Ever since moving to Germany and immersing myself into the idea of integration, I have experienced quite a number of awkward moments in regards to being a black woman living in a majority Caucasian country.
In this post, I will be talking about the three circumstances that happen oh so regularly.
The Beauty Industry Needs To Get Its Act Together
While in Nigeria, make up wasn’t my thing so I never went in search of products made for my skin tone. In the US, there are a ton of firms making products for black women.
In Germany however, you cannot just walk into a regular drugstore and easily pick up a product that blends with dark skin. If you want that then you have to head into a Mac store. Nobody wants to be spending money in a Mac store. At least I don’t. I want to be able to pick up an essence product that blends well with my skin. Sadly, that’s not the case here.
These days, black bloggers are either bringing American products that cater to black people to you or informing you where you can find them and sadly, they don’t come cheap. I may not be huge on make up but I want to be able to make myself artificially pretty whenever I feel like it but on a budget.
And it’s not just make up. I was in Aldi the other day and bought myself a nice pair of tights that I was ignorantly hoping would suit my skin tone but noooooooo. I look like someone poured a can of brown powder on my legs and it’s a terrible look I assure you.
The “In Your Country” Comment
The other circumstance about living in Germany with dark skin that annoys me is when you strike up a conversation with some random person either on the bus or train, at the fruit stand etc and they just generally assume they know where you come from.
I was buying fruits at an open market and the lady owner was really nice, giving me pieces of different fruits to taste and when she tells me the price I nearly pass out. Then she proceeds to say “oh I know it would be cheap in your country…”
Like dude, what do you know about who I am and where I come from. She’s lucky my German isn’t perfect. I would tell her how I’m from Germany and no, tropical fruits aren’t cheap in this particular country.
She did ask eventually where I was from and I nicely told her Chicago which shut her up big time. It’s annoying. You think because I’m dark skin, I’m automatically from an African country? No dude! You don’t know me so don’t pretend to be nice by being royally foolish. This happens almost too often and you would be surprised at the intelligent looking people who make such comments.
Africa Is A Bloody Continent
I can’t even deal with the amount of times I have been in conversations with people who make this statement. I mean like really? How daft can people be? What are they teaching little caucasian kids in schools?
I watch movies where a scene is supposed to take place in a certain city in a certain country in Africa and they never say which. But in the same movie, they mention New York, London, Venice etc. You get my point abi?
It’s sad really. The idea that Africa and Africans cannot be anything more than what the media portrays. You forget everything you have been taught in school (because I am not going to believe that teachers don’t know that Africa is a continent) and swallow hook, line, and sinker what the media tells you.
A coworker was telling me about documentaries she watches on TV about poor and suffering children in Africa. I try to tell her that it’s not always what the media shows that is the truth and she goes “Africa is an amazing country and…”
That’s where I quickly correct her and she didn’t even realise the point I was trying to make because she goes “oh but there are children poor and uneducated in Africa” and my response is that she may be right, but in Europe and America, there are poor and uneducated children, yet no one is talking about them. The world just needs to know that Africa as a whole cannot look after its people. They need saviours from other “richer” continents to save them.
There are so many instances where ignorance rears its ugly head even from really intelligent people and it’s very sad because we have become such a lazy bunch of people who keep passing down stupidity from one generation to the next without even knowing the harm our ignorance is causing.
This is one of the reasons I want to home school our kids until they reach school age. I get that kindergarten is so much easier especially if you are a working parent, and it helps build character and confidence with little kids.
But I’m determined to not put our kids in kindergarten because I want to know what they are learning as babies. As a mixed race family, we have all these different cultures that they will not learn about in kindergarten and I’m determined that they understand the beauty of what they have without the caucasian heritage taking over and giving no room for their black heritage to shine.
It will be tough I know but isn’t that what sacrifices are about? They are our future and if we don’t protect them, protect their growth, the cycle just keeps on spinning in the wrong direction.