06 Feb The Black Sheep
I have nothing against girls that choose to bleach their skin, your body, your business. And I assume that resorting to bleaching took a lot of thinking and logical reasoning. Society will just judge the women and men that are bleaching without looking for the root cause. When people choose to alter their bodies in such a drastic way, mental illness isn’t far behind. (Ignorant people already thinking insanity but depression is also mental illness so sit down.) Look at people that are anorexic, there is a mental imbalance but here in Zimbabwe you can only go to the mental hospital if you walk around naked or eat cement rarely for depression. Most African parents don’t rate depression.
I am the first of 5 Zulugirls and I’ve always been the black sheep in more ways than one. For a very long time, if something went wrong in the house, you could bet your bottom dollar twas me. But that’s another story. You’ll notice from the picture that all my sisters are extremely light. When I was younger it wasn’t a problem. I didn’t even notice. Until I got to high school. My sisters would come to fetch me or whatever and everybody would be like, “Why aren’t you as pretty as your sisters?” or “Thembi your sisters are so different, what happened to you?” As much as they pussyfoot around the issue what they meant was, “why aren’t you light?”
The vultures would just pry and pry at the issue. People don’t realise that words aren’t just words. They stick. So I became self-conscious, bathed more, scrubbed more, stayed out of the sun. The misconception here being black was dirty. The ugly duckling has to become a light swan you see. But even with the vigorous bathing ritual, nothing changed. So I asked a family member why I was different and they told me it’s because I looked like my father. Hogwash! After years of struggling with it, I realised that my father is only dark on the face because of eczema but my sisters get that complexion from his genes. I investigated further and realised we don’t have the same father at all.
Would I have bleached my skin if I had access to the ‘goods’? Yes, I would have. I was young and confused and the people around me weren’t alleviating the issue. I don’t even harbour any spite to my yellow sisters. Let them flourish. But the root cause of me wanting to be lighter was resolved. I wasn’t dirty, I was of a different genetic makeup altogether.
A chaos management seminar I went to once taught me, “Don’t get mad, get curious!” Before we lash out at people that do bleach we should at least try to understand where it’s coming from. Try not to comment on things you don’t understand.