If you follow my blog, then you know passionate I am about the information we feed our children. Whether it be the books that we read to them, the history that we teach them, the language that we speak to them with, or the toys we let them play with.
None of these things should have the effect of miseducation nor misleading them.
I always say that I stopped reading Cinderella to her because Cinderella looked nothing like her, and she was always at the mercy of a man. This teaches her that she always needs to be at the mercy of a man, and needs long silky hair.
Now, mainstream media has done an incredible job at misleading us as black women about our identities. It took us YEARS to finally get to a place where we can confidently walk around with our natural hair and not give a damn.
So many beautiful black women have bleached away their brown skin because light skin has always been portrayed as the better color to have. Yellow bones, we call them. Forgetting that that’s the very distinction slave masters made between a house and field niggers. The light skin nigger was always good enough to work in the house.
For some slave history relevant to the color conversation, read the William Lynch letter.
Anyway, this is a story for another day.
Right now, I need to tell you how important Zozibini’s win is for me as a black mom, and for my daughter.
I am consciously raising my daughter to know and understand herself based on her own perception of who she is. I want to try my best to not get her to get external influences that want to disrupt her own ideas of what beauty is.
Unfortunately, in this digital age, it is almost impossible for me to do that. She will be fed with constant images of beautiful women that look nothing like her or her brown skin friends.
Until now. Now, we have an ambassador of beauty with beautiful brown skin and a chicco style that probably still costs R20 in the hood to cut. This is our Miss South Africa people!! She is a Brown Skin Girl with skin just like pearls.
It is sad that Zozibini still has to defend her natural hair. Yes, DEFEND. Timeslive recently released an article where she was explaining that cutting her hair was not a ‘strategy to win’.
This is what Zozibini had to say:
“Before I cut my hair, I was scared that I would not be beautiful, mainly because of societal standards of what beauty is. When I cut my hair, I realized how amazing it looked – more beautiful than I thought – and so coming into the competition I just remembered the moment when I cut my hair and I thought there is no reason for me to change it”.
See? Beauty and a natural fade were never synonymous.
Seeing this wave of women going to get her fade fills me with nothing but pride.
We (black women) needed this win. Now we can save some weave and wig money and replacing it with a cheaper haircut. Haha
Her win is touching women’s lives and their choices in such a significant way, and this is why her win matters.