Often as African women, it seems as though the world expects us to make apologies for our dark skin and coarse hair. We’re not modelled to suit the look of what society idolises as the ideal/beautiful woman. In Africa, what is perhaps more saddening, is how the system seems to turn a blind eye to the ill treatment of women; we are often targets of unprovoked degradation and abuse. I read a quote this week that made me so proud to be an African woman and thought it was worth sharing:
“African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.” -Wangari Maathai
I fake smile a lot. Lately, often, I’m dying inside, but I detest the scent of spectators so I have to hide the emotional bruising and the anger; the pain and the feelings of inadequacy. It seems the only time I confront myself and all I’m feeling is when I’m completely alone- disconnected from the world in every way I can manage. I feel like I don’t believe in happiness anymore. It’s become a fairytale I’m tired of hearing; a burden of lies my mind has grown to reject. I position myself in front of a mirror. I smile. I can’t cheat the cheater.
So I challenged myself to not smile. To look straight at the camera and feel as I felt and look as I looked.
I am what I am however broken I am; sometimes that is all I can find the energy to be and unfortunately, sometimes, this has to be enough.