In this world of fashion and beauty that I found myself in, I realize that there are way too many conflicting and very confusing perspectives; the result of which is a confused lot of young girls trying to fit in.
And it’s not just in this industry. The entertainment industry is filled with a lot of alterations in a bid to fit in.
What am I talking about?
I mean, yes, we condemn the girls that go an extra mile to look lighter as a move to look “more beautiful”. We’ve seen the bleaching with our friends, our “celebrities”, and a walk along river road can leave you mentally scarred by the number of women asking to sell some lotion to you.
But I wonder, does anybody ever stop to ask, “Why?”. Why is there so much pressure to bleach or be lighter? In a world that is so technologically savvy, social media dominates. Everyone is on some sort of social media platform, where it is easy to believe illusions and influence others without saying a word.
I realized , from my discovery button on Instagram, that many young girls, oh so many, feel compelled to state in their bio that they are mixed race; Kenyan and *insert any European country*. It defines who a person is when they specify that they are NOT fully Kenyan. And this is with a valid reason.
We have given so much priority to the person who has “something extra” , that we completely ignore the fact that being Kenyan and/or African is highly authentic in itself.
And yet we are the first to point fingers when the girls in our community decide to alter themselves in a bid to “fit in” or “have an edge”. Sometimes, we cause our own problems. We underestimate our own value and strengths , that even other people begin to do just the same.
Young girls need to understand that they cannot keep emulating every single thing that other people do.
To understand and uphold your own value and authenticity is of such vital essence that I feel it should be preached and imposed on each and every growing young girl.
Let’s teach our girls to appreciate themselves as they are. Black is beautiful too.
~ Linda Gatere