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Why I should want to be white

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Rhaya Truman

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There are many ways I could benefit from having skin with less melanin.

I want to be a writer, and I don’t want my skin color to dictate the messages I can give through my words. I could write from an angle that has nothing to do with the “troubled background” I am assumed to have.

I could be a writer who is not a success story, but an overall success.  

I could be viewed as a girl who was raised in the western suburbs of Chicago, has a father that has loved me my whole life, a nice house and someone who spends a lot of money on clothes because I have the benefit of being able to feed off my parents’ paychecks.

Yes, I have a great life, and no, I don’t have white skin.

I could be viewed as the ideal beautiful girl. I could have long silky hair that cascades down my back, pretty blue eyes and clean skin that shines in the sunlight like a pure angel. My skin wouldn’t be something that is seen as a burden, but more something that lifts me up to the heavens effortlessly.

I could be pretty, rather than “pretty for a black girl.”

As a young African-American girl who does not fall into the societal stereotype of who I am supposed to be based on the color of my skin, it is expected for me to deal with my circumstances one of two ways.

Option One: I could conform to the stereotypes stitched into my skin and become exactly what everyone expects. I could be the loud and obnoxious black girl who gets her weave done every two weeks and has fake nails the length of her hand.

Because that is what you assume when you see the word black followed by the word girl, right?

Option Two: I could whitewash myself and erase the culture I grew up in to morph into the white-black girl society wants me to be.

It would be easy to step in the shower of my life and in just a few minutes, wash away the music, food and morals that have embedded themselves into my being from the roots of my ancestry.

But I decide to do neither.

I do not want to be white. I should want to be white.

I should want to be considered society’s idea of beautiful rather than my own definition of the thing. I should want to get rid of the beautiful melanin that blesses my body. While I am at it, I could also get rid of my hair that can do amazing things under many forces, like a sort of black magic.

I should mention the fact that my dad grew up on the southside of Chicago and came from nothing to get to his place as a CEO. It would give me the right to say I had to come up from something.

It would add to the myth that every successful black person came from a struggle, and I would just be another number on the data poll.

I should want to be a lot of things.

But I would not want to be anything besides who I am today.

I am the “other” that people are afraid of. I do not fall under the category of the typical black, white, Hispanic or any girl you can think of because while living, I do not allow racial stereotypes to define who I can be.

If I were to be ashamed of who I am and erase my blackness, there would be nothing special about me.

In reality, there are so many difficult ways to normality, while there is only one way to originality. That one way is being yourself, and for the common person that is hard to achieve. It is the default to want to fit in. But for me, the amazing thing about being a black girl is that I am automatically different. I am destined for something uncommon and I use that to create my own definition of normal.

Being a white girl in this society would be efficient.

Being a black girl in this society is being extraordinary.

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10 Comments

10 Responses to “Why I should want to be white”

  1. Celeste T. on November 1st, 2017 10:56 pm

    Great job Rhaya. Continue to walk in your truth and be the wonderful woman that you are. Accept nothing but the best. No mediocrity. You are a queen and I a fellow queen is rooting for your success. Write on. Write on.

    Sisterly 💘 & blessings,
    Native Chicagoan marching to the beat of my own drum. – Celeste T.

    [Reply]

  2. Robert Truman on November 2nd, 2017 1:15 am

    Awesome article Rhaya. You capture a reality that most are unaware of. Keep up the great work

    [Reply]

  3. Tamikia Charles on November 2nd, 2017 6:31 am

    From a Black woman who has a “black girl” I think this article is awesome! You rock!!!

    [Reply]

  4. Patricia Smith on November 2nd, 2017 8:44 am

    Beautiful writing cousin just absolutely Beautiful

    [Reply]

  5. Rachel Hurst on November 2nd, 2017 9:00 am

    I really enjoyed this article….. You are an Amazing writer and your gift will make room for You!

    Love, Love, Love It!
    Keep showing the world who you are!

    [Reply]

  6. Steffan Funchess on November 2nd, 2017 9:25 am

    YOU ARE AN AMAZING WRITER AND ALSO GIFTED. KEEP STEPPING TO GREATNESS. ANYBODY WHO EVER WISH TO BE ANYTHING BUT WHAT GOD MADE U SHOULD READ THIS. AND YES IM PROUD OF YOU COUSIN.🤓

    [Reply]

  7. Desiray on November 2nd, 2017 12:33 pm

    Wow!! Such a beautiful piece. Keep living in your truth and being the beautiful black girl your parents are raising you to be.

    Awesome Sauce!!

    [Reply]

  8. Chere Gordon on November 2nd, 2017 12:42 pm

    Awesome read!!! Love It❤❤❤

    [Reply]

  9. Bryant johnson on November 3rd, 2017 4:15 am

    If we as blacks believe and have faith in God more so than what we and others believe in ourselves,we can be everything and more that we dream and speak of being. Use what you have to get what you want ,that thought of being who you are,and what you want to be, will take you any place in which you want to go and beyond.

    [Reply]

  10. Kimberly on November 4th, 2017 7:33 am

    Congratulations Rhaya. Thank you for your courage and for sharing your perspective of how so often people see US!
    As a black woman who grew up with both my parents in a truly loving home….that “other” so often told story of poverty-stricken and struggling or single teenage…you get the picture. While that is someones story (and kudos to them for making it happen, regardless of the obstacles)….it’s not MY story.
    Thank you Rhaya for sharing your gift. Keep shining BabyGirl. Looking forward to hearing more from you! Peace and blessings to you young Sister.

    [Reply]

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Why I should want to be white