I think before the house on the hill, this is the one thing I have wanted to do more than anything else. A friend of mine said if I shed the excess weight, she’d pay for the first round of my skin lightening procedure. It’s been a year and I haven’t tried to lose the weight. I keep putting it off.

Whenever I speak about my desire to bleach my skin, it’s like, “no, why, you’re fine like that.” I don’t wanna be just fine. Fine is not the end goal here. Why are we always trying to talk people out of their choices? You can’t chit chat someone into changing their sexual orientation or even out of their inner issues or religious beliefs. Respect people’s choices bathong! What they choose to do with their bodies is none of your concern.

Someone decided to lie on Pokello about how she said Zimbabwean women don’t know how to bath. I wasn’t there, I don’t know. But I watched the debates that sprung from that and I realised that a lot of black people truly believe that having darker skin is because you don’t bath enough. You know nothing about being a little girl, scrubbing daily with a pumice stone, hoping you’ll get lighter. It doesn’t happen so you keep doing it everyday and even when your skin is sore and raw you keep at it because you know one day the results will come but they never do.

I dislike the texture of my skin, for personal reasons. I dislike that when we have to take a picture, mine needs a lot more editing work. They had a whole episode on it on Blackish when Diane had to take to take the class portrait and Dre says, “They OJ’d my baby,” just cause the photographer dropped the ball photographing a black girl. I remember speaking to my mentor in Nebraska and she explained to Lilian and I how the cameras were racially biased towards white people which is beneficial to light skinned people as well. There’s a whole article on it here.

I literally just came off of Khanyi Mbau’s Instagram Live where she said, “the reason I lighten my skin is because it’s easier for lighting on a movie set.” I screen recorded it if you wanna see it. And I get it, you know like when you watch dark movies like Harry Potter on the cam version and all you can see are eyeballs and teeth. Happens everytime I try to take pictures. It’s even worse when I take pictures with people of a lighter complexion. I try to avoid it but all my little sisters are yellow borderline coloured. Tricky. In 2015 I blogged about what life was like being the only dark skinned girl amongst light skinned girls (The Black Sheep.)

Thembi what about the little girls who look up to you?

Uyabona ke, I did not shoot the sheriff or hang our Lord and Saviour. The weight of the world is not mine to bear. To each his own and to thine self be true. This is a choice I have made for myself based on the internal dialogue I have between self and I. What other people choose to do with their bodies isn’t up to me. It’s ridiculous to think I have that much sway in people’s lives. I have never once said, I will bleach because such and such did it. Not once. I want it cause I want it.