Tag Archives: Asian

Cultural obsession with the white woman

16 Mar

Her beautiful fair skin touched by the glistening rays of the sun, she walks by with the wind drifting through her long, straight, flowing blonde hair. Her beauty is immanent, as you gaze, wishing that a day will arrive when you can stare into her sparkling, crystal blue eyes. Make her cheeks blush with a tint of rose, while you brush her freckled face with your hand. To you, she is the most beautiful woman in the world…

Well not just to you, in fact many cultures would deem this description as the ideal picture of beauty. This description describes the features of a white woman.  I would even go as far to argue that in many cultures there is an obsession with the beauty of the white woman. You’re thinking this is a interracial dating rant aren’t you? No that isn’t the issue at all, the issue is the inferiority complex many cultures have that are linked to the ideals of beauty being defined by the beauty of an Eurocentric image. I’ll begin with what led me to make this post. The other day I was on my way to work when I overheard this conversation between a two black women, one of which had her child with her:

Mothers friend: “She looks exactly like you except she’s got dark skin…where does she get the dark colour from?”
Mother: “Her Dad”
Mothers friend: (Turns to child) “Why are you so dark?  Why couldn’t you be fair like your mum”
(both turn to her with a sigh of disappointment)

I have had friends from Indian Asian backgrounds, and in my youth witnessed them try out all sorts of creams, lotions and potions to lighten their skin, and had always wondered why. Why do they want to be light? What’s wrong with their colour? In particular where did this desire to be light come from? Why were their parents buying it for them? I knew that there was a cultural preference but I had never personally experienced to understand the severity of it. As soon as I heard this conversation, it made sense to me, its the people closest to you who also have this complex, a chain of people feeding their issues to their children.

A day later I was in a shoe shop, there were two little black girls, whom I assumed to be twins as they looked a similar age and had identical features, however one was lighter in complexion than the other. The two little girls were looking at themselves in the mirror, while the lighter skinned child was confident and posing, the darker skin girl was looking at her sister and then at herself, she then said “I look ugly, don’t I?” bare in mind these two 6-7 year olds looked the same with only skin colour differentiating them. This made me think what does she see that makes her feel less beautiful than her sister? Either way I stopped her just to say “No, you are beautiful”. When I walked out, I considered how that may of seemed a bit creepy, a random women telling a child that she’s beautiful, but I needed her to hear it, she was only 6 or 7 years old and she was already believing that she is ugly.

Later that day on the way home, I was sat next to an Indian man on the train, which shortly became evident he was not very well mentally. Amongst the things he was pulling out of his bag were several hand written notes to himself entitled “white women exist” with a further list of steps to take, finished with now you have a white woman. Which just made me think and then led me to this post.

I have always noticed it within Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities I had been around growing up, skin lightening creams, blue or green contact lenses, dying hair blonde and light brown, relaxers and straighteners, weaves and extensions. Risking skin burns, hair loss and all sorts to meet a specific criteria of beauty. The features that people were trying to adapt are features most prominent in white women. Yes there are people within those racial groups who naturally have light hair, light eyes, straighter hair, fair skin and freckles and they are put on pedestals for it. However I perceive this desire to change what we naturally are as an inferiority complex, our world boasts an array of different features that define our heritage and culture, why can’t we embrace our differences? Yes the blonde woman, with the blue eyes and freckles is beautiful, but so are you! Embrace your natural beauty, your deep brown eyes, your wild curly hair, and the many variations of smooth chocolate skin that we come in. Remember that the ideals of beauty are just a cultural mind set, is there only one type of beautiful? Change the mind set, change YOUR mind set! Don’t let your daughter grow up thinking she’s any less than the princess that she is, let her see the beauty in features she has, there is always positives in features we have that others might not.

Do I stay or do I go now?

3 Aug

If you have read some of my previous posts you may be aware that I am 24 and living with one of my parents (sigh), and you may also know I recently got a job. If you didn’t well, now you do 😉 .

When I was 18 I ensured I applied to a university in a city far too far away to be able to commute, so that I could initiate moving out, after 3 lovely years of independence as a student, I didn’t have a job to go into and made the decision to temporarily move back to my Mums house while I searched for a job. That was 3 years ago 😦 . My Mum was eager for me to move out, having got used to the idea when I moved out at 18, so I moved in with my Dad.

Ok so I’ve got a job now so what’s the problem, why question if I should stay or if I should go? Well that all boils down to do I rent or do I buy? I would like to own my own property but that would mean staying with my Dad for a few more years to save up money to put down a deposit, if I rent I wouldn’t have spare money to do that. It sounds pretty straight forward and a simple answer, well  not quite.

My urgency to leave is based on several things, one being that having moved out before, I’m used to my own space and independence and it feels odd being in someone else’s space. I have a very awkward relationship with my parents in general but especially with my Dad, it might have to take a few more posts to be able to explain the context of that. My Dad wasn’t around for the majority of my teenage years and from a distance when he was, he also has some issues which makes him express how much he hates me for being born on a daily basis, though it might sound like it, he isn’t mentally unstable, well as far as diagnosis goes. Yea if you haven’t already guessed from that, my childhood wasn’t too great. Anyway so I have those emotional issues to deal with. In addition to that, as my Dad wasn’t around much when I grew up and not having other older children that have gone through the gradual freedom, he still treats me like I’m 13, so gets in a odd mood if I were to be back too late, or if I wanted to leave the house in the evening e.g 6:00 pm. Considering I grew up in a household were my Mum literally let me do as I pleased when I was young its strange to feel restrictions at 24, be it non verbal, but restrictions none the less. As sweet as it is, my Dad will cook for me everyday and ask me what I’m doing if I start to cook, I miss my own damn food!!! How ungrateful does that sound, but to have South Asian food everyday when your not used to South Asian food can get a bit how shall I put it, irritable. Having had such independence from my early teens without choice, its difficult now to in reverse have things done for me and not be able to do as a I please. Which makes me think that perhaps it would be better to rent for a little while and save a little slower. Then comes in the South Asian mentality, “Why do you need your own place? Renting is a waste of money” but on the other hand frequent suggestions made to go get married and move out 😐 . WTF?! I don’t get it, you don’t want me here, but you don’t want me to move out, but you do if someone sweeps me away.

Why don’t I just leave, I’m an adult, I’ve only been living with him for a year? I DON’T KNOW!! Perhaps because of the awkwardness of our relationship I wouldn’t want to put added strain on it by ignoring him and going and just doing as a please. I really would like to be able to buy a property, I understand that renting is just lining someone else’s pocket with not much gain for me, but at the cost of my sanity. I am aware how ungrateful I sound, but it eats at me, as much as I try to ignore it, the little digs hurt, being told your hated by an absentee father kind of grinds on you after a while, if the childhood issues of not having a Dad weren’t enough. Do I stay? Do I go? What kind of sane person stays where they are hated? I get frustrated that I don’t spend enough of my life doing the things I want to do, would I want to waste a few more years of independence? Does it really matter? Its so frustrating, sometimes I think maybe I’m being petty, other times I count down the days of how much more I will need to endure. But the countdown ran out, do I start a new one?