I am not one to pick a bone with an attention seeking Twitter handle but this… I had to say.
A Kenyan bloke who is known for controversial posts on Twitter (with a specialty of hating on Kenyan women) thought it best to compliment Lupita Nyong’o by first saying that she has got tiny boobs and that she looks like a man but in the end says that she won an Oscar. Then he diverted his attention to the light-skinned Kenyan women with big boobs and big bottoms and asked what do they have to offer.
To be honest, I felt like I could vomit. But I just sat down and pondered about his comments:
It took me back to my childhood when small Kenyan boys would label me “AIDS” just because I was a tall skinny girl who looked nothing like what society deemed to be a beautiful girl.
It took me back to my teenage life in church when the boys would only talk to the girls whose breasts had poofed-up. No matter how much they read the Bible which states that God created all things beautiful, it didn’t meet the practical.
It took me to my freshman year when in whispers, the boys would refer to me as ‘the slim one with a butt’ and thought it would be a complement. Because the African culture celebrates curvy women with big breasts and especially big buttocks.
So what happens to the dark, slim, small-chested and small-bummed woman like me?
Does this make me flawed in the eyes of African men?
Is there something that the young African men misinterpreted as beauty from their African forefathers?
But then, I thought about a compliment a friend gave me yesterday and it warmed my heart. This kind European who has lived amongst Kenyans looked at me and said, “Here in Kenya, many men love big bums. In Europe, many men are fascinated by big boobs. But you are perfect, you are beautiful just the way you are!”
I was silenced, and in that moment I felt a flicker of hope light up in me. That there are men who are capable of separating themselves from culture and see things for what they really are.
That there are men out there who would speak about women with respect regardless of who’s watching or listening.
That there are men who respect all women because their mothers, daughters and sisters are women too.
This is the hope that kept me from reacting in anger.
I remembered the Sudanese boy who gave me a golden ring in primary school because he thought I was beautiful. He didn’t care that other boys called me “AIDS”.
I remembered the American boy that I used to talk to after church. He thought that I was really cool to talk to regardless of how I looked as a teen.
I remembered the Ethiopian guy who stopped me to tell me that I had lovely eyes and hair as I went about my shopping.
And of course the warm complement by my European friend.
This comforted me that regardless of the evident brainwash about a woman’s beauty here in Kenya, the beauty in me is still VALID in other cultures.
To all the Kenyan men who think that Kenyan ladies are nothing but: ugly, needy, gold diggers, nagging, bad mothers, cheap, pathetic wives, career robots, pieces of ass and boobs.
Sorry that we are not good enough even when the rest of the world thinks otherwise.
PS: I love being a slim African woman with mild curves. I feel beautiful, sexy and healthy!
Peace, Love and Respect,