Tuesday, 13 February 2018

IS IGNORANCE BLISS

red boots, newlook, lolashoetique, denim, leopard print coat, h&m, red
red boots, newlook, lolashoetique, denim, leopard print coat
red boots, newlook, lolashoetique, denim, leopard print coat
red boots, newlook, lolashoetique, denim, leopard print coat
Coat: Lola Shoetique (Similar / Similar) | Jumper: H&M | Boots: New Look | Jeans: New Look (Similar) | Sunglasses: Ebay 

So last week, or was it the week before, she may even have been naked the week before that Kim (Kardashian) had her hair in cornrows and called them Bo Derek braids, you know the story right? If you don't know, Kim in true KiKi fashion took something that she liked from African culture (cornrows) and gave the credit of the look to a white woman (actress Bo Derek). Despite having a black husband and multiple mixed race children she still continues to F up and not get it right, and Don't even get me started on 'boxer braid gate', will she ever learn?

Or maybe, just maybe that was her only reference to the look; Bo Derek in the 1979 film 10, rocking her bikini and braids. Even I remember that - what's the big fuss she's not wrong. But wait, did I say 1979, was Kim even born then? (checks Wikipedia) Nope she was in fact born the following year and in that time she has been married once or thrice, had three brown babies and dated multiple black men. My mum was marrying my dad back then, having mixed raced babies in the 80's, to a black man who came straight from Zimbabwe and even lived in his country. In that time she encouraged her daughter to speak three languages before she was two (two being languages from her fathers country) and learning how to twist and plait her daughters Afro hair, using all the correct terms. Bloody hell if Christina (that's my mum) an Irish white woman who quite literally took a slate and chalk to school (I can't explain times were hard in Ireland, my dad had paper in Zimbabwe) can learn something about her husband and children's culture in the 80's. Then Kim surely can too, she has the internet after all. 

On days when I want to annoy myself I scroll through the comments on the Daily Mail. I came across a comment from a random white lady saying something along the lines of 'I have no problem with black women dying their hair blonde or straightening it, so what's the problem with Kim wearing braids'. Her comment made me roll my eyes, then laugh and then finally I did get a little annoyed. 

ignorance
ˈɪɡn(ə)r(ə)ns/
noun
lack of knowledge or information

When I was younger I didn't actually know the definition of ignorance and used to think it was an insult. It can be, but at times it really isn't. Some people truly are ignorant and even sometimes it isn't their fault. So I stopped being annoyed and told myself that this lady was ignorant and really, maybe that is what she ACTUALLY believed. I'm going to make the assumption she thinks all black people are just... black.

Has she even seen Beyonce?

Then I got annoyed again and was like, yes of course she has! But I told myself maybe she thinks the Queen B herself is totally fakery. TBH Beyonce does have some fakery but the point I'm making is she doesn't fit the mold of what I've assumed the lady thinks black people look like. Here's another example, have you seen Fabolous' kids? *inserts picture of Fabolous kids* did you see the ginger afro? It's women like that Daily Mail reader that I honestly do wish I could slap with a wet fish. You see she is missing the fact that some of the things she thinks black people take/copy from white people, blonde hair etc. Some black people are actually BORN with these features. She probably thinks that black people adopted these things for fun, fashion or because they actually wanted to and not because historically in most cases they had to survive! To be accepted in Western society, to feel validated, beautiful, to feel human and to be seen as humans.

It's people like that woman who don't acknowledge or respect the fact that black people have been and continue to be oppressed. And someone like Kim who takes all the parts she 'likes' from black/ African culture, the body, the food, the hair, the men. But lord knows she would never actually want to be black. To then give the credit to, or reference a white woman who in actual fact never created the hair style. Is just insulting to say the least. It's the fact that almost forty years later a hair style that never originated with Bo Derek (because credit wasn't given then) is STILL Kim's reference. Just think on that a moment. Kim's entire lifetime has passed to date, yet her reference for the look is still a white woman from 1979. In 40 years we have made technological and scientific advances once never thought possible. Yet her reference for the hair style is still from 1979, despite the internet, Instagram, Snap-chat, Facebook.... you get the picture. 

So here's the truth, I'm half African. I've even lived there, albeit when I was young and I'd never heard of Fulani braids. But I know cornrows and so should Kim. If for anyone, for the three mixed race children she has brought into the world. What the Daily Mail reader needs to understand is that Kimberly has a platform, one in which she can use to help work towards eradicating ignorance not perpetuate it. This isn't a post about if Kim should or should not wear her hair in cornrows, she can (and does) do what she wants. Kim wearing cornrows is not a bad thing. But Kim wearing cornrows and miss-educating people is a terrible thing. There could be hundreds or thousands of people unfamiliar with that hairstyle, by telling the world she has cornrows she is giving recognition to something that for years when worn by black women was never valued let alone recognised. So much so they could get you sent home from school or seen as 'ghetto' or unemployable (until adopted by western society and suddenly made cool). She could be educating those hundreds, thousands or even millions of people to a term and hairstyle they weren't familiar with before. 

Why? Because I know she has never secured a tea towel to her hair and run around with her white cousins, with beautiful golden hair saying "look mammy, I have long hair now". She has never experienced people staring at her and pointing (with no shame) because of the colour of her skin. She has never had to explain her hair texture to all the other children in the class, and politely ask them 'please stop touching my hair'. She has never felt like a freak show. She has never experienced shrinkage which is why she HAS to wear a swimming cap when everyone else can leave their hair to float freely behind them. She has never been laughed at because of that. She has never worn her hair in cornrows and had to explain to everyone what she has done with her hair. She has never felt like a gimmick. She has never had to wear extensions braided into her hair and feel beautiful, but the boys think it's ugly. She has never been told by a hairdressers that she can't manage her hair. She has never had to cry just to get a comb through her hair. She has never felt! And if she has, shame on her for knowing the feeling yet playing a role in perpetuating it. 
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8 comments

  1. Loved this girl! Such a good post! I hear you about the whole swimming cap thing! And crying getting my hair combed, the struggle was so real. Xx

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    1. Thank you babe -so glad you liked it. Means alot xx

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    1. Thank you. Appreciate you taking the time to read x

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  3. Well done my daughter,made your mammy proud xxxx

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    1. awww mammy, thank you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  4. Parentinginbritain6 March 2018 at 22:15

    I love this! On point! I’m half African too and my thing is to the daily mail reader who is definitely ignorant (I know she’s not reading this probably not) but I just want to add that all races come from the original people who were black African so people need to google and educate themselves with google being so advanced there is no reason to be ignorant in 2018! Well done for great post!

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    1. Thanks so much hunny - 100% people need to educate themselves!! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. Love and light to you and yours xxx

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