BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by Daisy Waitherero

Vybz Cartel a riddim artist, Tamar Braxton a singer, Vera Sidika a socialite, all were brainwashed that if it is not white then it is not right. Whoever thought that black stands for everything that is wrong? For all I care black seems to be the only thing that is definite in making other things seem beautiful. Plus after having a black-skinned president, a black Grammy award winner and not to forget I am a black writer, who would want to be white? Not that I am trying to put myself in the same league as the president of the United States nor the Grammy awards’ nominees list.

Vybz Cartel being male known for his ‘harsh-gangster look’ isn’t expected to be anywhere near skin products. It would rather be uncomfortable finding him at the cosmetics section instead of the riffles, magnum and shot-gun section.  Maybe it’s me but why do you need to brighten your skin color when tattoos are all over it.  Though bleaching is relevant to his song ‘skin pretty like a coloring book’, it still remains unusual. It’s like snoop dog or is it snoop lion starting to use lip care; a very awkward perception. A hardcore vibe and a feminine act simply cannot go together. 

Usually when the male pedigree is concerned with matters involving image and beauty, it is simply termed as gay or faggish. But if Vybz is doing it then it can no longer be gay, right? Clearly most men took it literally when women said ‘be in touch with your feminine side’. Don’t get the wrong idea, I fully support men caring about their image but all I am saying is let’s not fight for the last product at the cosmetics section. Don’t be at the spa going for steaming, at my nail shop doing pedicure, at the salon blow drying your hair. It might be the 21st century but a man is still a man. Go be in touch with your guns. 

The only problem of being dark-skinned is that you will require a lot of lighting during photo shoots or you will be the guy who carries ‘I am here’ tag in a photo. Apart from that you will never suffer the pain of carrying a sunscreen, using foundation, visible pimples and quick aging. The concept of black doesn’t crack is scientifically proven and accepted. The darker you are, the younger you look and therefore the longer you live. No wonder Oprah Winfrey looks like she is 40 years and she is 60 years. Obama should also be looking younger; it’s only that he is the champ of all 8 continents. Clearly power and beauty are not compatible. I don’t intend to sound like an advertisement but ‘KEEP BLACK AND STAY ON TRACK’. 

After David Kimaiyo decided that Kenyans should remove tint from their cars, some people aka Vera Sidika decided to take it as it is. The Kenyan socialite famed by a bright future behind her, was not only known for her great assets, her expensive horse hair but now even her light looks have chipped into her distinction. I wouldn’t say the change is bad, it’s simply different. Her new Nikki Minaj-Barbie doll looks seemed to have pulled off quite nicely despite previous attempts by my aunt Christine. Evidently bleaching isn’t for everyone, you may end up with yellow patches while trying to be white.

The notion black is beauty has now become a thing of the past so unless you are black, tall and skinny then you have no hopes of winning a beauty pageant.  Or be short and black then you’ll have a chance to be featured in a slavery movie and win a Grammy. I thank Lupita Nyongo because despite our dark tone being undermined, considered as ugly and associated with suffering, she was named the most beautiful by people magazine.

Question is who the beauty is and who is the beast? And is it possible to find beauty in what is considered beast? 


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