It’s evident, my baby loves white people, and she clearly glows in their presence. Wazungus are somehow special to her. I used to sweet talk random white people on the streets to let her touch their hair and skin, then stopped when she started suggesting we take photos with them. When I was young, I had a hard time believing that white people exist, cried severally, ran away, and then grew up.
Well, that’s not my focus today, as curious as I always am; especially in wanting to know what goes on in those tiny heads, I asked her why she adores white people. She said because they are cleaner than blacks. Aauch! I know! right? She seriously believes that white people are way cleaner! I have lived longer, I know more…
Honestly, I was happier to receive that answer, dreading to be told, white people are more beautiful or prettier. I was holding my stomach not to get that answer, that light skin is better that dark skin, followed by how she would like to change her colour to be more beautiful. So I went ahead challenging her school of thought, I asked, ‘do you think wazungus are more beautiful than we dark skinned people? And she confidently answered, ‘it depends what they are wearing, some clothes make them beautiful, while some clothes make us more beautiful than them.’
At this point I don’t know if I should talk about how Africans can be cleaner, or to make it clear that it’s not the clothes, beauty is on the inside. Guess what? The conversation went on and on, to the best hotels and cartoons, but I put my finger on ‘BEAUTY!’ My principle is ‘Always say the truth, to her face, whether she believes it now or not. One day it will make sense, and I will be quoted in a book’ (that one may never come)
So I gave this beauty lecture, told her how beauty is on the inside, how everything else just enhances it. I talked about our skin colour, told her that she should never come to a point where she feels being black is ugly. I told her how beautiful she is, and how she should work on being a God loving girl, because God makes us beautiful.
She seemed to be understanding. I felt warm on the inside knowing we are on the same page, waiting for her response. Then she buttered ‘I don’t like when you put on that blouse, it makes you ugly.’ My bubble burst, but I still believe, my words will make sense one day.
Dear parents, always remind your child that true beauty is on the inside. Don’t let them think they need to change their skin, height or physique to be beautiful. When they grow up, the seed you are planting right now will sprout.