I know that this post will not apply to every single brown person but I’m hoping that it does something for brownies everywhere that have been affected by WBWS (Wanna Be White Syndrome) or maybe it will help those brownies who know other brownies affected by WBWS to take a stand, particularly in South Africa.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me tell you a quick story. It was a Sunday morning and my sisters and I decided to take a nice long brisk walk to the Bakery (burn the calories before you load up again see, take notes people). Anyways, the route is around 5km’s long and by the time we got there, around 9am, we were huffing and puffing, laughing at our competitiveness and some or other stupid thing, hair slightly disheveled, tiny beads of sweat on our foreheads, perfectly happy. And then I saw her…
I call them BG’s (Barbie-Girls). This particular BG was perfectly poised and dressed like she was about to attend a Presidential Electoral Ceremony at 9am on a Sunday morning. But the issue was not her clothing because she would have looked nice (I tend to favour the elegant sophisticated stick-up-the-arse look myself) had it not been for her face. It was like looking at an accident, you know, where you can’t help but stare, horrified with a mixture of awe and disgust. How do you take someone like that seriously? It's difficult not to laugh at this self-imposed fugliness.
I’ve seen this face hundreds of times on various brown girls… black/brown eyes piercing through blue/green contact lenses, framed by a face caked and layered with enough foundation and concealer, and other cosmetic products I can’t even pronounce, to produce an effect that would make Snow White jealous. Some of them are smart enough to conceal their necks as well and others, well… lets just say that there are a whole lot of girls whose faces don’t match with the rest of them, particularly their necks, arms and hands. Why stop there, why not take it one step further… I’m sure the masses will love it.
I want to know who lied and told these girls that they look pretty. I’m serious. I really want to know who. There has to be some sort of mass indoctrination / brainwashing going on because no sane woman steps out of the house ardently believing she looks great when she looks nothing short of ghastly, hideous and atrocious. The joke is on her, and SOMEONE is having a good laugh.
I was instantly reminded of Cate Blanchett who played the medieval Queen in the movie Elizabeth. Pale skin was popular in the European cultures of the Middle Ages because it signified and became associated with wealth and stature in society. Back then, women went to great lengths and exaggerated measures to achieve that white pale skin, some by bleeding themselves and others by using deadly ingredients like lead and arsenic.
The world has never known as much as it does today and it’s somewhat ironic that in the 21st century, with the sheer magnitude of information and wealth of knowledge at our fingertips; knowing ALL that we know about life and love and morals and values and what’s important etc.; ignorance continues to thrive and there are STILL people out there who believe that being “whiter” means that their mundane existences will be validated and that they will actually be more significant or worthy as individuals. Talk about self-esteem issues. And the reality is that it’s an epidemic that is not only rife amongst most Asian women, but is most disturbingly, encouraged and endorsed by their societies and Asian men as well.
I don’t know when this existential crisis began, but my money is on Colonialism, specifically when the British colonised India (in my opinion, everything that is wrong [and right] with the world today is because of Colonialism). Bollywood hasn’t helped matters… every time you see a non-professional photograph of a Bollywood actress at an event, look at her neck and hands. I dare you.
After seeing her, I was tempted to go out and protest wearing a t-shirt that says: Just because you look like a white rat, it doesn’t mean that you’re beautiful. Proudly Brown. But this has nothing to do with the naturally whiter/fairer people. It has to do with ludicrous ideals embedded in our societies and warped definitions of what it means to be beautiful. Being white does not mean you’re beautiful!!!
Yes we are all entitled to our practices and opinions but what if those practices and opinions begin infringing on other people’s basic human rights because surely walking around with a white face plastered on you says something about your beliefs and ideals. Does that mean that everyone else sporting any kind of hue or tone, who is NOT wearing a clown’s face, is not worthy by your standards? Such beliefs and ideals are indicative of oppression… the victim is clearly oppressed if she believes that she’ll only be accepted if she has blue contact lenses and powdered down white skin.
And what about the oppression to my eyes?
I’m so sorry that you had to bear witness to that monstrosity. I shall never look again.
Bottom line, a wake-up call is needed. And I am therefore instituting my “Proudly You” campaign in an attempt to get people to appreciate and love who they are, regardless of their skin tone, height, weight, hair texture and shoe size. Be proud to be YOU. Own the skin you're in. Accept and celebrate who you are, and make the most of it. Feel free to join me on this quest. I must have said it a thousand times already, but if you cannot love yourself, who is going to?
To all the clowns, I say this sincerely and out of genuine concern. Have some self-respect and wash that shit off your face. Stop embarrassing yourselves, you’re Asian!
Pics courtesy Google.
Pics courtesy Google.