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Your honour, I object! – Nigerian Beauty

June 8, 2009
tags: ,

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.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. Debbie permalink
    June 8, 2009 5:58 pm

    I don't think there should be any comparism, Afrian-American women are first and foremost African by origin anyway, that is not the issue. As you said facial beauty shouldn't define us nor should physical shape, as put by King, we should be judged by the content of our charater, Africa-American, Black British, African-African, we should watch each other's back because we face the same struggles and challenges.
    Thanks for standing up for us though

  2. Agegelabs permalink
    June 8, 2009 6:18 pm

    Initially I thought it was a guy that wrote that jaguda piece! Not that it makes it better but you know guys talk etc

    I agree that comparison is not on.

  3. Original Mgbeke permalink
    June 8, 2009 7:07 pm

    Please tell 'em. I'm mad that a woman would even post that foolishness. I mean, i kinda expect the idiotic men to do comparisons like that but not a woman abeg.
    Like what was the essence of comparing sef? Mchewwww.

  4. sting permalink
    June 8, 2009 7:53 pm

    That was just a silly post. So brainless.

  5. Dignified KoloBoi permalink
    June 8, 2009 9:20 pm

    If persin wan yarn dust, no be by force to swallow am o.. (If someone decides to talk crap, we do not have to dignify it with a response)

  6. LoloBloggs permalink
    June 8, 2009 11:35 pm

    @Debbie Thank you so much. It's a shame more women don't see it like that.

    @Agegelabs I was convinced a guy wrote it at first, when I realised it wasn't, I almost couldn't deal with the disappointment!

    @OB and Sting – honestly I feel that is the worst post that's been on that site, I really want to know why they bothered!

    @Dignified KoloBoi It's true we don't have to swallow, that's why I'd rather call them out. Some things warrant loud objection!

    Thank you all for coming by!

  7. akaBagucci permalink
    June 8, 2009 11:46 pm

    Hmm.. just read the post.. And it was written by a woman? Sad!

    Quite rightly every sensible human being is appalled by the article…

  8. chayoma permalink
    June 9, 2009 4:12 am

    Shocked
    Who wrote this oh!
    where is the police when u need them….lol

  9. Afronuts permalink
    June 10, 2009 9:05 am

    i think u should check out Simeone's last post. Can't remember the title but it was about inner beauty and not the outer one.

    Beauty, i believe, is relative.

    E.g – I had a friend to whom beauty meant a woman having a big backside. Im not surprised that the woman he married has a heavy one!

  10. LoloBloggs permalink
    June 10, 2009 9:36 am

    @Bagucci Thank you jare, people should rightly be appalled!

    @Chayoma Time to call the nonsense police! lol!

    @Afronuts what's the link for the post? I'll check it out. Beauty is mos def relative, hence why there is no point comparing one group of people to another, simple!

    Thanks for coming by!

  11. Shubby Doo permalink
    June 11, 2009 12:48 pm

    I think it is a shame about the post…women!!! sometimes we are our own worst enemy…was there really a need to say such a thing…as if a woman's self esteem doesnt have enough to deal with on its everyday rollercoaster already

    *sighs*

    I don’t agree with it… it also reinforces that ‘yankee’ is better than naija attitude… look down at what nigeria has to offer…i feel under more pressure to look good in lagos than i do in new york or london

    the post is in poor taste…it stereotypes in such a negative way…people need to stop make silly generalising statements…

  12. LoloBloggs permalink
    June 11, 2009 9:22 pm

    @ShubbyDoo I'd love to get rid of that attitude that allows Nigerians to look down from fake but lofty perches. It's just dissapointing.
    Welcome back!

  13. phiona permalink
    June 12, 2009 11:41 am

    i have heard about (and turned a blind eye to) this better-than-y'all-africans attitude but never before seen it in writing. yowzers!

  14. Vera Ezimora permalink
    June 12, 2009 9:38 pm

    *SMH*

    I don't even know what to say.

  15. RocNaija permalink
    June 13, 2009 1:50 am

    Amazing sturvess…

    Just when you think you've seen/heard it all..

  16. LoloBloggs permalink
    June 13, 2009 11:42 am

    @Phiona These attitudes are rife, it's a real shame!

    @Vera It left me speechless for 5 mins, then I set off on a major rant! lol!

    @Roc …there is always something that still leaves you shocked to the core!

    Thanks for coming by!

  17. Jaguda Team permalink
    June 13, 2009 3:45 pm

    Ok. I have read this post, and the comments and I would like to say that I personally don't like the way this has been skewed to look like a “African American is better than African” issue. It is definitely not that.

    The 2 things I've noticed have been mentioned the most as problems (both here and on the original post) are : 1. There shouldn't be a comparison in the first place, and 2. The writer is saying African American women are BETTER than Nigerian women. I'd like to defend both.

    1. Let's be real. This is not the first time anyone has done a comparison between AA & African women or men for that matter. Comparisons happens all the time. Igbo men vs Yoruba men. Hausa girls vs Efik girls. White guys vs Hispanic guys. It happens all the time. This is nothing new in my opinion, and so I'm a little bit confused as to why the article has been labeled as a waste of space, or waste of energy when this comparison comes up a lot of times within friends, on blogs, and in magazines. I know I've been in plenty of comparison conversations. Maybe it's just me.

    2. Let's not get what the author of this post is saying twisted. She did not say African Women are BETTER than Nigerian women, and if u read the disclaimer she did say "…in every race or ethnicity, there are beautiful and ugly ones. So when I write my opinion about what I believe it is in terms of generalization." This is HER opinion. You don't have to agree with her, but please respect her opinion. The second point (within the second point) is there are other criteria in this post. I would think that the more intelligent point giving to Nigerian women is far better than beauty. Physical Beauty fades but your intelligence wont. She also did not say Nigerian women are ugly. Not one mention of it. It could very well be that AA women are 95% and Nigerian women are 90% on a PHYSICAL beauty scale. Or was it her use of the word “exotic” (which is very vague)? If that one word caused all this drama then there is something very wrong somewhere. There was no mention of long hair, light skinned, straight hair. Nothing like that. It seems like a lot of us took something the writer said and ran 6 miles with it.

    I've heard countless stereotypical comments about Nigerian men being wife beaters, or wanting their wives to be slaves, or not having as much "swaga" as African American men… and this is from Nigerian women. Does that make me feel that I'm not as good as an African American? No it doesn't. Does it mean whoever said such a comment has self-esteem issues? No. It's their opinion, and I respect it.

    It's only normal to think your culture is the best in everything, and Nigerians being Nigerians (myself included) feel like we are the best in everything, and anyone that says different doesn't know what they are talking about. It's pride in our culture, and I fully understand that, but it doesn't mean it's grounds to crucify someone that stated their opinion about 1 thing that doesn't fall in our way.

    So with that being said, I'd like to say that the intent of this post on Jaguda.com was NOT to belittle Nigerian women, or make them look/feel inferior, and if anyone took that from the post we apologize. For those that come to the site and read regularly, including but not limited to LoloBlogs, Original Mbgeke, & Vera, on behalf of the Jaguda Team I'd like to say thank you for your support, and hope u continue visiting. For those that had never been to the site prior to this post, we want you to know that the site is much more than this one post, and we hope we didn't chase you away. Thank You.

  18. justdoyin permalink
    June 25, 2009 10:57 pm

    I just read the post on the Jaguda blog n I'm highly appalled that it was written by a lady…what was she really going on about? like many people here have already said, there is absolutely no basis for a comparison in the first instance…mscheew!

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