Why I should want to be white


Rhaya Truman

There are many ways African American women fight every day to go against societal stereotypes.

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.