Ladies, can I speak to you? You are enough. You are beautiful. You are unique- a master piece. Your skin color is just all right. The shape of your nose, eyes and mouth is just perfect. You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone deceive you otherwise. You are enough. It pains my heart so much to see ladies living lives dedicated to gaining the attention and approval of people through what I now term, “melanin annihilation”. According to reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 77 percent of Nigerian women use skin-lightening products. The highest percentage in the world!
I will never be able to fully wrap my head around the rationale behind the craze. When I asked a friend of mine about her obsession of becoming fair, she said, “Black na dirty”. Perhaps, that what many ladies have been forced to believe- that a lighter skin is the solution to inferiority complex, that a lighter skin is the key to the world’s love and approval.
Personally, I can relate to feeling inadequate and not enough. As a child, I hated a lot of things about me. I hated that people called me short. I hated that I had inadequate front hairline, I hated that I didn’t have money to throw around like other kids. I hated me.
That began to change however as I started out on the journey to self-discovery. It is impossible to love whom you don’t know. Sometimes we get carried away with the world’s opinion of perfect that we fail to discover ourselves. Self-discovery is the first foundational block to living a fulfilling life. How do you love that which you don’t know? How you nurture your gifts and talents when you haven’t first discovered them?
Society teaches us to focus diligently on the externals, but beyond the pretty face and awesome body, we are made for something more. You must discover this “something more” if you want to live and not just exist.
When you begin the process of self-discovery and discover your peculiarity, I can assure you that the feelings of inferiority will begin to dissipate. You are a perfect design. You are beautiful. You are special. You are enough!
I am Onome Pearl Oraka. I am Enough!