A thing for Coloured Girls…and boys

Young woman posing in front of painted wallHow far are you willing to go to get noticed? Are you one of those girls that get cat calls whenever you pass a group of boys or perhaps you’re the girl that when you walk into a place with your friend you hear someone say ‘excuse me’ and then you turn around and say ‘yes’ but then he says, ‘sorry, not you. I’m talking to your yellow friend. Ouch!!! Apart from how embarrassing that situation is it is also annoying to realize that it is the yellow girls that get all the attention. What happens to the girl with the naturally kettle-black skin? How is she ever going to get noticed?
Tough one right? Lol…maybe in the 19th century one could have been worried about that but not this time and age. Ever since TLC sang ‘Unpretty’ all those worries of womanhood have been relegated to the furthest recess. What’s there to worry about when you can change every single thing about you that makes you feel unpretty to get noticed by all the boys.

They say people admire what they are not and scorn what they are used to. How else do you explain someone lying down in a bikini under the hot sun or applying harsh chemicals to her skin to become as ‘yellow’ as the one who is trying to become darker. It’s a funny world and I can imagine aliens and extraterrestrial beings shaking their heads, laughing and wondering what the heck is wrong with us. We are just never satisfied.
Someone asked me, ‘why are all the girls looking fairer these days?’ before I could say a word, someone else answered, “A girl’s got to do what she got to do to get noticed and if bleaching her skin is one of them then so be it.”

Hmm…and why am I talking about yellow girls and boys? Here’s why. So I walked into this salon to get my hair done (don’t ask me if it’s a perm. I’m not against doing weaves jor.) A good number of ‘hot chicks’ use this salon cos well, it’s the in-place and girls like ‘the in-place’. You know what happens in ‘in-places’ (I’m not using too much coded language, I hope). Every girl wants to be the hottest girl there. It’s not unusual to see a girl wearing more jewellery than 50 cent himself or wearing something more outrageous than Lady Gaga herself or holding more phone models than Samsung. Everybody is spotting an accent in unbelievable voices and doing their best to get noticed. I’m doing my best to get a stylist to attend to me first so I can get my hair done and go start my other activities for the day when this big, fair and voluptuous girl walks in. She’s wearing a leopard skin print tank top and yellow jeggins. A dainty lemon green scarf is tired around her hair and she has a bright red lip colour on her full pouted lips. Her eyes are covered with trendy sunglasses and she’s walking like she owns the town. Everybody turned to see her when she walked in and I imagine some of them hissing cos she certainly topped the chart of the hot looking girls that morning. She has this bouncy step and really loud manner that reminded me of someone I used to know back then in school but I’m certain it’s not someone I know. She walks up to the stylist who returns her greeting familiarly and tells her it’s been a while since they saw her. She says she’s been traveling a lot and would soon be traveling back (never mentioned where she went to oh!) as soon as she got her hair done. Then she starts describing a hairstyle I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen on a cockerel and mentions something about a dye. The stylist says something and she laughs shrilly. That sound is unmistakable. I’m pretty certain I’ve heard it before. I look at her closely, not minding the curious glance she threw my way. Then her eyes light up in recognition and just then I recognize her too. It is definitely the same Ugonma I knew in school. It’s on the tip of my tongue to tell her that I would never have recognized her cos the Ugonma I used to know was as dark as the charcoal my grandmother roasted yam with. We simply exchange pleasantries.

She didn’t stay long. She left the salon in a hurry, saying that she didn’t like the crowd and she couldn’t wait till it was her turn to get her hair done. The stylist didn’t seem bothered. I wondered if she wanted to leave before I lost all caution and asked her how she managed to become as ‘yellow’ as that or if she simply didn’t remember to bring money to pay for her hair. I’m shaking my head wondering when girls will learn to accept their skin colour when one of the stylists calls me and says it’s my turn.

I’m just settling into my seat when I hear my own stylist saying to another girl in a whisper, “I know that girl that just left very well. They live close to my house. She used to be dark…very dark like pot.”

“Are you serious?” The other one said, “I wonder why girls like bleaching.”

“Boys too…” she said and they laughed loudly.

What more can I say? You be the judge of that!