life time of being told that you are not good enough by virtue of a quality that you cannot change, that has no logical sense behind it finally finding relief. It’s someone saying I can’t be Snow White but I can be Guinevere.
And when you enter that conversation and you tell them that desire is not important its hurtful, but its also not new. And every single person that reblogged this post and said YES, AWESOME, I AGREE has heard what you just said to them: that their fears, and their hurts, and their voices are not more important than yours, that their experiences are not as painful as they think, that the world is not how they think it is, and if they would just get over it they would see that a little confidence will go a long way. And they came here, to this confession, to tumblr, to find a safe space to express years of hurt and what you did was intrude on that discussion, make it about you, and then dismiss them when they told you that you were not welcome in that discussion.
I really do respect that you had self esteem issues as a kid, but that is not the same as what the anonymous confessor endured, or as the people that reblogged it to affirm their own years of hurt. Because you have other role models to turn to, you have other people to aspire to be, and in the end, maybe all you needed was a little confidence. But that isn’t true for a lot of us, and respecting that goes a really long way.