When I was a kid my mum kept several fashion magazines around the house. They were not Bulgarian ones – except for a knitting magazine (Burda or something like that) there wasn’t anything even remotely fashion related around my country. She had brought those from the Czech republic while visiting some family and they were my most favorite thing for the lazy afternoons.
I remember the first time I opened one of those magazines. On one of the pages there was a picture of an African-American (or just African) athlete/model. The picture was black and white. She was fully naked yet nothing which shouldn’t be visible wasn’t. She was standing in profile, her hands holding a large metallic hoop, her shaved head tilted back, and one of her legs lifted up with the toes touching the knee on the other one.
I thought she was the most gorgeous woman I had ever seen. I still think so.
My childhood was marked with the faces of Claudia Schiffer (whom I had the chance to meet in London) and Cindy Crawford – two absolutely gorgeous women. On the wall of my room, however, the central place was occupied by the nameless black woman.
Occasionally I would sit down on the floor of my room, look at her and dream that one day I will be able to tan and hopefully be as pretty as she was, as much as my genes would allow it.
Several years later my sister (about 4 years old at the time) saw Tyra Banks on TV and stopped speaking to my mum for a week. She wasn’t really a talkative child, but when we finally pulled the reason she was angry out of her we were shocked. My sister, the 4-year old kid, was mad at my mom for not picking up an African-American man. Had she done it, my sister claimed, we would have been beautiful.
We were never told that black is bad. Instead, our mum made sure we understood that each person is unique and that the genetical lottary doesn’t mean a thing.
Fast forward to modern days.
As we’ve said it many times on this website we don’t watch much TV but often watch series. The latest one that grabbed our hearts – Being Mary Jane with the stunning, one of a kind, Gabrielle Union. As we progressed in the show a topic about the attractiveness of black women came up. After what I told you above you can imagine that it was hard for us to understand what the hell they were talking about. Is there even a discussion? Who, in his right state of mind, would say something so idiotic?
Then suddenly I remembered something. Several months prior to watching that movie I had unfollowed several people on my Facebook account. The reason – they were sharing way too many things about racism and I just got annoyed. From the sunny, positive humans they were when I met them, they had turned into bitter, angry people who’d only discuss racial issues. As a person who’s never lived, nor even visited the States I admit it: I did not understand.
I still don’t fully understand.
I’m yet to explore the “new” continent and I can only try to understand. A friend (African-American) recently told me the following: “Blacks in the States didn’t get their right to vote until the 1970’s. While we were growing up everything beautiful that we could have as kids was white – dolls, movie characters, book characters. Everything that was ugly was black. We were segregated and perceived as ugly.”
I can’t (and I won’t) go into the racial discussion. I strongly believe that whatever you feed blossoms, so I will not be yet another one who pours oil into the flames.
But I do have a message to the black girls out in the world:
Whatever idiots tell you, you have to know that there are white girls (my sister and I are prime examples) who look at you and think you’re absolutely gorgeous. I’m sure we’re not the only ones who see your soft chocolate skin and wish we were at least a little darker. And don’t even get me started on the incredible bodies and muscle shape you have!
Your skin is beautiful.
Your hair is beautiful.
You are beautiful.
Ugly darkness can’t be found in someone’s skin color. It can be found in the heart of anyone who says you ain’t pretty.
– Call me Cheesewhite 😉
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