Photo: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Photo: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

I don’t consider myself a deep person; I mean, I may have a unique way with words through which I am able to call myself a writer, but I couldn’t masquerade my apparent depth to my peers and moreso to strangers online even if I wanted to. I try to expose myself to emerging issues as much as I can, but for my laziness I slack a lot and I get left behind. Am I knowledgeable enough? No, I’m not. But will I find a way to express myself about something I am passionate about, even if it setting time apart to acquaint myself with the subject?

I would, but I haven’t, ashamedly so; because all along while I was slacking, the internet beat me to it. Yes, the internet familiarized me with my subject of interest before I had the initiative to do so myself. Let me explain.

I have always wanted to write as much as I can about dark girls. Why? Because dark girls are lovely. So lovely to look at.

I mean, it’s not even a show of superiority to girls of other skin tones, because the loveliness of girls transcends skin tones. I think it has to do with my childhood, during which I read several African books. I recall how I would read a short story about a 25 year old Nigerian lady named Olamide who would bring men to their knees and would earn the admiration of women alike, forcing me to imagine just how beautiful Olamide is.

What would immediately come to mind would not necessarily be Olamide’s looks, but Olamide’s spirit. As much as I’d think of the most beautiful woman I knew and then imagine her to be Olamide, what would stick in my mind would be the girl’s spirit. To date I don’t recall much about Olamide’s looks, but my narrow mindedness as a child forced me to believe that she could only be dark. Additionally, I remember her possessing a strong, infectious spirit which would attract folk of every character. She’d have this carefree, ‘What’s wrong with groovin?’ vibe about her, with the confidence and free spiritedness to dance her way into people’s hearts. She was confident in her own skin, which inspired other girls to be the best versions of themselves and thus love that version as much as they could. One interaction with her would leave you partially devoid of words and fully alive.

In my narrow mindedness as a child, I never thought I’d meet an Olamide; but to my pleasant surprise, I have met several. It is not in my place to judge what makes a girl an Olamide and what doesn’t; it’s just that most of the times, you simply know it when a lady’s spirit has warmed your heart.

Where am I going with this?

I personally feel like it would be nicer if the world had more Olamides; how nice would that be, if every woman was free to love themselves especially for how they look? I feel strongly about the ‘freedom with respect to image’ factor because there are men and women out there who purpose to tear down the confidence of dark skinned girls by subjecting them to unnecessary comparisons; additionally, they simply can’t seem to compliment one woman unless they pit the women against each other. Good example, how many times have you been on Twitter and seen people post a tweet with two pictures, each picture containing a young woman, and saying how girl A is not wife material as compared to girl B? Simply put, some people can’t seem to praise woman A without putting down woman B.

It’s no one’s job to teach people against doing this, but it is your right to express yourself about it if you want to; that is what I aim for with this post. I am going to dedicate all the writing I do for the next months to this subject, because I’d simply like to express myself on the issue, as much as I can. This is a collaborative project with an incredible photographer named Kevin Gakere.

I am yet to learn a lot so the views may be subject to improvement, but I have spoken my piece. Thank you for allowing me to.

I forgot to mention; how did the internet familiarize me with this issue? Well, I came across a post on Buzzfeed titled ‘115 songs for the Summer Of Carefree girls’ written by a news reporter by the name of Ashley C. Ford, and it was all the inspiration I needed, seeing as I am 20 songs in 😀 so thank you Ashley, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Raphael Saadiq, Q Tip, Kendrick Lamar and Stevie Wonder.

Till next time, guys. J

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