I just finished watching the Netflix documentary titled ‘Skin’ by Beverly Naya, a fellow female Nigerian. Aside from the nostalgia I now sorely feel viewing parts of my home country on screen, this documentary is a harsh reminder of the colourism that exists in Nigeria (I can’t speak for every African country).
Luckily, I never was put down by anyone based off the colour of my skin and I don’t remember missing any opportunities, either, because I am not lighter skinned. I can’t stand tall and say I am/was a victim of colourism because that’ll be a lie. As a single, younger girl, I still had lots of male admirers and I don’t remember ever wanting to be a different colour. To this day, I don’t use anything on my skin aside baby scented Vaseline.
Though not a victim, I have heard and still hear the snide remarks about darker skinned black people (women, in particular). I have also seen/still see the piqued interest in the eyes of men when a light skinned lady passes by. I can understand why many feel outright and subtle pressure to be not as dark as they originally are born to be. It’s sad that often times the rush to whitening skin options is not for our own warped sense of ‘happiness’ but an attempt to be more pleasing and attractive to the opposite sex. I could go on and on but just go watch the documentary for yourself and remind yourself why self-love and appreciation is important. The world will always adjust and if it doesn’t, who cares!