I have to start this off with the truth that black people are not a show. There are no words to accurately describe our greatness and it makes sense that people who aren’t familiar with it. want to get close.
“You are so biiiiiig, and broooown, and beauuuuutiful.” This is what I heard consistently as I was gazed upon by the residents on the streets of Bangkok Thailand.
That quote actually came from the lady in the black and white in the back of the picture, She crossed the street just to get a better look
Seems like every corner I turned, there was someone who wanted just a few moments of my time to marvel at the color of my skin and reconsider their internal views about my size.
Having a dark brown complexion, standing 5 feet almooost 9 inches tall, carrying a tummy reminiscent of the fruit of the loom apple and a bright smile I obliged when locals eagerly asked for pictures and wanted to shake my hand.
I took it up a level and gave them hugs instead.
Many of you may cringe at the thought of this and I completely understand. Living in America my entire life I know too well the negativity that is attached to not only being brown and or big but also the disapproval that often is attached to stares from those who may not resemble you.
These non American adventures are different however. The gawks aren’t full of distaste but wonder. I haven’t encountered abroad, feelings of disgust… I can only describe it as awe.
In Thailand I stood next to a makeup counter that supported extreme skin bleaching as the women who worked there placed their products down to rub the soft skin on my arm and compliment me on its beauty. Not previously having an up close experience with someone with skin as brown as mine they were amazed at just how much they liked it.
“This my dear friends is not a good tan, this is pure milk chocolate.”
Mainstream media doesn’t represent my type of black woman well. I completely understand that perception is reality and their views are polluted with “Black American” culture and expectations. I feel privileged that I have the ability to be that real life experience. Providing, sometimes, hands on exposure to the excellence that comes in something so big, so black and yes.. beautiful.
In Hawaii after an Instagram photoshoot that landed me with a head full of sand I sauntered into the ocean to rinse myself of the ridiculously small particles. Unbeknownst to me there was an Asian couple on a floaty moving closer to me and recording. My friend on land hilariously caught these moments. When they became close enough for me to notice the woman said to me excitedly!! “YOUUU AMERICANNN SEXYYY!”
As a solo traveler I’ve walked into some pretty suspicious places. Off the beaten path in South Africa I met some men who were puzzled that I was missing an English accent. I explained to them that Texans don’t speak that way and they were amazed! An actual black traveler from the United States. I know you’re like.. we go there all the time, but remember that I travel into places where tourist trips wont take you. These people often do not have the permissions or resources to go to the same places as you and they… in their full South African Xhosa tribe blackness lifted my hands, felt my skin, marveled at my eyes and shaved head just like the Asians.
The infatuation with the beauty that is blackness comes from us as well, so don’t be discouraged and toss away your offense.
Shake the hands , take the pictures and definitely don’t be afraid to visit the countries where the you, YOU represent is less familiar.
There is an entire world waiting to be plugged in to the truth of your greatness.. and take the time to soak the good of theirs… into you.
I have a new Podcast coming soon! Make sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss a moment. #MyLifeIsLikeAMovie but the podcast is called #TheSpiel. I hope you like it.
Your wordy friend,