I have thought about writing this piece for a mighty long time. I battled with the fear of coming off sounding sickeningly sanctimonious or (God forbid) like a hater. Notwithstanding, it would be really great to hear your thoughts on this, whilst also sharing my views.

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It started out like a fairly regular Thursday evening…

I walked into the living room, tired and all a flush from a long fulfilling day at work. I stumbled upon a fairly typical scene; a family friend chatting away happily with my mother.She (family friend) became aware of my presence and her eyes lit up. “Hello Ezinne, how are you?” she exclaims in pleased animated tones. “It is so good to see you, ah, you’ve grown darker. The last time I saw you, you were much lighter and glowing”. I smiled and shrugged off the statement. I truly did not care…

During the course of our conversation, she brings up the purported tragic state of my epidermis once more. She says, “So what are you going to do about your colour? What are you going to use to bring it back to how it was before”. Shoot me now! I kept my cool and calmly replied, “It does not really matter what shade my skin is, I am comfortable and happy regardless. She looked thoroughly flummoxed and peered at me furtively with a strange expression on her face; pity perhaps?

Here’s the reality, we are pretty darn fabulous, it really doesn’t matter how light or dark we are. Everyone has his or her own special brand of uniqueness. Also, it is not about how perfect our skin is, but how perfect the woman wearing the skin is. I have nothing against bleaching/ toning or enhancing one’s skin. I believe life allows each individual a free reign to do as they please (freedom of expression).

I would however confess to a slight bias towards women with flawless undoctored skin. This does not in any way mean women with bleached skin are less beautiful.We all need to strive to attain a state of true self-love. Look in the mirror and smile at your reflection. Love the girl/woman in the mirror, zits/blemishes and all. She is spectacular!

I leave you all with this; “Life is never static, we go through different phases at different times and sometimes our appearance alters. The natural or bleached skin sometimes has its down moments. How do we handle the down moments??? That is the true test of what makes a “phenomenal woman”…Standing sure/proud regardless of her appearance and keeping it moving.

Xxxx

Ezinne Chinkata

Photography: Kola Oshalusi

Dress: Chidinma Obairi

Black Lace body Suit: Top Shop

Black Patent Pumps: Office

6 Comments

  1. This always happens to me! I just say..I live in Lagos its Hot:-) God of you to write this though

  2. funny when i am abroad i go darker compared to when i am in Lagos. maybe because i walk more abroad and drive more here. so unlike people who come back to Naija looking fresh and fairer the reverse is always the case for me. who cares jare at least i won’t have to give anyone any thing, abi when they see me they will be more bothered about ‘advising me” on how to get fairer forgetting to ask for chocolates. lol

    Nice piece Ezinne

  3. It is the intrusiveness of Nigerian culture that gives us such a low threshold for what is or is not polite conversation or commentary. People tell me things like that. Sometimes its you’ve gone fatter, even when I’m gyming like crazy and the scales say otherwise.Me I just smile and move on.As for the dark one I love being a brown girl, and I am averse to bleaching cos medically it hurts our health and really you are always beautiful whether you are white,dark,caramel or mocha.

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