Omo pupa o, omo pupa lemi n fe, omo pupa o, jowo mo feran re o. Ti n ba de London, maa wa fowo oko ranse, omo pupa o, jowo mo feran re o (Oh! Fair-skinned lady, I am in love with fair-skinned lady and when I travel to London, I will send flight fare to the fair-skinned lady I love).
History has shown that black people with lighter skin were treated better. The above popular number from the highlife maestro, Victor Olaiya, gives credence to this fact.
In the days of slavery, the dark-skinned blacks worked on the fields while light-skinned blacks worked in the houses. Hence, the terms, field Negroes and house Negroes. It got so bad that not only did the slave owners, who were often responsible for the higher shade of brown slaves give lighter-skinned blacks more respect, but so did the dark-skinned blacks. This evolved into generations of blacks both consciously and subconsciously teaching themselves that one is better than the other which eventually led to billions of naira being made in fake or artificial hair industry.
Obviously this, by every standard, is a very sensitive subject, but I need to get it off my mind because I have secretly nursed this thought in my head for long. I have always wondered why men prefer fair-skinned ladies to us, the dark-skinned. Just to buttress my view, I have met and known ladies who were once dark-skinned and suddenly became fair-skinned. They would spend fortune just to lighten their skins. Some even go overboard and become too light for their own good.
From toning a bit, they graduate to full-blown bleaching; and when this cannot be maintained due to the huge financial implications attached, their skins become damaged and they end up with rashes different coloured skins all in an individual. Do the men even know the trouble some women take just to meet up with their expectations?
Dont get me wrong. I have nothing against my fair-skinned sisters and friends. As a matter of fact, my childhood friends, Ayisat and Helen Egume, now in Abuja are all fair-skinned and we have been friends like for ever. We are closer than ever. At the risk of sounding a little jealous, even way back when we were in school, they had all the toasters in the world. For every 10 men that made passes at them, I had only one. Haba! Is it a crime to be dark-skinned? Must all of us be fair-skinned at all cost?
After I had managed to put my school experiences behind me, I met and fell in love with my man. My man is dark-skinned like me, and we were just fine with each other. Until their office recruited a tall and fair-skinned lady to work directly with him, it is was fine by me because I knew that my man needed an experienced assistant who would help reduce his workload. Before his chairman recruited the lady in question, we actually discussed it over lunch one day and I was like, why not?
When I ran into this lady, her beauty struck me. You know, for a lady, she was on the tall side, light-skinned, I am sorry, did I say she was light-skinned? No! I mean, she was dangerously fair-skinned! Oboy, I became uneasy with the realisation that they had to work and tour almost half of the country together, alone for that matter. It, therefore, came as little or no surprise to me when it filtered into my ears that they were having an no I mean they were becoming too close for comfort. Without wasting much time, I did a quick check with my pastor and after ceaseless praying and fasting sessions, my bobo is safe back into my hands. But I tell you the truth, I almost lost him to that African oyibo.
Anyway, the bitter truth is that research has shown that 70 percent of men would rather go for fair-skinned ladies rather than dark-skinned ones. Perhaps, it is because they are more notifiable or perhaps it is because the men want their kids to also be fair-skinned. I dont know, I am not a man, but I do know that they go for them before they come for us. I once worked for a boss who swore never to date a skinny or slim lady. He said to me that no matter how pretty a lady is, he would never approach her for anything unless she is on the fleshy side.
Jokingly, we asked him to consider a situation where he was trapped with a slim lady on an isolated island. Again, he said never, he would not go for her. For him, to win his heart, a lady must have lots and lots of flesh on those bones. Thereafter, we had a client we had to handle a brief for, and the client had a very slim, very pretty and yes, very fair-skinned daughter. Before we could say Alhaji! Our boss found himself spending hours conversing with this lady.
I dont know how his fianc then now his wife, got wind of it and to prove to his finace that he had nothing to do with our clients daughter, he brought her to formally introduce to the lady. After the introductions and exchange of pleasantries, they decided to call it a day and drove home. What jolted my boss to reality was when he asked his finacee what she thought of his platonic friendship with the lady, the finacee said: Alhaji forget this lady, I know say she dey lim side, but this one yellow o.
Need I say more?
Author: Babatunde Ayankunle