There we were -- after celebrating an afternoon birthday party, after the meal, the cake, the champagne and the rest -- watching music videos on the telly. The singer, Pink, came along and left, with that reprise of Eurythmics's Sweet Dreams (are Made of This). Mary J. Blige came next, and one of the comments uttered was, elle n'est même pas belle. She isn't even pretty. "Holy Jaysus!" I thought. "Pink is pretty?"
Granted, the comment was made by a pre-teen, but what is this pre-teen a victim of? A victim of the telly, and the image it spreads of what beauty is? Past images and snippets of conversation rushed through my mind. Sistuhs wearin' straight hair. An acquaintance telling me the reason Ethiopians are a beautiful lot is because their traits stray but little from European traits. Meaning: Blacki Africans are ugly. The television, its commercials, society, are ripping us off by telling us white people are more beautiful than other peoples.
My 6-year old daughter, a beautiful "zebra-kid", wants pony-tails and an even lighter skin. Stop the bloody world and let me off, or keep it going and let me wage my fight. I spent a good quarter of an hour this morning on the way to school telling her how proud I was of my blackness, and her mum of her whiteness. And that she (my daughter) should be proud of her light-brown skin and of her double heritage.