I have never been very conscious of my skin colour.
If anything, I just want to have a clean smooth complexion and look good.
I recently overheard a superior say that, the person attending a work event was going to be someone white with blond hair.
Now if that was said by way of description, all is forgiven. But I really don’t know how that program was going to be affected by the colour of the attendees skin and hair.
I come from Nigeria, a predominantly black and the most populous black nation on earth. We take pride in our fertility even with the high poverty rate plaguing us.
There are white, brown, mixed race people. The whites to the best of my knowledge are not treated badly because they are white. In fact, they are probably given superior treatment because they are foreigners.
From Nursery to secondary school, I had few white and mixed race school mates. It was just normal. And then I came to Europe…
I can be carefree and oblivious at times. Sometimes to a fault. I remember a fellow black friend complaining to me about being treated in a certain way by some persons because of her skin colour. All I could think of then was why she put herself in that situation.
Now in retrospect, I apologise for that thought. She should not lock herself up in her room all day to avoid discrimination.
I worked as a receptionist/waiter at a student job. My employer(bless his heart) told me then, that anyone who messes with me because of my skin colour will be sent out.
Luckily, I had no such experience. Or maybe I was too carefree to notice people being mean to me because of my colour.
Sure I got the usual questions…where are you from? how did you get here? Why are you so far from home?… but I didn’t think it came from a bad place. Just human curiosity.
I am aware there are prejudices. I am aware many face discrimination. The laws may not be favorable to people just because they come from a certain area or look a certain way.
I am aware that I may have been passed over with an opportunity, not gotten a certain job, etc… because of my colour. As a person, I just don’t dwell on that.
I am also aware that some people may not want to sit close to me on the train or bus. But its their problem. More space for my bags.
It’s also not just a white people versus black people issue. Sometimes I feel as a black person myself, many of the prejudice I have faced are from black people.
I have seen black people treat other black people in a bad way simply because they should understand better, or they are used to suffering.
So because someone comes from an environment where suffering is the order of the day, they should keep suffering because they are used to it?
On another note, I keep wandering why the colour of my skin should keep me from getting the opportunities I work so hard for. Or why someone will have an issue being in a certain environment with me because I am black.
When it comes to love relationships, for me beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you prefer white, black or brown, it’s your choice.
And to answer my initial question. Yes, the skin colour does matter. When it comes to health issues like need for VitaminD, being prone to certain kind of illness based on ethnicity, beauty products to use etc.
Aside that, it shouldn’t.
Does skin colour matter to you?
Would you offer someone an opportunity, be friends with someone solely based on the colour of their Skin?
Or would you be in a relationship solely based on skin Colour?
Excellent article with great insight and extremely relatable. Kudos!