Your honour, I object! – Nigerian Beauty
Self esteem. It’s a big thing. If you ask someone if they have it, most people would say yes. It’s an important element of identity. But I’m finding out quite a few of us don’t really know what it means or how it affects us (I’ll include myself in that grouping).
So before I get on my soap box, I’ll tell you why I decided to blog on this. Jaguda.com posted a blog on Nigerian Women vs African-American Women. Before I read the article, seeing the ‘vs‘ already had my back up. Go read for yourselves, but my most objectionable paragraph is here:
“Physical Beauty: Ok, hands down African American girls are prettier… think about it. This doesn’t mean all Nigerian girls are ugly and all akata [pidgin slang for African-American women] girls are pretty… far from it. All i’m saying is that if you randomly select ten akata girls and ten naija babes, chances are there would be a lot more facially pretty akata girls than naija girls. At this point you might be saying, “Ooohh it’s make-up and what not.” No!! It isn’t, whether natural or all made up they are just prettier and more exotic-looking which helps a lot. Just think about it… a typical Bose, or Nneka vs Lashonda or Toya. Hey… I’m just saying.”
So many things to pull apart I don’t know where to start! Now, I don’t wanna pick a blogville fight with anybody, and I don’t know the author ‘One babe like that…‘ personally, but I’m gonna have to out and out offend her. This article was a waste of air and symptomatic of the self esteem issues women have, and in particular Nigerian women.
Again, let me caveat that the whole post was not about beauty, she goes on to mention body shape (draw with a bias to the African-American waistline), intelligence (point to Naija), attitude (draw). None of the above make this article any more considered or any less a reflection of the author’s esteem issues.
So why am I so het up I hear you ask? Well, because although many people will think this silly post is harmless, and many more will just be baffled that black women even compare themselves like this (i.e. my non-black readers); this post reminds me how little we value our natural identity. The one you were born with, the one that suits you best. A woman stands little chance of being true to herself if she is surrounded by a mentality that tells her she will never be good enough, jokingly or not.
Facial beauty shouldn’t define us, but we all know it does affect how we are perceived and in many ways judged. If you buy the hype it’s even worse, because then, just like the author of that post, you do the defining, critisicing and stereotyping all on your own.
Come on girls, if you will demean and demoralise yourself with your own mouth, what is left for someone else to do?! Stop coveting and get a grip.