Bleached to Be Beautiful?

South Sundanese model, Nyakim Gatwech, has had the social media platform going nuts over her unique and magnificent skin and a recent encounter with a random Uber driver due to her looks. She took to Instagram to explain that the Uber driver felt the need to ask her beautiful, 24-year-old self if she would bleach her skin for $10k. Gatwech responded with laughter and proceeded to ask him: "Why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God blessed me with?" Amen to that girl! The driver then continued on by asking if she looked at it as a blessing. Of course its a blessing! Any shade of color is a blessing!  Lately, especially within the fashion and style world, women of color have been constantly hit with culture appropriation, shade discrimination, and all the bulldozers who don't see beauty in anything darker than white. Gatwech, however, is attacking this issue head on. She is consistently encouraging women and girls of color to not only love the skin they're in, but to embrace the melanin they're in!
Gatwech has had her fair share of discrimination and bullying growing up due to her appearance.  Despite her early break into the model industry, she explains that she was constantly teased and mocked in school because of her skin color. When speaking to Yahoo Beauty, she says, "There was a time in my life where I considered bleaching myself to avoid dirty looks, the laughter, and for boys to find me attractive." In her recent post on Instagram that was previously mention, she wrote about her disbelief in the types of questions and looks people will give her due to her skin. She was once asked if she was wearing leggings or if she was really just that black. People these days. Whatever happened to 'if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all'? But even with that in mind, how could you not say anything nice to this breath-taking woman?
This melanin queen is just one of the many inspirational women changing the typical stereotypes and 
expectations of beauty. Another Sundanese model by the name of Alek Wek, who has been constantly praised for her impact in the model world, is also working to change the views of what is deemed beautiful within the fashion and style industry. Wek has walked for many notable fashion brands, such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Christian Dior, Tommy Hilfiger, and many more. Models like these two gorgeous melanin idols are what help keep young girl insecurities low and out of mind. Without women like them standing up for something so prevalent in our society, despite the constant ridicule they receive, it would be so hard for women of color to have a foothold in what is deemed beautiful or a foothold in getting to show that. It's important to support all colors and forms of beauty, but what we need to stray away from is restricting charm and refinement to one demographic. But while we work to keep progress flowing, let's keep our melanin poppin' and it's glow heart-stoppin'!

-Kayla Steward

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I like them black as night.


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