This photo was in my FB newsfeed this morning.
The caption was: Nyakim Gatwech, a South Sudanese model, may have the darkest skin in the world.
My first thought was, “I wonder what it would be like to go through life being that beautiful.”
I often have that thought. There used to be a model in the Sundance catalog who had the most incredible green eyes and outrageous, wild, free-range hair; I imagined waking up and looking in the mirror and having those eyes look back at me. I would ask myself, “Would my life be so much better if I had that hair?”
Yes, actually, it would.
She probably has her “fat days” and “ugly days” just like the rest of us. Maybe even gets a zit or two, but I still can’t fathom being that stunning.
While I can admit that I am fairly attractive, I am certainly not jaw-dropping gorgeous.
“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.”
Unlike the great beauty, Ms. Gatwech, with her flawless skin and mile-long legs…
and her youth.
Okay, not everyone reads the morning newspaper in a black strappy dress, heels, with a glass of wine, casually seated on the 8,000-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
I certainly don’t.
I don’t even read the paper.
I usually prefer coffee or tequila instead of wine first thing in the morning.
Anyway, I have the thought about being so stunning and what life must be like, etc., and then, reality kicks in, and I think,
Her striking looks, her incomparable beauty, her forever legs that aren’t mottled with cellulite and scars – these things that I struggle to imagine having myself – these things don’t change the fact that she is black.
And while I understand that I will never experience life as a gorgeous head-turner, what I really will never experience is being a black woman in this country.
And unfortunately, If I am going to be truly honest, I am shamefully grateful for this reality.