The struggle that is happening in the Ukraine right now pales in comparison to the melee that has been going and continues to go on here in Ghana.
Okay, maybe it’s not that serious but I wanted to catch your attention.
Being one of the few white people here in Ghana, Kumasi specifically, it’s tough. Not only do I have to fight to bring the price down on things every day. I have to politely accept the “Oh, you’re so beautiful” comments I get from well, everyone.
I know what you’re thinking….getting compliments is an issue for you? I know you think it’s an odd statement but let me explain.
It’s nice getting compliments. What girl doesn’t like getting them? And everyone that gives me the compliments genuinely mean them. However, there’s a longing behind every compliment that slips from their lips.
A longing to look like me. A longing to be white. To have lighter skin. Longer hair. To finally bebeautiful.
It’s more common among the women of Ghana but there are some cases where men, too, long to look just like the whites. It’s disturbing for me to sit around and watch commercials advertising products that will lighten your skin. It’s sickening walking around town and seeing horrible side-effects from these same advertised products.
But nothing changes. Commercials are still aired. Side-effects still scarring the skin of Ghanaians who think they’re not beautiful.
I even try to tell them that they’re so beautiful. SO beautiful. To no avail. It’s as if the years they’ve spent downtrodden themselves about it has drowned out any hope to just accept who they are and understand that who they are is the most beautiful they can be.
One can only hope that as Ghana progresses into the future, her citizens will see the beauty of the country, the beauty of themselves and the beauty that lies within them.
“…..That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.” – Lupita Nyong’o (12 Year’s A Slave)